Before You Leave the Hospital

Plan Early to reduce your chances of being readmitted and increase your chances for a healthy recovery. Take steps as soon as possible during your stay to plan for a successful transition from the hospital.

To begin, ask to speak with your discharge planner, and review the following:

  • Your discharge summary and discharge plan
  • Your complete medicine list and instructions
  • Your upcoming appointments
  • What to do if you don’t feel well

Checklist for Discharge

Make sure you have the following information before you leave the hospital.

  • Discharge summary. This includes why you were in the hospital, who cared for you, your procedures and medicines.
  • Medicine list. This includes all your new and former prescriptions, overthe- counter medicines, vitamins and supplements. Ask if there are any medicines you can stop taking or that are not good to take together. Also make sure you know why, how and when to take each one.
  • Prescriptions. Check that your pharmacy has your new prescriptions and that you have a plan to get them filled.
  • Follow-up care instructions. Beyond medicine, this can include:
    • Foods or activities to avoid
    • Tests or appointments
    • How to care for incisions or use equipment
    • Warning signs to watch for
    • Daily living adjustments (like how to get into bed)
    • Who to call with questions
  • After-hospital services. Know how much support you’ll need in these areas:
    • Personal care: bathing, eating, dressing, toileting
    • Home care: cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping
    • Healthcare: taking your medicines, doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, wound care, injections, medical equipment
  • Local Resources. Ask your Social Worker or Case Manager for help finding local after-care services or other support groups.
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