Preparing to Go Home 

Discharge Information

Discharge planning begins on your child’s first day in the Hospital. Your child’s social worker will evaluate your child’s needs and, along with your child’s health care team, will help determine what arrangements should be made in order for your child to have everything he or she needs at home. These needs may include:

  • homecare services
  • medical equipment and/or supplies
  • community resources
  • counseling
  • rehabilitation
  • home school instruction
  • transportation

Since it is often a lengthy process to set up all of the appropriate services and have them approved by your insurance provider or Medicaid, the social worker will begin this process early in your child’s stay. The goal is to make your child’s transition from the Hospital to home as effortless as possible.

Arranging the Discharge Date

Discharge plans are reviewed daily. Your child’s physician, in collaboration with other members of the health care team, will decide when it is appropriate to discharge your child from the Hospital. The family is included in this planning process. You will generally be notified the day prior to discharge that your child may go home. A registered nurse works collaboratively with care coordinators, social workers, physicians, and other Hospital departments in planning for discharge and for continued care following discharge.

Discharge Instructions

You will receive a discharge notice and discharge instructions that will include information on managing your child’s care at home, home care assistance, safe and effective use of medication and equipment, pain management, overall safety, modified diets, food/drug interactions, and follow-up care. Do not hesitate to ask your child’s nurse to explain discharge instructions.

A parent or guardian must be available to take his or her child home. As you make arrangements to leave the Hospital, please note that discharge time is before 10:00 AM.

The following checklist will help you prepare for a smooth transition home for your child:

  • Ask for information about your child’s medicines.
  • Make sure you understand what the medicines are for and how they are given.
  • Ask for information about homecare services your child may need or that have been arrangedfor your child.
  • Ask your child’s physician, nurse, and nutritionist to explain the treatment plan you will follow at home.
  • Ask for a copy of your child’s discharge summary, which will list the following:
    • diagnosis and procedures performed
    • discharge instructions for medications, diet, and activity
    • follow-up appointment
  • If your child is an infant or toddler, bring a safety seat for the car ride home.
  • Think about other questions to ask your child’s doctor, nurse, or therapist
  • Jot down the date of your child’s follow-up appointment
  • Jot down the telephone number of your child’s doctor
Your Child’s Medication List

If necessary, update your child’s list of prescription and over-the-counter medications in preparation for discharge:

  • Name of Medication Dose/Amount
  • How Often/Time of Day
  • Medicine is Taken
  • Special Notes/
  • Date Started or Stopped
Discharge Phone Call

We are interested in learning how we can better serve our patients and families. After your child is discharged, you may receive a discharge phone call from the Hospital. The purpose of this call is to see how your child is feeling, inquire about your child’s and family’s experience during your child’s hospitalization, and to make your child’s transition home as easy as possible. Before your child is discharged, please tell your nurse the most convenient telephone number and time for this call.

Patient Satisfaction Survey

Approximately two weeks after your child’s discharge, you may receive a Patient Satisfaction Survey in the mail. The Survey will ask about your child’s stay in the Hospital. Please take a moment to complete and return this Survey. This Survey is very important to us. Your participation will help us take steps to improve the Hospital experience for our patients and families.

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