Little known about patients’ care after discharge or transfer from inpatient care to another care setting. A recent study focused on the care trajectory of patients after discharge from a German inpatient palliative care unit (PCU) or transfer to other care settings (ie, inpatient hospice, nursing home, or private home).
The prospective observational study surveyed the participants’ central care provider (ie, inpatient hospice, nursing home, or general practitioner) about participants’ care trajectory and hospital readmissions in four weekly follow-up phone calls until the patients’ death.
Of the 467 inpatients from the PCU and 554 inpatients from the PCMT who were treated during the study period, 245 agreed to participate, most of whom were either discharged home, to inpatient hospices, or to nursing homes. More than half of them stayed continuously in their discharge setting, with the remaining participants experiencing some changes of care setting.
The most frequent change was from private home to hospital and from hospital back to private home. Mean overall survival was 51.7 days, and most patients died in their private homes, inpatient hospices, or inpatient PCUs.
These study results show that well-considered discharge planning and an adequate network of care providers can achieve a high percentage of stable care trajectories at the end of life with few or no changes of care setting.
This study aims to survey the further care trajectory and overall survival from the time of discharge of patients in a palliative care situation.