Medical Mutual - Health Plans for Life

Discharge Planning Guidelines

Initiation of Discharge Planning

Discharge planning must be initiated early in the treatment process, preferably within 24 hours of admission. The patient and involved family members should be kept informed of all discharge plans.

Discharge Instruction Sheet

An easy to read and understandable discharge instruction sheet should be provided to patients and families and to all individuals and organizations responsible for providing continuing care. The following components should be addressed:

  • All home-going medications, including new prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and medications to be discontinued
  • Medication list should include each drug name, dose, frequency, and common side effects
  • Requisitions for ordered outpatient laboratory tests and other studies, with instructions on how to obtain or schedule
  • How to make lifestyle choices and changes regarding activity, exercise, dietary recommendations and restrictions
  • Self-care instructions (wound care, colostomy care, insulin administration, etc.)
  • When and how to obtain further care or treatment after discharge with provider name, time, date and location for each follow- up appointment
  • What to do in case of an emergency and a number to call for clarification of discharge instructions
  • How to manage continuing care (scheduled home services, visiting nurse, aide, walker, cane, oxygen, etc.) with the name and phone number of all agencies responsible for providing services

The attending physician is responsible for sending a written summary of the patient's evaluation and care to the primary care physician, medical/surgical specialists and other relevant providers. The written summary is to be completed within 30 days of patient discharge.

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