Discharge planning (DCP) and early discharge intervention has proven to have a direct effect on reducing hospital length of stay (LOS), reducing readmissions, reducing patient morbidity, improving patient satisfaction and possibly reducing patient healthcare cost. This proposal specifically addresses hospital length of stay but with research it was found that early DCP also has the potential to improve outcomes in several areas adjacent to both the patient aspect and business aspect of health care. The proposed question is as follows: In adult hospitalized patients (P), how does discharge planning within the first 24 hours of admission (I) compared to late or no discharge planning (C) affect patient length of stay (LOS) (O)?

Nurse case managers (NCM) play many roles, but one of the tougher roles is mediator. The NCM must be the moderator between what the patient/family wants, MD treatment plan and what insurance is willing to pay for. The one thing everyone usually agrees on is they want the best outcome for the patient. The goal of my proposed implementation is to optimize that outcome.

In a review of evidence-based research, it was identified that reducing length of stay has the potential to optimize patient outcomes. The review identified that early discharge planning could possibly impact patient and staff satisfaction as well as improve patient outcomes. “Discharge planning may lead to increased satisfaction for patients and healthcare professionals (Gonclaves, 2016).”

Another area identified as beneficial is the cost of healthcare for these patients. With DCP having a direct impact on the patients LOS, there is potential for reduction in healthcare cost. This not only benefits the patient, but also the healthcare facility.

Date of publication

Winter 12-6-2020

Document Type

MSN Capstone Project



Persistent identifier



Masters in Science of Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner