An Initiative to Improve Patient Discharge Satisfaction


  • Sally Strong RN, APN-CNS, CNRN, CRRN,

    Corresponding author
    1. Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital, Wheaton, IL, USA
    2. Adjunct Faculty in Continuing Education, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL, USA
    • Correspondence

      Sally Strong, Clinical Nurse Specialist at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital, 26 W 171 Roosevelt Road, Wheaton, IL 60187.


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  • Arlene Bettin RN, BSN, CRRN

    1. Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital, Wheaton, IL, USA
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To provide patients with knowledge needed to make a smoother transition from inpatient rehabilitation to the community or another level of care.


The Journey to Discharge concept developed from efforts to clearly communicate the stages a patient travels through on the path to discharge from inpatient rehabilitation.


The creation and implementation of this concept led to marked improvement in patient satisfaction scores as measured by Press Ganey Associates. Specifically, measures of discharge-specific questions increased from the 39th percentile in fiscal year (FY) 2009 to the 84th percentile in FY 2011 and gains were maintained through FY 2012 and into this year.


The Journey to Discharge guides Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital associates in helping patients understand expectations for their inpatient rehabilitation stay. This patient-centered initiative demonstrates an innovate approach to better understanding of the rehabilitation process and to easing the patient's transition across the continuum of care (Brady, 2013). The concept includes a post discharge follow-up component designed to ensure patients are following instructions, thereby potentially lowering the incidence of readmission following discharge.

Clinical Relevance

Optimizing patient discharge preparation can lead to improvement in satisfaction scores. Discharging well-prepared patients, coupled with proactive post discharge follow-up has the potential to lower the incidence of readmissions.