Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Projects

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Doctor of Nursing Practice

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Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

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behavioral health, bipolar disorder, readmissions, interventions, discharge planning


Dennis Callahan

DNP Project Chair

Dr. Gabrielle Abelard


Purpose: The purpose of this DNP project was to evaluatea discharge protocol with interventions to improve the process of discharge from the in-patient setting and transition the patient into the community.

Methods: This program evaluation centered on evaluating a discharge protocol currently in place and adding revised interventions to strengthen the discharge planning process. De-identified data was viewed on readmission rates and interviews were conducted with stakeholders involved with the discharge process.

Results: There were a total of twelve participants in the evaluation period of pre and post evaluation interviews. Review of the interviews resulted in four themes relating to the discharge protocol; lack of facility resources, lack of insurance, homelessness, and need for discharge planning. Chart reviews of de-identified data of patients admitted with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder revealed that 32.8% of all patients with bipolar disorder were readmitted within 30 days of discharge. Additionally, Bipolar disorder was thesecond most common diagnosis with readmissions within a 30-day timeframe for this facility.

Conclusion: Readmissions in the psychiatric realm, occur when there are not proper interventions that prevent the patient from re-entering the hospital. A structured discharge protocol with interventions geared towards preventing relapse will help decrease the readmission rate.

Keywords: behavioral health, bipolar disorder, readmissions, interventions, discharge planning

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