Background: Discharge planning and education may directly influence patient outcomes, including patient satisfaction and readmission rates. Discharge processes and follow-up vary across departments and facilities. Follow-up telephone calls after patient discharge are commonly utilized; however, delivery techniques differ across healthcare areas. The purpose of this integrative review is to explore the various techniques of initiating post-discharge follow-up phone calls and their impact on patient outcomes and satisfaction. Method: A literature search across different Databases and the search engine Google Scholar yielded over 2,751 articles utilizing the Boolean phrases: (follow up or follow-up or post-discharge or following discharge or discharge) AND (techniques or methods or strategies or interventions) AND (patient safety or patient outcomes or quality of care) AND telephone follow up. Other search phrases included follow up phone call methods and Re-Engineered Discharge (RED) discharge toolkit. A final total of 22 studies were chosen for evaluation and analysis. Results: Methods examined were, calls by a registered nurse/advanced practice nurse or trained nonmedical personnel, communication via an automated short messaging system (SMS), and scripted or non-scripted methodology, with patient outcomes measured according to patient satisfaction and readmission rates. A literature review indicated that scripting may be beneficial for all follow-up methods. Calls from nonmedical staff and SMS/automated messages can supplement nurse-led follow-up. Conclusion: Improvement was found with post-discharge follow-up; however, no consistent findings indicate one follow-up method is more beneficial than another. Therefore, the impact of the various methods on healthcare costs should be considered when seeking the best practice.

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