Planning A Hospital Stay

Useful tips to help you prepare ahead of time

Nobody likes having to go into the hospital. But it may be needed, as in the case of a planned surgery. If you or a family member plans to go to the hospital, it is a good idea to be prepared. Below are some tips to help with a smooth transition from hospital to home that also can help reduce the chance that you may need to be admitted back into the hospital because of a problem:

  • Bring a complete list of your prescription, over-the-counter and herbal medications, including the dose and frequency, to the hospital on the day of your admission.
  • Work with the discharge planning staff to make a hospital follow-up plan.
  • Be sure to ask if there are any changesincluding dose or frequencyto the medications that you were taking before your hospital stay.
  • Take an active role in your discharge and treatment planning. Your plan should include your family, friends, or others who are available to help after your hospital stay.
  • Learn any important details about your condition and what you need to do to take care of yourself.
  • If you have special needs (e.g. transportation) that could keep you from going to your follow-up appointment, tell the hospital discharge planner so they can help.
  • Schedule a follow-up appointment within seven days after you leave the hospital.
  • Bring your hospital discharge plan along with a list of your medications to your follow-up appointment(s) as some of the drugs may have changed while you were in the hospital.
  • Carry important information on you at all times about your condition, medications, doctor and pharmacy contact information.  

To help with your discharge from the hospital:

For more information about preparing for a hospital visitincluding what to pack and planning for medical billsvisit our Healthwise Encyclopedia.


Last updated: October 2017

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