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ABSTRACT: This study reports the second phase in the development of a paediatric discharge risk screening tool. It describes evaluation of the reliability and validity of this tool, which is designed to identify children in need of post-discharge care beyond that of routine nursing and physician teaching and follow-up. The first group identified was children who possessed a non-routine or unpredictable pathway of post-hospital treatment. The second group encompassed those with multifaceted, complex post-hospital care needs, requiring extensive internal hospital department coordination and involvement of community-based care providers in the discharge planning process. It was found that discharge risk factors reflecting objective and easily observable illness and treatment criteria were the most reliable predictors of need for social work discharge planning. It is recommended that a discharge risk tool be completed in partnership with unit nursing staff, and that it be subjected to further review in other organizational settings.
Journal of Child Health Care 10/2003; 7(3):163-83. DOI:10.1177/13674935030073003 · 0.97 Impact Factor