The most important part of discharge planning is ensuring the patient is safe to return home. This includes making sure they are not at risk of any falls, that their environment is free from danger and hazards, and that they have access to appropriate medical assistance should an emergency arise. It also entails ensuring all necessary safety devices such as fire alarms and smoke detectors are working and that any safety equipment such as canes or walkers has been obtained.
Ensuring that a reliable method of transportation is arranged for the patient upon discharge is critical, as they may not be able to drive themselves. This could involve making arrangements for family members, friends, or a taxi service to take them home. Coordinating with the treatment team to ensure all necessary follow-up appointments and tests occur in a timely manner is also important.
Nutritional needs should be assessed prior to discharge to make sure the patient will have access to healthy meals at home. If necessary, arrangements can be made for meal delivery services or other sources of nutrition.
It is essential for the patient to understand their medication regimen upon discharge, including which medications should be taken when, how much of each should be taken and any potential side effects or reactions that could occur from taking them. This includes obtaining the necessary refills in advance and ensuring they are easily accessible once home so as not to miss doses.
5. Doctor’s Appointments:
Any follow-up appointments with specialists such as cardiologists or oncologists should be scheduled before leaving the hospital. It may also be beneficial to create a plan for keeping primary care appointments after being discharged to ensure all health needs are met moving forward.
6. Home Health Care:
If home health care is necessary, arrangements should be made to have the appropriate agency or individual set up prior to discharge in order to provide vital medical services and assistance with activities of daily living.
Any necessary equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, blood pressure monitors, oxygen tanks etc. should be obtained before leaving the hospital so as not to delay treatment upon returning home. The patient’s insurance coverage should also be verified beforehand to ensure all costs are covered.
8. Daily Routines:
Creating a plan for how the patient will go about their daily routine once back at home is important for providing structure and helping them adjust to life outside the hospital walls. This includes creating a schedule for meals, medications, medical appointments and other activities.
9. Household Chores:
It is important to consider any household responsibilities the patient may have when planning for discharge. This could include cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping or even pet care. If needed, arrangements can be made for these tasks to be taken care of by family members or outside services.
10. Care Management:
A successful transition from hospital to home also involves having a plan in place for managing ongoing health concerns such as chronic illnesses or conditions requiring ongoing monitoring or treatment. This includes ensuring that the patient has access to all necessary resources and support services once discharged from the hospital.