Retention of discharge instructions using an interdisciplinary model for at-risk children with cancer: A quality improvement initiative

Rachel Offenbacher, Jessica Briggs, Kristen Ronca, Audrey Uong, Olamide Ogidan-Odeseye, Mimi Kim, Daniel Weiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: We sought to improve caregiver retention of critical initial hospital discharge instructions using a multidisciplinary, team-based intervention for newly diagnosed pediatric cancer patients at high risk for unfavorable outcomes. Materials and methods: A multidisciplinary team of pediatric residents, nurses, social workers, pharmacists and hematology/oncology faculty implemented practices to optimize teaching of key discharge material as part of four Plan-Do-Study-Act intervention cycles. An 11-question survey distributed at the first post-discharge clinic visit assessed the efficacy of the intervention, as defined by caregiver retention of critical home instructions. Results: Thirty-nine caregivers of pediatric cancer patients in an urban academic tertiary-care children's hospital took part in this project. Overall retention of key discharge information was greater in the post-intervention cohort compared to the baseline cohort (median total scores: 89 and 63, respectively; p =.001). Improvements in the proportions of correct responses post-intervention were also observed across all subject matters: from 0.57 to 0.88 for fever guidelines (p =.059), from 0.71 to 0.78 for signs of sepsis (p =.65), from 0.57 to 1.00 for accurate choice of on-call number (p =.004), and from 0.71 to 0.94 for antiemetic management (p =.14). Conclusion: Initiation of our comprehensive cancer-specific program to improve caregiver retention of discharge instructions at the first post-hospitalization clinic visit has been successful and sustainable. This project demonstrated that a multi-disciplinary collaborative team effort increases caregiver retention of critical health information, and this has potential to lead to improved outcomes for patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • new diagnosis
  • pediatric cancer
  • quality improvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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