Effect of an attending nurse on timeliness of discharge, patient satisfaction, and readmission

Rachel M. Cyrus*, Nita Kulkarni, Gopi Astik, Charlotta Weaver, Krystal Hanrahan, Megan Malladi, Patricia O'Sullivan, Cheh Yeh, Jungwha Lee, Kevin J. O'Leary

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: To improve the timeliness and quality of discharge for patients by creating the role of the attending nurse. Background: Discharge time affects hospital throughput and patient satisfaction. Bedside nurses and hospitalists have competing priorities that can hinder performing timely, high-quality discharges. Methods: This retrospective analysis evaluated the effect of an attending nurse paired with a hospital medicine physician on discharge time and quality. A total of 8329 patient discharges were eligible for the study, and propensity score matching yielded 2715 matched pairs. Results: In the post-intervention matched cohort, the percentage of patients discharged before 2 PM increased from 34.4% to 45.9% (p <.01), and the median discharge time moved 48 min earlier. In the unmatched cohort, patient satisfaction with the discharge process improved on several questions. While length of stay was not affected, the 30-day readmission rate did increase from 8.9% to 10.7% (p =.02). Conclusion: With the new attending nurse role, we positively impacted throughput by shifting discharge times earlier in the day while improving patient satisfaction. Length of stay stayed the same but the 30-day readmission rate increased. Implications for Nursing Management: Our multidisciplinary approach to the problem of late discharge times led to the creation of a new role. This role made ownership of discharge tasks clear and reduced competing priorities, freeing up nurses and hospitalists to perform other care-related responsibilities without holding up discharges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2023-2030
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nursing Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • leadership
  • nurse's role
  • patient discharge
  • patient satisfaction
  • practice patterns
  • throughput

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management


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