BACKGROUND: The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) and Care Transitions Measure (CTM-3) scores are patient experience measures used to determine hospital value-based purchasing reimbursement. Interventions to improve 30-day readmissions have met with mixed results, but less is known about their potential to improve the patient experience among older ethnically and linguistically diverse adults receiving care at safety-net hospitals. In this study, we assessed the effect of a nurse-led hospital-based care transition intervention on discharge-related patient experience in an older multilingual population of adults hospitalized at a safety-net hospital. METHODS: We randomized 700 inpatients aged 55 and older at an academic urban safety-net hospital. In addition to usual care, intervention participants received inpatient visits by a language-concordant study nurse and post-discharge phone calls from a language-concordant nurse practitioner to reinforce the care plan and to address acute complaints. We measured HCAHPS nursing, medication, and discharge communication domain scores and CTM-3 scores at 30 days after hospital discharge. RESULTS: Of 685 participants who survived to 30 days, 90 % (n = 616) completed follow-up interviews. The mean age was 66.2 years; over half (54.2 %) of the participants had cognitive impairment, and 33.8 % had moderate to severe depression. The majority (62.1 %) of interviews were conducted in English; 23.3 % were conducted in Chinese and 14.6 % in Spanish. Study nurses spent an average of 157 min with intervention participants. Between intervention and usual care participants, CTM-3 scores (80.5 % vs 78.5 %; p = 0.18) and HCAHPS discharge communication domain scores (74.8 % vs 68.7 %; p = 0.11) did not differ, nor did HCAHPS scores in medication (44.5 % vs 53.1 %; p = 0.13) and nursing domains (67.9 % vs 64.9 %; p = 0.43). When stratified by language, no significant differences were seen. CONCLUSION: An inpatient standalone transition-of-care intervention did not improve patient discharge experience. Older multi-lingual and cognitively impaired populations may require higher-intensity interventions post-hospitalization to improve discharge experience outcomes.
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