Discharge Planning

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Discharge planning prepares patients and their caregivers for the patient leaving a hospital, nursing home or other health care setting. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about discharge planning in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

The process of discharge planning prepares you to leave the hospital. It should begin soon after you are admitted to the hospital and at least several days before your planned discharge.

The goal of discharge planning is to reduce hospital length of stay and unplanned readmission to hospital, and improve the coordination of services following discharge from hospital.

Most hospitals have discharge planners on staff. These professionals are often nurses or social workers who are well informed about community resources to put your plan in place. They can also direct you to the appropriate people to help ensure that your insurance pays for the care for which you are covered.

You should receive a written summary of your health status. It should tell you what was done in the hospital and provide specific instructions regarding your need for medications, treatments and follow-up. Bring this with you to your doctors appointments or any time you seek medical care. Know who to call if questions come up after you are discharged.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.