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Improving Care Transitions

Engaging the Voice of the Patient in Improving the Hospital Discharge

The Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors joined Health Care For All to bring the patient and family voice to improving the hospital discharge process in order to decrease preventable readmissions and improve the patient›s and family›s experience. The goal was a consumer-centered discharge process that ensures a full understanding of the patient›s post-discharge needs and concerns shared by patients (and their family caregivers) and hospital staff managing the discharge. We sought to increase the capacity of Massachusetts› hospitals to listen to consumers, as well as to increase the level of patient engagement with hospitals, as they worked together to design this consumer-centered discharge process.

Through the financial support of the Picker Institute, this project worked to:

  • Increase the understanding of the concerns of patients and families through engagement and communication strategies, including the hospital Patient Family Advisory Councils and patient and family involvement in the hospital›s improvement team;
  • Develop best practices for the discharge process in response to the needs of patients and caregivers; and encourage their adoption;
  • Improve communication between patients and providers prior to the hospital discharge by offering models of effective listening and responsiveness;
  • Facilitate smooth discharges from hospitals to home, and reduce the number of preventable readmissions;


  1. Learning from Patients: Post-discharge Interview Guide from Atrius Health
  2. Presentation: Involving Patients and Families to Improve Care Transitions (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center)
  3. Consumer Stories: Problems with Hospital Discharges:
  4. Your Voice Matters: Going Home from the Hospital ( Johns Hopkins Medical Center)
  5. Enhanced Assessment of Patient�s Post-Hospital Needs ( Institute for Healthcare Improvement)
  6. Strategies for Engaging the Patient Voice
  7. Strategy Notes


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