According to an article in the Washington Post, a hospital discharge can be one of the most dangerous periods for your loved one 1). Disconnects between caregiving institutions, medical professionals, and family can cause serious problems. Whether your loved one is going home or to another health care facility, effective hospital discharge planning can reduce the potential for short and long-term difficulties with their continuing care.

Know Your Discharge Destination

Knowing your destination after hospital discharge is important for planning purposes.

Each location and situation has its own set of needs and circumstances. When your loved one leaves the hospital, he/she may be discharged with no further services needed. They may need help from a caregiver and may require professional medical assistance. Also, they may even need medium or long term rehabilitation service.

Know Your Discharge Team

Several people are on your hospital discharge team, and they each play an important role.
• A Doctor - They authorize the discharge after treatment and/or consultation with other medical professionals who may have been involved in their care.
• A Nurse or Social Worker – They coordinate the discharge process, taking care of many of the details such as record-keeping, insurance notifications, and explaining further instructions to the patient and family.
• You (Family Caregiver) - You know the patient the best and are in the best position to ask questions and make arrangements for further treatment or continuing care.

Know Your Discharge Goals

What do you hope to achieve after leaving the hospital?

Is a complete recovery possible? If so, what are the steps necessary to complete it? If not, what is the best recovery level they can achieve? How do I get them there?

Discuss these questions with your family and health care providers and plan a set of steps to guide your actions. Work with your discharge team to set a realistic timeline to reach each goal after hospital discharge.

Know Your Discharge Information

Ask questions and obtain all necessary information regarding the care your elderly family member receives, insurance coverage details, medication prescriptions and instructions, continuing treatment, suggested diet and activity levels, and any necessary appointments with other medical specialists.

If prior approval is required for discharge to another health care facility or for some form of home care, be sure such approval is obtained prior to discharge. Consult with a social worker concerning any needed permissions or documentation.

What If they’re Not Ready for Discharge?

Your doctor will inform you of a planned date of discharge. If you do not feel your senior is ready to be discharged from the hospital, you have the right to appeal this decision.

Tell your doctor and the hospital staff if you have concerns. Hospitals and health insurance companies often pressure doctors to discharge patients quickly to reduce costs.

According to the law, hospital administration must inform you of your right to appeal discharge and the appropriate process. You should request an appeal if your concerns are not resolved. A legal agent or family member can file an appeal as the senior’s representative.

If you need help aor assistance with Hospital discharge or transitional care you can Call:


Author's Bio: 

Karina R is a digital marketer specialized in the home care industry. She has written tons of articles about elderly care, home health care and ways to afford home care costs.
Karina’s articles intend to help the senior community and their families. She knows that can be frightened to afford home care cost and she intends to guide seniors’ families to help them to succeed in this challenging moment in life. Karina also enjoys writing interesting articles with tips and ideas to make the golden years really count for the elderly.