Whether Uncle Joe is heading home after heart surgery, or your
mom is leaving a short-term skilled nursing facility to go home, a smooth transition
from hospital to home takes a little pre-planning and preparation.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a division
of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, offers a checklist related
to the discharge process for nursing staff to make the transition.
checklist includes key topics such as the following:
- For starters, it’s important for you to get
involved with staff and ask questions before and during the discharge process.
- Ask staff to help educate you and your family member
about their diagnosis and condition, and next steps of care.
- If you’re expected to change wound dressings, work
with staff to ensure you are comfortable through the process.
- Review medications with staff; ask about changes
in medications: Starting new medications and/or stopping old medications.
- Become familiar with the purpose of the
medications (side effects, reactions, dosage, etc.)
- Establish a contact person and phone number of
the staff person at the hospital or facility in case you have questions at
Keep in mind, life at home may look and feel very different from
before. Plan ahead because you may need
new medical equipment at home: things like a hospital bed, walker, and
wheelchair or shower stool.
find out about reimbursement criteria for medical equipment covered by
Medicare, click “
” on the Medicare website. Look for coverage that pertains to durable
Reference: 1. IDEAL Discharge Planning Overview, process and Checklist, AHRQ Guide to patient and Family Engagement. 2. https://www.medicare.gov/files/ask-medicare-transition.pdf