Student Dissertation

Agency : Discharge Process, Turnaround Time, Planned/Unplanned Discharge, TPA (Third Party Administration)

Objective : 1. To review the discharge process in the hospital 2. To estimate the Discharge Turnaround time for Cash, Credit and Insurance Patients. 3. To identify the key reasons for delay in Discharge. 4. To suggest strategies to reduce time taken for processing discharge, if required

Background : Discharge is referred to as when the patient is free to return to home after his period of recovery at the hospital. It is the most significant moment for a patient as they are now free of the ailment which affected them and can return to their normal life and duties. It’s also a crucial moment for the hospital as a hospital can make or break its reputation due to ill planned discharge process. For most people, the most significant moment of any hospital stay is when they are told they can leave and how carefully they prepared for this anticipated departure is in many ways as important as the treatment they received while under a doctor’s care. Referred to as discharge planning, hospitals understand the importance of developing a careful and appropriate agenda to address that which will inevitably occur outside the hospital walls. Depending on the patient’s condition, a good discharge plan may be as simple to execute as taking a few days off work to help at home or as complex as researching health care facilities and coordinating assistance among family members.

Methodology : The research approach adopted in the study is descriptive and observational. It involves collecting data from hospital records as well as by the observation. It also includes collection of information, opinions and attitudes directly from the subject of the study through Interview. Data for a sample of 170 patients is collected in 70 days (1stMarch, 2016 – 10th May, 2016)

Findings : The study was conducted prospectively. Total sample of 170 patients were collected for the period March to May 2016. The analysis revealed that the 68% Cash patients got discharged within 3 hours which is standard time for cash patient’s discharge, 65% Credit patients got discharged within 3 hours which is standard time for credit patients, where as in case of TPA patients 50% patients got discharged in 2 hours which is the standard time for TPA patients.

Recommendations : After a thorough analysis of the collected data, I hereby conclude that long waiting time of the patients is annoying and causes inconvenience to both patient and department. Also, it increases the dissatisfaction level of the patients. Lack of co-ordination among employees is also a major problem creator is the hospital. It can be corrected by proper training of Employees. The delay if minimized can significantly reduce long waiting time of patients. This will help the department to function with optimum efficiency and provide quality care to patients.