Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
The health care system has focused on reducing costs associated with longer lengths of
stay while facilitating safe and appropriate discharges. The purpose of this educational
project was to increase awareness among health care providers regarding nudging and
how it influences discharge planning decisions by patients and families. Enhancing health
care providers’ understanding of the impact of discharge communication may address the
issue of alternate level of care (ALC). Transition theory was used to frame the project.
Practice-focused questions addressed how the use of evidence-based case studies about
nudging could improve discharge planning for patients in a large community hospital in
Ontario, Canada, and the impact that nudging has on the ALC rate 3 months
postimplementation. The project focused on enabling staff to self-identify instances of
nudging, strategies, and messaging techniques to use during conversations about
discharge planning. Of 48 nursing staff available, 22 participated in at least one of the
three educational modules. Descriptive data showed that staff increased their awareness
of nudging and developed new strategies to adapt their practice. Concurrent projects in
the hospital to reduce the number of ALC patients in the organization may decrease the
ALC rate. Through enhanced patterns of response, nurses promote positive social change
by helping patients and families feel more confident in their decisions related to
discharge and reducing overall cost to both the patient and the health care system.
Bowers, Tabatha, "Health Care Providers’ Use of Nudging with Families of Older Patients Making Discharge Decisions" (2020). Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. 8858.