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Appropriate Patient Education Upon Discharge From The Emergency Department Essay

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1.0 Introduction Appropriate patient education upon discharge from the emergency department (ED) is essential for effective patient care (Engel et al., 2009; Waisman et al., 2003). Patients are treated and released from the ED, often with complicated instructions they are expected to remember and comply with. The type of discharge education varies widely including verbal, non-verbal, written, illustrated and video information given to patients depending on the health professional and hospital policies. Inadequate discharge instructions can result in poor health outcomes and higher healthcare costs due to re-presentations to the hospital (Han, Barnard & Chapman, 2009; McCarthy et al., 2012; Palonen, Kaunonen, Helminen, & Åstedt-Kurki, 2015; Samuels-Kalow, Stack & Porter, 2012). One of the Ministry of Health primary targets for 2015-2016 was to have shorter stays in ED (Ministry of Health, 2015). There is now consensus that to achieve better health outcomes, an individual must be responsible for their own health through self-management. The question remains as to how to empower an individual to take this responsibility and moreover how to equip this individual with the appropriate skills often in situations of high stress and anxiety or when education levels may be low. Within this context, the notion of health literacy is paramount. Literacy is defined by the Tertiary Education Commission (2008, pg. 6) as the “…written and oral language people use in their everyday
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