Date of Award

Summer 7-21-2022

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

First Advisor

Theresa Pape, PhD, MSN, RN, CNOR-E, CNE

Second Advisor

Debra Millett, DNP, MSN, MBA, PMH-BC, NEA-BC


Practice Problem: The problem involved the transition of psychiatric care from long psychiatric hospitalizations to community-based psychiatric treatment which has developed into shorter inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations, which in turn has developed into a significantly higher number of individuals being readmitted within one year of inpatient discharge.

PICOT: In adult patients undergoing inpatient acute psychiatric care (P), how does the use of a transfer of care protocol (I), compared to current transfer of care practice (C), affect the rate of readmission within 30 days for inpatient acute psychiatric care (O), in 10 weeks?

Evidence: The evidence from an extensive literature review supported the implementation of the Brief Critical Time Intervention (BCTI) tool to reduce psychiatric patient readmissions.

Intervention: The intervention for this evidence-based practice change project was the implementation of the BCTI tool. The intervention included training of staff to incorporate the BCTI as part of the discharge process.

Outcome: The BCTI tool revealed an effective clinical impact on readmissions as evidenced by a readmission rate of 8%, which was lower than the pre-intervention rate of 8.9%. The result of the two proportions z-test was significant (p = 0.002), which indicates a significant difference between pre and post intervention readmissions.

Conclusion: The intent of the project was to evaluate the efficacy of using the BCTI tool to reduce the readmission of psychiatric patients and provided clinically significant outcomes by having positive impacts on patient care and outcomes as the patients received improved discharge planning.


Scholarly project submitted to the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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