You need support after discharge. While in the hospital, a hospital Case Manager who is a nurse helps you get set up for going home. You and your home care giver should take part in the planning. Everyone needs to know the discharge plan so it can work. This includes what to expect. You need to know what help will be provided to you once you are home. This could be a home health nurse visit or wound supplies. It could also be a walker or transportation services.
Make sure to ask questions before you leave the hospital. Your understanding of the instructions can affect how well they work. It could also help you to avoid problems once you are home.
A “Discharge Checklist” can help you plan for your discharge.
Things to know before you go home:
1. The date when you are expecting to leave. Plan ahead for that date. Do you have a ride?
2. What to expect when you get home. What will you be able to do?
3. Who will support you at home?
4. How will you manage grocery shopping, cooking and getting medications filled?
5. The name and phone number of who you should get in touch with in case there is a problem. Your Primary Care Physician (PCP) will want to know too.
6. What type of problems should you call the doctor about? The nurse will review this with you.
7. Understand your medicines before you leave the facility. Did they change, why you take them, when to take them, and side effects? If you can’t pay for your medicine or can’t get to the pharmacy, let the nurse know.
8. Any discharge tasks (such as monitoring wounds or changing bandages). How to do them? Make sure you can do the task. Let the nurse know if you don’t think you can do it.
9. Make a follow-up appointment with your PCP within 7 days of going home. Your PCP will want to see you. The PCP will want to review your plan of care too. You should know when to call to report problems.
10. Be honest. Tell the discharge planner if you do not understand any of the instructions.A staff member from the Health Plan will be calling you at home to check in. We want to make sure that you are familiar with your discharge plan. We can assist you in making an appointment with your PCP at that time.