Background:   There is increasing recognition that high quality transitions of care are essential to ensuring patient safety. While no universal standard has been identified, using available literature and data from provider surveys, Project Impact identified key elements for acute care discharge education.  However, no studies have focused on the parent perspective. 

Objective: To determine parental perspectives about discharge education and attitudes about Project Impact identified essential discharge education elements.

Methods: The study group included parents of children that were non-technology dependent and less than 2 years old or between the ages of 2-17 with asthma hospitalized on an acute care unit.  Participants were asked to rate the importance Project Impact identified essential education elements: of receiving information regarding follow-up appointments, home medications, instruction on when to call their pediatrician and when to go to the emergency room.  Responses were rated on a 4 point Likert scale from1- not important to 4- extremely important.  Participants were then asked “Are there other things you would like to learn … before you leave the hospital.”  Responses were analyzed using grounded theory and quantitative methods.  Responses were coded into three distinct themes, then further grouped into categories.  Descriptive statistics were performed to determine the most frequent categories.  

Results: One hundred participants completed the interview.  Mean response scores were as follows: follow-up appointments- 3.77, home medication instructions- 3.97, when to call the pediatrician- 3.96 and when to go to the emergency room- 3.96.  44 distinct responses were recorded for the question about additional desired information and were categorized into 8 themes and further grouped into 3 categories.  The 3 main categories the family wished to have instructions on prior to discharge include: 1) Care at home (50%), 2) Inpatient education regarding the clinical condition (31.82%), and 3) Prevention (18.18%).    

Conclusions: When asked to rate the importance of key elements for discharge as highlighted by Project Impact, parents agreed that these were extremely important. . Information about discharge education points were also the most frequently identified items for requested additional information with emphasis on expectations for care at home and prevention of recurrence.