The discharge of individuals from hospital: Do we need to refocus our research?

Michelle Renee Guerin, Karen Grimmer-Somers, Sarvana Kumar, Wendy Dolejs


Safe and timely discharge of individuals from hospital into the community continues to face a number of barriers. This is despite concerted research efforts to gain better understanding of processes of, and outcomes from, various discharge initiatives. During the doctoral research by the principal author, as with any research, more questions than answers were identified. One of the findings from this research, which incorporated both primary and secondary research methods, raised the question of the direction of future research into the discharge process of individuals from hospital. This question goes to the heart of discharge research, that is, is it time to consider researching discharge interventions which are multi-pronged and take a systems-wide approach? Such interventions need to actively engage policymakers, hospitals, community services and individuals, in order to develop possible solutions to the ongoing barriers which appear to have hindered improvements in the discharge process for over 30 years.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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