The issue of hospital readmission represents a core concern for the current healthcare system because of the high cost and mortality rates involved. The healthcare stakeholders develop interventions that include enhanced post-discharge communication programs to minimize preventable readmission incidences.
Therefore, a suitable research question to guide a study to evaluate the efficacy of enhanced post-discharge patient communication is necessary. “In a rural and small hospital, does a specialized telephonic intervention delivered by trained nurses to the discharged patients help to reduce the incidence of 30-day readmission compared to when no discharge calls are delivered?”
Assessment of the Variables:
For the hypothetical research scenario, the suitable independent variable is the efficacy of the specialized telephonic intervention. The conceptualized dependent variables include Discharge Calls, Availability of Trained Personnel, and Barriers to Post-discharge Communication.
Hypothesis Formulation and Type
The study hypothesizes that small and rural hospitals can reduce the rate of unplanned readmission by providing continuous post-discharge calls to their clients. The formulated hypothesis is a model of a null hypothesis. An alternative hypothesis reads that small and rural hospitals cannot reduce the unplanned readmission rate.
Research Study Design
A quantitative method with survey research design is the preferred methodology because it facilitates a critical rationalist perspective to the subject matter. According to Flick (2015), a quantitative method facilitates a linear logic process to undertake the empirical study. A quantitative design uses a step-by-step procedure characterized by starting with a theory and concludes with validating it (Flick, 2015). The ability to control the external variables s by using homogenous samples is a core advantage of a quantitative design. However, Flick (2015) outlines a notable limitation of the model that is related to the lack of generalizability of the study found. A researcher can generalize the findings of the study based on the specific sample selected.
Sampling and Strategy:
In a quantitative design, the use of a random sampling approach is effective because it helps to reduce the risk of biases. The four common probability sampling strategies include simple random, stratified random, cluster-random, and systematic random sampling (Flick, 2015). Each of the four approaches entails pertinent pros and cons. For this study, a simple random sampling of the rural and small hospitals is ideal because it guarantees each of the participating facilities an equal opportunity to be considered during the study. A total of 15 hospitals located in the rural and peri-urban region and those with less than 100 hospital beds will be considered across Los Angeles County.
Flick, U. (2015). Introducing research methodology: A beginner’s guide to doing a research project, second edition, Sage Publication
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