Barriers to Post-Discharge Monitoring and Patient-Clinician Communication: A Qualitative Study

Brian C. Brajcich, Meagan L. Shallcross, Julie K. Johnson, Rachel Hae Soo Joung, Cassandra B. Iroz, Jane L. Holl, Karl Y. Bilimoria, Ryan P. Merkow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: As postoperative length of stay has decreased for many operations, the proportion of complications occurring post-discharge is increasing. Early identification and management of these complications requires overcoming barriers to effective post-discharge monitoring and communication. The aim of this study was to identify barriers to post-discharge monitoring and patient-clinician communication through a qualitative study of surgical patients and clinicians. Materials and methods: Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were held with gastrointestinal surgery patients and clinicians. Participants were asked about barriers to post-discharge monitoring and communication. Each transcript was coded by 2 of 4 researchers, and recurring themes related to communication and care barriers were identified. Results: A total of 15 patients and 17 clinicians participated in interviews and focus groups. Four themes which encompassed barriers to post-discharge monitoring and communication were identified from patient interviews, and 4 barriers were identified from clinician interviews and focus groups. Patient-identified barriers included education and expectation setting, technology access and literacy, availability of resources and support, and misalignment of communication preferences, while clinician-identified barriers included health education, access to clinical team, healthcare practitioner time constraints, and care team experience and consistency. Conclusions: Multiple barriers exist to effective post-discharge monitoring and patient-clinician communication among surgical patients. These barriers must be addressed to develop an effective system for post-discharge care after surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Volume268
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Gastrointestinal surgical procedures: Surgical oncology: Communication: Patient discharge: Continuity of patient care: Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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