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Discharge from Hospital: 5 Things to Consider Before Going Home

Hospital stays are getting shorter every year. But the number of re-admissions to hospitals within less than 30 days of discharge is steeply increasing. Discharge from hospital happens not necessarily when a patient is healed. But instead it might occur at a point when he likes to move to a relatively inexpensive location to recover. Most often, we choose to recover within the confines of our home. But without thorough discharge planning, those recovering from chronic conditions related to the heart, brain and lungs could become frequent emergency room visitors.
An effective discharge planning reduces the risk of readmission in patients as they move from one to the next level of care.

Factors Involving A Good Discharge Plan:

  • A complete clinical evaluation of the patient’s medical condition and stability of health
  • Discussion of the diagnosis and prognosis of the condition with the patient and the caregiver
  • Planning for the need for extended care in an inpatient rehabilitation center before homecoming
  • Determining whether the caregiver can handle the prescribed care plan
  • Referrals to an extended care facility on a case to case basis and arrange for follow-ups

Studies have revealed that excellent discharge planning and good follow up can reduce the risk of future complications, relapses in patients thereby reducing re-admissions and healthcare costs.
Globally, hospitalizations have become an accelerated process. In the absence of universally utilized systems, patients are increasingly being discharged from the hospital “quicker and still sicker” than in the past. In other cases, patients voluntarily request for early discharge to reduce the overall hospital expenses. Both these situations can negatively affect the health of the individual and sooner or later can bring him back to the hospital bed.

Inpatient rehabilitation facilities are designed to receive patients soon after their discharge from hospital. These centers provide patients with ample care until they are fully ready to go home. Their services come at a fraction of cost compared to the intensive care facilities of a hospital and is therefore an affordable option for those recovering from chronic medical conditions.

Signs Which Indicate You Should Consider Moving To A Rehabilitation Facility Soon After Your Discharge From Hospital:

  • You don’t feel independent enough to function at home on your own
  • Your ability to eat and speak are not normal
  • The care provider has suggested constant monitoring and has recommended you to undergo procedures that can’t be done at home
  • Your home can’t support any new limitations you have developed
  • Your condition demands a combination of needs like physiotherapy, psychological counseling, nursing care or nutrition support.

You are not fully ready to go home after your discharge from the hospital if you experience any of the above. Ask your doctor to recommend good intermediate facilities for complete recovery.

Every doctor wants to get his patient back home, safe and sound. But not always getting home soon is a good choice. Know the options available for complete recovery and avail the right support.

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