What to know before you leave the hospital

August 08, 2018 | by Ankur Singal, MD

There’s a lot on your mind when you’re getting ready to be discharged from the hospital. On one hand, you’re looking forward to moving to the next phase of your care. On the other hand, you may have concerns about how you’re going to care for yourself while you continue to rest and get better.

Whether you are leaving the hospital to go home, to a nursing home or to a rehabilitation facility, here are some questions to help you prepare:

  • Who will pick me up from the hospital?
  • What will I wear when I’m discharged?
  • How will I get my prescriptions filled?
  • Do I have questions about my medication or my care at home?
  • Do I need special equipment?
  • Would I benefit from home care or rehabilitation services?
  • When will I see my doctor for follow-up care?
  • Who do I call if there’s a problem?

You’ll work with your doctor, a nurse practitioner or case manager on your discharge plan. Your discharge plan will include information about where you will be discharged to, the types of care you need, and who will provide that care. It will also include a complete list of your medications with dosages and usage information.

You or your caregiver will be told about any side effects to your medication and what to do if problems occur. For future care, your hospital will help arrange referrals to other physicians, home care or nursing facilities, if needed. Here’s a great checklist from Medicare.gov that you or your caregiver can use to make sure all of your questions have been answered.

If there is something you do not understand while going over your discharge plan, talk to your physician or a member of your healthcare team. Your healthcare team will want you to have all the information you need to rest and recover.

After you leave the hospital, you’ll need to follow up with your primary care provider. Like your hospital healthcare team, your primary care provider will be an advocate for your health. He or she will help make sure you are continuing to get the treatment you need to get better.

Learn more about visiting Edward Hospital.

Learn more about visiting Elmhurst Hospital.

Related blogs:

10 ways to cope with long stays in the hospital

5 questions people never ask their doctor – but should

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