Posted: July 9, 2014

Understanding Hospital Discharges: The relationship between timing of discharge orders and actual patient discharge


Hospital discharge impacts patient satisfaction, quality of care and overall hospital throughput and capacity. Early discharge order times have been proposed to improve discharge time; however, the relationship between discharge order time and actual hospital discharge is poorly understood. N= 51178 inpatient discharges were analyzed. Discharge order time was found to account for less than 50% of the variability in actual discharge time. In addition, earlier discharge orders were associated with increased time to actual discharge. Manipulating discharge order time alone may not effectively alter the time of patient discharge.


Discharge, Quality, Inpatient, Capacity, Systems Improvement


Iahn Gosenhauser, MD, MBA, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

John G Mastronarde, MD, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Susan D. Moffatt-Bruce, MD, PhD, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center