Preparing for Discharge
Your physician determines when you are ready to be discharged. Your physician and nurse will give you discharge instructions and answer any questions you have about managing your treatment and medications once you are home. If you are confused or unsure about what you need to do, what medications must take, or if you had to restrict your diet or activities, don't be afraid to ask and take notes.
Be sure you understand any instructions you have been given before you leave the hospital.
When your doctor feels that you are ready to leave the hospital he or she will authorize a hospital discharge. We will notify you one day prior to discharge, so you can arrange to have a friend or relative pick you up.
Please speak with your nurse about our discharge procedures. If you are discharged in the morning, please arrange for a family member to pick you up as soon as possible. Another patient may be in the emergency department waiting for a room.
Here are a few tips to meet the discharge process run smoothly:
- Be sure you and/or your caregiver has spoken with the discharge planner and that you understand what services you may need after leaving the hospital. (see "Don't Leave Until..." on page 29 for more discharge advice.)
- Verify your discharge date and time with your nurse or doctor.
- Have someone available to pick you up.
- Check your room, bathroom and bedside table carefully for any personal items.
- Make sure you or your caregiver has all necessary paperwork for billing, referrals, prescriptions, etc.
Medicare, Medicaid, HMOs, and other health insurance companies have regulations regarding the length of hospital stay. If it is determined by your physician that hospitalization is no longer required, you and your family will be informed of the intent to discharge, and a written notice will be given to you for your review and signature 24 hours prior to discharge.
- If you feel you are being asked to leave the Hospital too soon, immediately ask a hospital representative for a written notice of explanation, if you have not already received one.
- The Hospital's written notice is necessary if you decide to appeal your discharge. The written notice will describe how you can appeal.
- If you do decide to appeal, do so immediately.
- Remember that without written notice, you have no right to appeal.
- If you have any questions about your condition and your need for continued hospitalization or discharge date, please don't hesitate to consult with your physician.