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Planning Your Discharge

From the time you arrive, your healthcare team is working toward helping you return home with your medical needs met. Staff will work with you and your family or another facility to help you make a smooth transition out of the hospital. We will help identify your needs, including supplies, follow-up visits and community resources.

Some common questions asked when preparing for discharge include:

Who decides when I am ready to leave the hospital?
Your doctor and the healthcare team will work with you to decide the best time for your discharge.

What do I need to do?
When a discharge date is set, make sure someone can bring you home and have home care ready. Before your discharge day, have someone take your items and gifts home and bring loose-fitting clothes for you to wear home. If you are going to another facility instead of home, the hospital staff will make arrangements for you to get to the other facility.

How long does the discharge process take?
On the day of discharge, your doctor will come to see you and write the discharge order. Afterward, you should ask your nurse when you will actually be able to leave the hospital so you can plan your transportation. The process may take several hours due to many factors – other doctors may need to see you; you may need to have more lab work or a procedure done; and your nurse must complete all of the paperwork that is necessary for you to leave the hospital.

Will I get instructions before I leave?
Yes, prior to your discharge, we will review written discharge instructions about your care, level of activity, follow-up visits, medicine, supplies and services. This is the time to get all of your questions answered.

Will I get medicines or prescriptions before I leave?
Your doctor may order medicines for you to take after you are discharged from the hospital. We encourage you to have these prescriptions filled at your local pharmacy so they know all of the medicines you are taking. Keep a current list of your medicines, allergies and vaccinations. For all medicines, write down the name, how many (amount), how much (dose), when and why it is taken, and any other instructions.

How can I provide feedback about my hospital experience?
We encourage your feedback about the care you are receiving throughout the course of your hospital stay. When you get home, you may also be asked to complete a formal survey about your hospital experience. Please participate in the survey as it is important for us to know about your experience so we can continue to improve our services.