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Nurses improve same-day patient discharge rates

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Delays in patients leaving hospital following laparoscopic surgery can be reduced with no detrimental effect on patient care by allowing nurse specialists to authorise their discharge, according to a study.

Leicester Royal Infirmary examined doctor-led and nurse-led discharges for two consecutive four-month periods before and after the introduction of discharges led by a laparoscopic nurse specialist.

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Of a total of 128 patients, 17% were discharged on the day of surgery when under the authority of a nurse specialist, while only 4.7% were discharged in the doctor-led group. The research noted a “highly significant” difference in the same-day discharge rates among patients operated on during the morning theatre, with 44% of patients discharged by the nurse specialists and 10.7% discharged in the doctor-led group.

There was no significant difference in readmissions between the two groups or in the number of patients seeking primary care attention following discharge.

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