Colleen Jennings, RN, BSN, HN-BC, of Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Eastern Regional Medical Center, discusses the initiative their center took to improve discharge follow-up calls.
The nurses found that many patients, once discharged, did not have proper knowledge of their follow-up care and often weren’t taking their medications properly. In response, the nurses developed a standardized script for the follow-up telephone call that emphasized medicine education, including a medicine reconciliation form, and organizing the patient’s follow-up appointments. This program allowed nurses to advocate for their patients to ensure that they took charge of their care after leaving the center. The improvement was shown in the percentage of patients asking for follow-up instructions which dropped from 35% to 8%.