What is Discharge Planning

Posted on March 25, 2016

What is discharge planning?

Discharge planning helps to make sure that you leave the hospital, nursing home, or post-acute facility safely and transition you for the proper care afterwards.

The discharge planner should work together with you and your caregiver/family to address your concerns in a discharge plan. Your plan outlines the care you need and your choices, regardless of where you are going. Your plan outlines the care you need and your choices, regardless if you are going to an assisted living, rehabilitation, nursing facility, or home.  
Research shows that most patients don’t ask enough questions about their care in the hospital setting. Those who do ask questions in the hospital have a greater sense of control over their health and have better outcomes. You and your caregiver/family should start asking questions about your discharge plan during the admission process. Research your options for post hospital care so you can make an informed decision.

As a tip a day or two before you expect to leave the hospital, ask to meet with your discharge planner to discuss your choices, wants, and needs. Your discharge planner can tell you why and when you are going home or to another health care setting and why your care is changing. You need to work together on:
• What care and services you may need after you leave and who can provide these services.
• What equipment you may need or want.
• Whether or not you can or want to get the care you need in your home or another health care setting. You may need a nursing rehabilitation facility, home health, or an assisted living facility.
• Lastly how to transfer you from the hospital to home or another healthcare facility.

Keep in mind to understand your options, be informed, and be part of the discharge process. Provide the discharge planner questions you and your caregiver/family may have about what will happen when you get home, what your family can do to help, or who's going to pay for your care.

If you're really not comfortable with your doctor's recommendation that you go home or you have worries that need to be addressed ask to speak with the hospital's patient advocate.
If you need to go to another setting when you leave the hospital, the discharge planner can give you a list of options found on . You, a family member, or a friend can search as well on this site for any post-acute licensed in Florida. Once you have filtered down your choices, needs, and wants call the facility to set up a tour and speak with admission staff about your plan.

If you are going home speak with the nurse or other hospital staff about the things, you will need or have to do at home. Before you leave the hospital, talk to your nurse or other hospital staff about things you'll have to do at home. If you need Home Health know your options and choices by checking . Make sure you get a list of medicines and how you need to take them. Also have your doctor highlight any new medicines that need to be stopped or changed since before leaving the hospital. Check when you need to see the doctor again and any follow-up tests you may need. Lastly review your discharge plan to see if you need out-patient physical therapy, special equipment, supplies, or oxygen.

It's easy to think you or even the discharge planner can do everything, but it can be very difficult for even the most seasoned professional. Be part of the discharge process be involved know your options and voice your choices. This will not only help you but the discharge planner as well. It is in the best interest for all parties to discuss the plan in detail to ensure higher satisfaction and continuity of care.

In short discharge planning is a process that should begin at admission by all parties involved. It should spell out your needs, wants, and choices. These should be communicated to all hospital staff and followed up on prior to leaving. Discharge planners and patient advocates are there to provide a service that can be highly effective with your input. Don’t be afraid of asking questions and get involved.

Senior Living Resolutions was built as a free tool to highlight the options for you, caregivers, families, and discharge planners. Why wouldn’t you use a free webpage or mobile app to help, educate, and inform about the senior healthcare industry.