Objectives: To determine the adequacy of discharge planning from an emergency short-stay unit (ESSU), and patient knowledge of and satisfaction with the ESSU.
Methods: Prospective follow up of patients discharged from an ESSU using patient surveys and a computerized patient information system, with descriptive and comparative data analysis.
Results: Eighty-five per cent of respondents stated that they received adequate discharge instruction, and 89% that they benefited from their ESSU admission. However, 29% of patients made unscheduled visits to another medical practitioner post discharge and 9% were readmitted to hospital for the same problem with which they were discharged from the ESSU. Patient satisfaction with all aspects of care in the ESSU was high.
Conclusions: Most patients discharged from an ESSU are provided with adequate discharge instruction, but a sizeable proportion require subsequent medical care for the same problem after discharge. Patient satisfaction with all aspects of care in an ESSU is high.