Discharge planning begins on admission and in some cases before admission. Any anticipated problems should be discussed with your caregivers.
Before leaving the hospital, we ask that you understand all instructions about medications, diet, activity and when next to see your doctor. Please make sure you have all your belongings with you. Payment of outstanding hospital costs should be made at the Business Office or Switchboard. When you are discharged, try to make arrangements to leave the hospital as soon as possible. (see Transportation section)
When you are getting ready to go home from the hospital or after a medical treatment, ask as many questions as you can to make sure you understand:
- What treatment you received
- Whether you will have to pick up a prescription before you go home
- What kind of transportation you will need to get home
- The type of care you will need at home and if you will need someone to stay with you
- What symptoms to watch for and who to call if something does not feel right
- Whether someone will be making a plan with you for home care
- What medicine you must take, how to take it, and any side effects
- What foods you should eat and not eat
- When you can go back to normal activities, such as work, school, exercise, and driving
- What follow-up appointments you will need and who will make them
You can write this information down or it may be helpful to have a family member or friend with you. They can help you to write down everything you should know about your care.
Starting discharge planning early helps ensure that the right arrangements and services are in place when you leave the hospital. If returning home is not possible, you will be discharged to another facility which meets your needs. When your doctor determines that the patient is ready for discharge and an appropriate bed is available, you are required to leave the hospital. Hospitals must ensure that medical services and beds are available for those in greatest need of hospital care.
If a long term care home will best meet your needs, HPHA requires that three long term care homes be chosen, at least one of which has a shorter waiting list. Community Care Assess Centre (CCAC) will contact the patient or family if a long term care bed that meets the patient’s needs becomes available which is not in one of their chosen facilities. We appreciate that you may like to remain in hospital until a bed at one of your chosen facilities becomes available, however this is not possible. It is hospital policy that the patient be discharged to the first available bed which meets your needs. When a patient moves to a First Available Bed their name remains on the waiting list for their original long term care choices without their priority status changing should they choose to move at a later date.
The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care has specified that when a discharged patient refuses to leave a hospital, the hospital stay becomes uninsured and the hospital is able to charge the patient the daily uninsured rate (which is in excess of $400/day).