August 7, 2015

From Discharge Planner to “Concierge”: Recommendations for Hospital Social Work by Clients with Intracerebral Hemorrhage

Kristen F. Linton, MSW, PhD; Marissa M. Ing, MSW; Megan A. Vento, BS; and Kazuma Nakagawa, MD

Social Work in Public Health

Purpose:  The Affordable Care Act and budget cuts have changed the role of hospital social workers by placing pressure on them to conduct speedy discharges and decrease readmission rates. This qualitative study aimed to assess if hospital social work is meeting the needs of clients in the hospital and post-discharge.

Methods:  Semi-structured interviews with 10 clients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and 11 caregivers were conducted.

Results:  Participants reported that social work services were not meeting their needs. Clients with ICH and their caregivers expressed needs from social workers that surpassed their roles as discharge planners, including counseling, help with finances and insurance, and advocacy. Participants wanted social work services to begin early in acute treatment with continuity post-discharge.

Conclusion:  Social workers should conduct ethical social work by meeting clients where they are, addressing needs as prioritized by the client, and advocating individually and organizationally for clients.

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