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Three steps to a safer hospital discharge: an infographic for optimal patient outcomes
Jul 26, 2021, By: Karlee Boersma
graphic of a large profile checklist with a physician to the right and 2 people assessing on the left

This infographic calls attention to the importance of effective informed discharge planning for point-of care nurses and can help them create an evidence-based process that follows the patient from admission to discharge. This infographic addresses three essential steps in the discharge process that nurses can lead to achieve a safer, more comprehensive discharge experience for their patients.

Download infographic: Three steps to a safer hospital discharge: an infographic for optimal patient outcomes [PDF, 257.2 KB]

Three steps to a safer hospital discharge: an infographic for optimal patient outcomes. Did you know? 1 in 11 patients are readmitted within a month of leaving the hospital. $2.1 billion is spent annually in Canada as a result of discharge and readmissions. A standardized, evidence-based process is critical for safe and effective person and family-centred discharge that starts on admission to the hospital. The infographic then shows a call to action and the nursing solution with the plan for IDEAL (include, discuss, educate, assess, and listen) and standardizing the process. More details in the PDF.

Infographic references

  1. Canadian Institute for Health Information. (2021). Your health system. Retrieved from!/indicators/006/all-patients-readmitted-to%20hospital/;mapC1;mapLevel2;provinceC5001;trend(C1,C5001);/
  2. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (n.d.). Care transitions from hospital to home: IDEAL Discharge Planning implementation handbook. Retrieved from
  3. Soong, C., Daub, S., Lee, J., Majewski, C., Musing, E., Nord, P., … Bell, C. M. (2013). Development of a checklist of safe discharge practices for hospital patients. Journal of Hospital Medicine, 8(8), 444-449. doi:10.1002/jhm.2032
  4. Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network. (2014, November). PODS: Patient-oriented discharge summary. Retrieved from
  5. Office of the Auditor General of Ontario. (2010). Discharge of hospital patients. In 2010 Annual Report (pp. 64-93). Retrieved from
  6. Institute for Healthcare Improvement. (2020). SMART discharge protocol. Retrieved from

Karlee Boersma, RN, BScN, MN, is a neurosurgical nurse and nurse practitioner student at the University of Windsor.
Acknowledgment to Michelle Freeman, RN, PhD, CPPS, associate professor, University of Windsor.