Getting Ready for Discharge From the Hospital
In the hospital, your health care team needs to have a plan for your care. Just as important, you need to have a plan for going home. You and your family play a key role in making this plan.
In this handout, you will find things to think about in advance and a checklist of things that will need to be done before your discharge. Please read through this well. Talk with your doctors, nurses, and members of your health care team to be sure you are ready when the time comes. Let us know how we can best help you to have a smooth move back to your home.
Things To Think About In Advance
- Medicines: Before you leave, a pharmacist will meet with you to talk about the medicines you will take when you are at home. The pharmacist will explain any changes in the medicines you were taking before you came to the hospital. The pharmacist will review the name, purpose, dose, how to take your medicine, and any side effects. You need to plan ahead and decide where you would like to get your new medicines. They will not be placed on your hospital bill. If your prescription drug insurance is accepted at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics Outpatient Pharmacy, you can have your prescriptions filled here. The Outpatient Pharmacy is on the second floor, E5/236. Ask the unit pharmacist to make a copy of your prescription insurance card before discharge. This will save you time when you stop to pick up your medicines. You can pick up your medicines as you are leaving to go home. Keep in mind that you will need money to pay any co-payments at this time. You may also get your medicines at your local pharmacy. We will provide you with the prescriptions you need.
We will also inform you of any over-the counter medicines that the doctors have prescribed for you. Most often, your insurance will not pay for these. You can get these medicines at our pharmacy when you get your others, or at your local pharmacy.
If you are concerned about paying for your medicines, please let your nurse or a member of the case management team know so we can help you.
- Transportation: When your health care team first begins to talk with you about going home, you will need to start planning for a ride. Many people arrange this with their family members or friends. If you need help with a ride home, be sure to let your nurses know well in advance.
Your Going Home Checklist __________________________
planned discharge date
There are many things that need to be done before you can leave the hospital. These tasks may take up to a few hours. You should start making plans as soon as your doctor tells you that you are ready for discharge.
To prepare for going home, you need to discuss these items with your health care team.
_____ Discharge Orders – Your doctor will write your discharge orders.
_____ Plan for Discharge – Your nurse and other health care team members will talk with you about your plan for discharge. This may include your diet, activity, treatments, need for managing pain and other symptoms, and any follow-up clinic visits. This may also include the need for home health nursing, in-home physical therapy, and other services.
_____ Medicines – The unit pharmacist will review your medicines – the name, purpose, dose, how to take it, and side effects.
_____ Equipment and Supplies – These may need to be ordered or brought to you. For instance, you may need dressing supplies, crutches, walkers, or a wheelchair.
_____ Transportation – You have arranged a ride or have asked for help in getting a ride home.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 03/18/2011
Copyright © 03/04/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5411
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