Checklist for Post-Discharge Follow-up Phone Calls
Project RED (Re-Engineered Discharge) Training Program
A follow-up phone call to the discharged patient should be made within 48 to 72 hours of the patient's departure. The call's purpose is to ask about the patient's condition, including compliance and understanding of medication orders and other treatment orders. The caller should also ask about the patient's general understanding of his or her condition and intent to follow through with follow-up appointments.
Your organization needs to:
- Decide who will make these follow-up calls.
- Develop a script to guide the caller.
- Develop an algorithm to determine if another call from a clinician is indicated.
In the original Project RED (Re-Engineered Discharge) research project, a pharmacist made the follow-up phone calls, but not all hospitals have sufficient resources to support this approach. You may decide to have the Discharge Advocate make these calls. Your organization may already have a call center that is charged with following up with patients who were discharged. Any assigned and oriented staff member can make the post-discharge call as long as Project RED-specific questions are included in the script.
The checklist below lists the tasks that need to be accomplished for making post-discharge follow-up phone calls.
___ Staff member(s) selected for making the calls.
___ Script finalized.
___ Primary callers oriented.
___ Algorithm developed to determine when a second call by a pharmacist, nurse, or physician is indicated.
___ Pharmacy, nursing, physician staff alerted to process and possibility of their involvement in a second call.
___ Process defined for documenting call.