One of the leading causes of hospital readmission or slow post-hospitalization recovery is the lack of proper support following a hospital discharge. Whether you are transitioning directly home after a hospitalization or moving through the care continuum via a rehabilitation or medical care facility, in-home care can be a key resource for a safe and successful recovery process.

Home Care Assistance literally wrote the book on transitioning home from the hospital. From Hospital to Home Care: A Step by Step Guide to Providing Care to Patients Post-Hospitalization provides a comprehensive overview of the challenges and resources associated with each step in the transition from hospital to home. Topics covered are the discharge process from the hospital, common issues associated with specific medical conditions, the unique needs of post-hospitalization patients and the importance of home care in patient outcomes and quality of life.

Below are tips from the book that can help patients and their families plan effectively for discharge and aid in their recovery process. Please also feel free to download and print out our Post-Hospitalization Checklist.

  • Understand your care options prior to discharge. If you prefer to recover at home, make your feelings known to the discharge team.
  • Write a list of your prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, supplements, and vitamins, including your regular dosage and medication times. Make sure the medical team is aware of any drugs you were taking prior to hospitalization to prevent unintended complications.
  • Obtain a list of home medical equipment, such as a walker or hospital bed, to facilitate your recovery at home. You should plan to acquire and install this equipment prior to discharge.
  • If you require regular therapy, testing or medical check-ups, write down a schedule of your appointments, including contact information for each.
  • Ask the staff to demonstrate any tasks that require special skills, such as changing a bandage.
  • Ask your discharge team about common problems for patients with your health condition, what you can do to reduce your risk and what you should do in the event of an emergency.
  • Understand your physical limitations and areas where you need support. For example, you may have mobility issues after discharge that will prevent you from safely walking around the house or running errands.
  • Ask to speak with a social worker if have concerns about coping with your illness. A social worker can provide you and your family with information on managing your illness, support groups, and other resources.
  • Request written discharge instructions and a summary of your current health status. Bring this information and your medication list with you to any follow-up medical appointments.

Home Care Assistance is the leading expert in post-hospitalization care and can provide support to help successfully transition home from a hospital stay. If you’d like further information on how post-hospital care can contribute to recovery, contact Home Care Assistance at (802) 231-0415. We can create a customized care plan and help your recovery process go as smoothly as possible.