In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s particularly hard to be in the hospital. You want to get out as quickly as possible. But, before you leave, you should be prepared.
- Understand and decide what will happen after your hospital discharge. Discuss your options with your doctors so that there are no surprises. Make sure all your questions are answered.
- If at all possible, arrange to be discharged home or to the home of a family member. If that’s not possible, make sure you understand why not. And, see if you can be discharged to a small nursing home. Avoid chain nursing homes.
- Know who to call and have that person’s number if you have questions after you leave the hospital.
- Make sure to keep a list of your medications with you at all times. Also, understand whether there are side effects and what to do if you experience them.
- Know what care is needed to help prevent your condition from getting worse, what symptoms you need to look out for, and who to call if you experience any of them.
- Schedule follow-up appointments with your doctor–Medicare now covers telehealth.
- Get a hospital discharge plan. The hospital is required to give you a written plan. If at all possible, have a family member or friend with you—a health care buddy—to help ensure you understand what care you will need after you leave. If you still have questions, review the written discharge plan with your doctor or hospital social worker.
For more information, visit The Care Transitions Program. And, if you haven’t seen these seven tips on how to prepare for a hospital stay, take a look.
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