The goal of almost anyone who is leaving a hospital to return home or to another facility is hoping to recover and move on with their lives.
However, just because a person leaves the hospital, it does not mean that she no longer needs medical care and attention.
In fact, it is all the more important for the patient to have good, clear direction so that he and his loved ones can administer the right medication and follow the correct protocols so the person can recover.
After all, when rarely leaves a hospital feeling 100% better; more healing will need to take place.
A clear discharge plan is essential
This is why it is so important for doctors and hospitals to put together a clear discharge plan and to make sure the patient and the family understand it.
At a minimum, a discharge plan should include a final check of the patient to make sure he or she is ready to go home.
The medical staff should also have an oral discussion, as well as written instructions, about proper medication and other care.
The staff also needs to makes sure that any other caregivers, including family members, are aware of how to care for the patient and provide proper additional support if necessary.
Poor discharge instructions can injure patients
When a patient does not get proper discharge instructions, it can lead to a worsened medical condition, which could include having an unexpected return to the hospital.
Indeed, some studies have shown that, among those over 65 who get discharged from the hospital, around 40% makes mistakes with their medications. Some of these mistakes can lead to poisoning, bad interactions with other drugs or other adverse effects.
Doctors and other professionals have an obligation to make sure that when patients leave their care, they have accurate and clear instructions about what they need to do. Not providing this serve can cause injuries, and patients are entitled to compensation.