Patient, Family & Caregiver Experience

Planning for your trip home is an important part of your hospital stay that should start during admission. Prior to going home, your health care team will speak with you and your family about your discharge plan.

Although discharges can occur at any time of the day, planned discharges occur by 10:30 am in order to prepare for new patient arrivals.

Discharge Planning

We know that leaving the hospital may be stressful as there are many things to keep in mind.

Below are some questions to consider. If you don't know the answer to a question, please speak to a member of your health care team.

  • Do you know when you will be leaving the hospital?
  • Is your family/caregiver aware of your discharge plans?
  • Do you know if you will need supplies or equipment after you leave?
  • Do you know who will be picking you up from the hospital?
  • Do you have the prescriptions you need?
  • Have any follow up appointments been made, if required?
  • Do you have all the belongings you brought with you to the hospital (glasses, hearing aids, etc.)?
  • Have all your questions been answered? For example:
    • Dietary restrictions
    • When to resume normal activities
    • Medication Instructions
      • What medications to take, and why you need to take them
      • How much you need to take and when
      • How to properly store medications
      • What the possible side effects of the medications are and if the medications interact with any food
      • Which medications at home must be discarded
      • Any symptoms that you should watch for / be concerned about

South West LHIN Home & Community Care

The South West LHIN Home & Community Care works with HPHA to help patients and their families plan a smooth discharge with the right supports in place.

  • Home & Community Care Coordinators will meet with you in hospital if you will need help at home such as nursing, therapy and/or personal support services.
  • Home & Community Care can also provide information about other health support services in the community.

Learn more - visit the South West LHIN Home & Community Care website by clicking here!

Billing & Additional Costs

During your stay, you should expect to be charged for some costs such as;

  • an upgrade to private or semi-private room when requested;
  • walking aids, such as crutches;
  • ambulance services;
  • and/or devices provided while in hospital that should be used after discharge.

We will bill you for any charges when you are discharged.

At the Clinton Public Hospital, St. Marys Memorial Hospital and Seaforth Community Hospital, bills may be paid at the Business Office or Switchboard. At the Stratford General Hospital, they may paid at the Cashier Office, Business Office or Switchboard.

Payment can be made using credit cards, debit card, cash or cheque. Bills and statements will also be mailed to your address on file.

Patient Oriented Discharge Summary (PODS)

PODS logo

Going home after a hospital stay can be a stressful experience - when to take your medication, what symptoms to be concerned about, who to call, etc.

To help ease this stress for our patients and caregivers, HPHA has adopted a new tool; Patient Oriented Discharge Summary (PODS). PODS is a tool that was co-designed by patients, caregivers and health care providers to provide patients and caregivers with easy-to-understand information and instructions to follow once they return home from hospital.

PODS encourages patients, caregivers and care providers to communicate more effectively to help improve the patient’s experience of transition from hospital to home.


At this time, PODS is being used with the following patient populations:

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary (COPD) at Clinton Public Hospital
  • Mental Health at Stratford General Hospital
  • Transurethral Resection of Prostate (TURP) on the Surgery Unit at Stratford General Hospital

If you are a patient in these areas, you will receive a PODS from your health care provider. and they will go through it with you and your family/caregiver. The following will be discussed:

  • Medications
  • Upcoming appointments
  • How you can expect to feel
  • Danger signals and what to do
  • Any lifestyle changes you may need to make

You will also be given pointers to useful information and contact information with phone numbers should any questions or concerns arise about your condition.

How will PODS help?

  • PODS welcomes caregivers as partners in care
  • PODS helps make discharge more efficient for the patient and caregiver
  • PODS provides effective and consistent education for the patient and caregiver
  • PODS is easy for the patient and caregiver to use and understand
  • PODS includes post discharge follow up and provides confidence in managing care at home

We want to hear from you!

If you have used PODS and have any feedback about your experience, please contact the Patient Experience at 519-272-8210 ext. 2737 or by email at patientexperience@hpha.ca

Home Oxygen & Respiratory Services

Horizon ProResp is a community-based respiratory care company that is a joint venture with HPHA. It provides expert respiratory care throughout Huron and Perth Counties with the support of the hospital's health care team and community physicians. This team approach optimizes the continuity of care from hospital to home and a portion of the proceeds support your local hospital and community.

Services include:

  • Home Oxygen Therapy
  • CPAP Therapy for Sleep Apnea
  • Home Ventilation support
  • Asthma and Allergy control products
  • Tracheostomy care and supplies.

Services can be arranged by calling: 519-272-0202 or 1-888-559-0572.

It is your right to choose your home care provider. Horizon ProResp and HPHA respect that right and hope that you will consider choosing Horizon ProResp as your respiratory Care Provider.

Learn more about Horizon ProResp by visiting their website.


It is the responsibility of you and/or your family to make transportation arrangements for discharge. The hospital does not pay transportation costs when someone is discharged home (including retirement and/or long-term care home).

Please plan ahead and make arrangements with whomever will pick you up. If you will need to use a taxi or wheelchair/stretcher vehicle, staff can give you a list of available companies. We recommend you always seek a quote when making arrangements.

Frequently Asked Questions:

If I don't have someone to volunteer to take me will I have to pay?

Yes. If you have 3rd party insurance your transportation may be covered. Transportation is not covered by medical plans (OHIP).

If I have a scheduled appointment not related to my hospital care, will I be able to go? What about transportation?

You will need to talk to your care team to find out if you are well enough to go to your appointment. If you are well enough then you will need to make your own travel arrangements.

What if I have no money with me?

Most transportation providers will accept cash, credit card or debit. Please plan ahead by having a credit card or debit card number available when you book the ride.

If I am being transferred to another hospital will I have to arrange and pay for my transportation?

No. This transportation will be arranged by the hospital.

Can I use an ambulance to return home?

No. Ambulances are used to respond to emergencies and to transfer people who are critically ill.