Ideas That Work: Impressive Instructions


Create an Online Library of Discharge Forms

discharge instructions

Impressive Instructions
Create an Online Library of Discharge Forms

What do your discharge instruction forms say about your quality of care? If your forms are faded and outdated copies of copies, their text slanting across the page, then clearly not much. In this digital age, we should be able to give patients clean, crisp copies, not the marked-up, dog-eared directions we've kept on file all this time.

A few years ago, we created a discharge instruction website on our health system's intranet from which our PACU and day surgery nurses can print off instructions for every patient. The website is organized into folders for each surgical specialty, which contain electronic copies of the hospital's generic post-op instructions as well as those customized directions requested by specific physicians (whose offices have provided us with their files).

All staff members have read-only access to the website, which ensures that they're all giving patients the same information on their way out. Hospital leaders, however, have full access to the files so that they can easily update them as needed.

Lucy Milton, RN, MSN, CPAN, CAPA
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, Mass.
[email protected]

Related Articles

September 21, 2022

Surgical instruments that are of poor quality or improperly maintained can fail during procedures, an alarming occurrence that jeopardizes outcomes...

Behind Closed Doors: What Went Wrong?

For the past decade, I’ve written my column on resolutions I planned to make in the New Year, the many well-intentioned goals I can never seem to keep. But this year I thought I’d try something different....

Infection Control: How Clean Is Your Water?

My hospital’s sterile processing department is responsible for turning around 1,500 instrument trays a day, and we take every measure possible to ensure...