ABSTRACT: To determine the relationship between interinstitutional communication and continuity of advance directives from hospital to nursing home (NH) settings.
Retrospective chart review of discharges to hospital affiliated or community NHs.
Teaching Veterans Affairs Hospital and affiliated and community nursing homes.
Demographic characteristics, medical diagnoses, presence of advance directives, and documentation that relates to the topic.
A total of 83 patients were discharged to either setting. Before discharge to a NH, the prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cancer was higher among those who had a DNR order. Overall, subsequent discussions about advance directives were equally common in NHs. Having a hospital discussion about advance directives or having a hospital DNR order were associated with a higher rate of advance directive discussions in NHs. Hospital DNR orders were continued for 93% and 41% of patients admitted to the hospital-affiliated NH compared with community NHs, respectively (P < .001). Specific communication of hospital DNR status to the receiving NH was associated with better continuity of DNR orders (49% vs 9%, P = .001). Factors that predicted continuity of DNR orders in logistic regression analysis correctly included hospital DNR status, communication of advance directives to the receiving NH, and NH advance directive discussions.
There is higher continuation rate of DNR orders between the hospital under study and its affiliated NH than to community NHs despite a similar frequency of confirmation discussions. Completing advance directives before patients are discharged to NHs, communication of advance directives to the receiving NH, and follow-up discussions at the NH may improve the continuity of advance directives between hospitals and nursing homes.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 05/1997; 45(4):465-9. · 3.74 Impact Factor