Being discharged from the hospital can be a complicated process. Discharge planning actually starts shortly after admission and considers your needs after the hospital stay. We have a multidisciplinary team to evaluate your progress through the expected hospital course. This may include physicians, nurses, case managers, and social workers. We want to make your stay, discharge and recuperation as convenient and comfortable as possible.
Your physician/s will decide, with input from you and the discharge team, the appropriate time for you to be discharged. Several things are taken into account when planning for your discharge.
- Have you recovered enough to leave the acute care setting of the hospital?
- Has there been a change in your ability to care for yourself?
- Can you return to your preadmission situation?
- Are you in need of temporary or permanent services to be able to care for yourself?
- Which services will you need and what services will your insurance cover?
- Do you have any special psychosocial needs?
The physician tries to inform you at least a day in advance when they think you will be ready for discharge. However being discharged depends on their evaluation of you that actual day. Giving you an exact time of discharge is difficult. Every patient’s needs are different.
Before you call for a ride home, please speak to your nurse. They will inform you what your physician has ordered and what must occur before you can be discharged. This gives you time to make arrangements for a ride home. It also prevents having someone wait a long time due to any delays that may occur. Please inform us if there is a particular time of day that is difficult for you to find a ride.
There are several things that must occur after your attending physician tells you that you probably will be discharged today.
- All of your physicians need to agree that you are ready to be discharged.
- All testing or blood work must be done as ordered, and results reviewed as necessary.
- All medications must be given as ordered prior to discharge.
- All patient education must be complete, including any ordered from the dietary, rehabilitation staff or any other hospital department.
- Arrangements for any equipment, oxygen or services needed prior to you arriving at home must be complete.
Your nurse will write out your discharge and medication instructions. Once everything is complete as ordered and you are able to be discharged, they will review your instructions and give you a copy.
These instructions include:
- Your admission reason and discharge diagnosis
- Pending tests, results of tests and surgeries or procedures
- Tests or blood work that needs done
- Special instructions
- Referrals to other agencies or services
- List of medications (the dosage, times, and frequency)
- Prescription for any newly prescribed medications
- Pain medications as ordered
- Follow-up appointments with your physician/s
- Activity restrictions if any
- Fluid requirements if necessary
- Wound care and signs of infection
- When to call your physician or return to the hospital
This information will also be available to your physicians within 24 hours of discharge. This will allow a smoother transition of care from one care provider to the next.