Date on Paper


Document Type

Doctoral Paper

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Ruth Staten

Committee Member

Mary-Beth Coty

Author's Keywords

telephone follow-up, discharge follow-up, recidivism, readmission rates, emergency department visits


The time immediately following a hospital discharge is a crucial period, wherein patients are at risk for suicide, hospital readmission, and adverse events. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to reduce recidivism, including readmission rates and ED visits, in patients with depression after an acute psychiatric hospital discharge through an implementation of a telephone follow-up. The intervention group, also known as the 2019 Discharged Patients group, were called within 72 hours of discharge to reinforce discharge instructions and to administer the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). The results were compared to that of the 2018 Discharged Patients group of 16 patients, in which one (6.25%) was readmitted and three (18.75%) visited the ED within 30 days of discharge. None of the persons in the intervention group were readmitted or visited the ED. Statistically significant differences were not detected in discharge telephone phone call status (received or did not receive) and readmissions (p = 1.000) and ED visits (p = 0.526). Only the persons in the intervention group completed the PHQ-9. For six patients in the intervention group, the mean PHQ-9 score was 3.3, which was within a depression severity of none to minimal. This quality improvement project helped address patient lack of understanding related to discharge instructions after being discharged from the hospital to home. The project may help reduce the economic burden of readmissions and improve patient customer service and satisfaction.

Included in

Nursing Commons