Discharge Practices for COVID-19 Patients: Rapid Review of Published Guidance and Synthesis of Documents and Practices at 22 US Academic Medical Centers

for the HOMERuN collaborative working group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: There are currently no evidence-based guidelines that provide standardized criteria for the discharge of COVID-19 patients from the hospital. Objective: To address this gap in practice guidance, we reviewed published guidance and collected discharge protocols and procedures to identify and synthesize common practices. Design: Rapid review of existing guidance from US and non-US public health organizations and professional societies and qualitative review using content analysis of discharge documents collected from a national sample of US academic medical centers with follow-up survey of hospital leaders Setting and Participants: We reviewed 65 websites for major professional societies and public health organizations and collected documents from 22 Academic Medical Centers (AMCs) in the US participating in the HOspital MEdicine Reengineering Network (HOMERuN). Results: We synthesized data regarding common practices around 5 major domains: (1) isolation and transmission mitigation; (2) criteria for discharge to non-home settings including skilled nursing, assisted living, or homeless; (3) clinical criteria for discharge including oxygenation levels, fever, and symptom improvement; (4) social support and ability to perform activities of daily living; (5) post-discharge instructions, monitoring, and follow-up. Limitations: We used streamlined methods for rapid review of published guidance and collected discharge documents only in a focused sample of US academic medical centers. Conclusion: AMCs studied showed strong consensus on discharge practices for COVID-19 patients related to post-discharge isolation and transmission mitigation for home and non-home settings. There was high concordance among AMCs that discharge practices should address COVID-19-specific factors in clinical, functional, and post-discharge monitoring domains although definitions and details varied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1715-1721
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Volume36
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • discharge practices
  • practice guidelines
  • transitions of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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