Discharge planning is an important part of any hospital admission. It plays an important role in ensuring a smooth transition from hospital to home. This is achieved by making sure that appropriate clinical and community based support services are in place if required.
There are a number of people who can help plan your discharge:
- You and your family or carer(s) can alert us if your circumstances are such that you may need additional support in the community.
- Your treating doctor can help identify any special requirements you may have.
- Nursing and Allied Health staff may help identify services that you may require.
- Care Coordinators provide information and assist where possible to support you at home immediately after discharge.
- We want to make sure all issues that may affect your care after discharge are addressed before you leave the hospital.
It is vital that any special needs following discharge are identified early so that the appropriate discharge plans can be made. We encourage patients to discuss any issues with the healthcare team. These issues may be present for individuals who:
- live alone
- are responsible for another person e.g. frail partner, young children
- used community services prior to admission to hospital e.g. Meals on Wheels, community nurses
- require assistance to care for themselves e.g. showering.
It is important that you consider all available options for care at home if your care needs have altered. Please note: community services are not always readily available and not all patients are eligible for funded services.
Your Discharge Planning Checklist:
These are the major factors to be considered in discharge planning. It is important for you to discuss the following with the hospital staff during your stay in hospital.
- Your expected date of discharge – this will help you plan your return home.
- Inform the hospital of your living arrangements – e.g. do you live alone, is there someone who can assist you when you go home, what services you currently receive, are you the carer for someone in your home?
- Expectations regarding your recovery and how long it will take to recover.
- Any possible restrictions on your activities e.g. lifting, driving a car.
- Your ability to cope at home either with or without a carer needs to be considered carefully – do you need to go to a nursing home or will you require community support services such as assistance with medication or cleaning?
- Any equipment requirements to assist in your recovery and independence.
Hospital discharge planning is a process that determines the kind of care you need after you leave the hospital. Discharge plans can help prevent future readmissions, and they should make your move from the hospital to your home or another facility as safe as possible. Please talk to your Nurse or Doctor if you have any concerns about your ability to cope at home post discharge.