gms | German Medical Science

First Joint Conference of the German Society of Nursing Science (DGP) and the European Academy of Nursing Science (EANS)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Pflegewissenschaft e. V.

08.07.2021, online

Measuring readiness for discharge in German hospital care: a review of suitable tools

Meeting Abstract

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  • Hanna Schmickt - District Hospital am Steinenberg, Reutlingen, Germany
  • corresponding author Stefan Nöst - Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW), Stuttgart, Germany

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Pflegewissenschaft e.V. (DGP). First Joint Conference of the German Society of Nursing Science (DGP) and the European Academy of Nursing Science (EANS). sine loco [digital], 08.-08.07.2021. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2021. Doc21dgp35

doi: 10.3205/21dgp35, urn:nbn:de:0183-21dgp352

Published: July 5, 2021

© 2021 Schmickt et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Background: Discharge from the hospital is accompanied by the risk of discontinuities in care. In principle, this can be avoided by means of discharge management and by taking transitional care approaches into account. The German expert standard "Discharge Management in Nursing Care" [1] offers a nursing quality-related conceptual framework for this purpose. This standard was updated in 2019. Since then, the assessment of "readiness for hospital discharge" (RHD) has been recommended as a nursing sensitive outcome measure.

Objective: To identify a generic tool for measuring RHD in German hospital care.

Design and methods: A review of literature was conducted in 2021. Resources searched were: PubMed, Cochrane Library, parts of EBSCO, Google Scholar and Springer Link.

Results: 35 relevant international publications were identified mentioning different concepts or criteria for assessing RHD. Within these published articles, 7 different assessment tools were described in 19 studies in total. No studies or tools were reported for the German health care context. For the Swiss context, two studies describe a single Item and the translation of the short form of the Readiness for Hospital Discharge Scale (RHDS) [2].

Conclusions: No valid or available tool for measuring RHD in German language was identified. While this concept is already being researched and discussed internationally [3], there exists a research gap in Germany in this regard. Along with this, there is a need to conceptualize RHD in the German nursing care setting, in order to develop an appropriate measurement tool for monitoring the quality of hospital discharge management.

Conflicts of interest: The authors confirm that there are no conflicts of interest.

Funding: No funding was provided for the project presented. (Stuttgart, 05.04.2021, Hanna Schmickt & Stefan Nöst)


German Network for Quality Development in Nursing (DNQP) Expert Standard Discharge Management in Nursing [Expertenstandard Entlassungsmanagement in der Pflege]. 2nd Uptdate2019. Osnabrück; 2019.
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Weiss ME, Piacentine LB. Psychometric Properties of the Readiness for Hospital Discharge Scale. J Nurs Meas. 2006;14(3): 163-180. DOI: 10.1891/jnm-v14i3a002 External link