The Emergency Department At Saint Vincent 's Medical Center

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Introduction Every day in the United States there are 136.3 million people that visit the emergency department (CDC, 2015). To put this number into perspective that is 44.5 people per 100 persons (CDC, 2015). 11.9% of these visits result in hospital admission leaving 88.1% of visits to be discharged home with or without caregiver assistance or to another healthcare facility (CDC, 2015). While high numbers of patients being discharged is desirable, it is important to consider that “In one out of every 30 discharges things get missed. [For example] patients [are] sent home who didn’t know how to use their insulin or they got the wrong prescription” (Maguire, 2011). Another important statistic to recognize is that “Ninety million Americans have difficulty understanding their own medical care” (McCarthy et al., 2012). Similar adverse events and misunderstandings of medical care have been occurring in the emergency department at Saint Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut—a 60-bed emergency department with a fast-track zone that is classified as a level one trauma center. The nurse manager of the emergency department at Saint Vincent’s stated that many patients were not being adequately educated during discharge. She placed most of the blame on the nurses as it is the nurse’s responsibility to be educating and providing all patients with clear and concise discharge instructions. As of right now, most emergency departments do not have discharge instructions that
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