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  1. Walker, Cynthia A. MSN, RN, APRN-CNS, CWON,
  2. Rau, Lou Ann MS, RN, CWOCN
  3. Green, Mary Phyllis BSN, RN, CWOCN


The 5-day average inpatient hospital length-of-stay postostomy limits opportunities for patients and family members to master self-care of the new ostomy prior to discharge. The literature suggests premature discharge, poor care coordination, lack of symptom reporting and follow-up as the primary factors supporting causes of readmissions. Home care nurses are faced with failed handoffs, limited resources, poor care coordination, payor restrictions, and knowledge and skill deficits that negatively impact safe and effective discharge practices of patients with a new ostomy. This article describes an evolving community standard related to nursing care of the patient with a new ostomy as identified by the Baltimore Wound, Ostomy, Continence (WOC) Nursing Affiliate. Case managers, discharge planners, intake team members, and home care nurses benefit from ongoing education from WOC nurse experts to master the skills needed to care for patients with ostomies.