What is discharge planning?
Discharge planning helps to make
sure that you leave the hospital safely and smoothly and get the right care
This sounds simple, but it can be frustrating.
You might wonder why you are leaving. You might have questions
about what will happen when you get home and what your family can do to help.
You may worry about who's going to pay for your care.
the person who is caring for you, and your
discharge planner work together to address your
concerns in a discharge plan. Whether you go home, to a relative's home, to a
rehabilitation facility, or to another health care setting, your plan outlines
the care you need.
Get involved with your discharge planning. You-or your caregiver-can give the discharge planner
important information about your daily activities. Tell your discharge planner
what you and your caregiver can and can't do, and make your wishes
As soon as you enter the hospital, begin thinking
about your discharge. To help you, try using a:
- Hospital Discharge Checklist(What is a PDF document?).
Who do you talk to about discharge planning, and what kind of information will you get?
One person at the hospital usually is
in charge of discharge planning. This person could be an administrator, a
social worker, a doctor, or a nurse. The title of this person may be different
at your hospital. But if you ask for the "discharge planner," you'll get to the
Besides working with the discharge planner, you may talk with
your doctor or surgeon, a nurse, a counselor, a social worker, or a
patient advocate. They all may have information that
will help make leaving the hospital go smoothly.
planner can tell you why you are going home or to another health care setting
and why your care is changing. You will work together on:
- What care and services you may need after you leave. This can include nursing,
occupational therapy, or speech therapy. An agency may
set up a program to check your
oxygen saturation, or weight.
- What equipment you may need, such as a walker or oxygen.
- Whether or not you can get care at your home. You may need to
go to another health care setting, such as a skilled nursing facility, a
rehabilitation hospital, or an assisted living facility. Or family or friends
may stay with you at your home, or you may stay with them.
- How to best move you from the hospital
to your home or to another health care setting.
- Any other options you may have instead of leaving the hospital or changing
When do you start your discharge planning?