There’s a great deal of information you need to understand when you or a loved one makes the transition from the hospital to home after inpatient treatment. Returning home can result in unexpected challenges for older adults and many struggle to manage their medications, schedule follow-up appointments and obtain in-home care. Consequently, patients are unable to successfully make the transition and return to the hospital.
Before you leave the hospital, make sure you or your family caregiver talks to a discharge planner or a hospital employee who can help plan for a smoother transition home. There are a lot of details to work out and the sooner you start the better.
The following are some important issues to keep in mind:
1) Your Home
Make sure to order all the needed equipment and supplies. A member of your hospital team can help you with this task. If you are eligible for home care agency services, find out what the agency provides and what you must get on your own. Becoming a member of a concierge medical practice may suit your needs best.
2) In-Home Health Procedures
Figuring out what you can do on your own and what a caregivier should help you with is an important part in transitioning from the hospital to home. Learn as much as possible from the hospital staff while you are still in the hospital so you know what to do when you get home. If the tasks are too overwhelming or if you don't feel comfortable doing them than a house call doctor will be able to alleviate the burdens.
3) Medication Management
One of the most important duties you must do at home is manage your own medications. You must know which medications to take, when to take them, and how much to take. A few unknown questions to ask about your medications before leaving the hospital are: Do I take my medications with food? Should I take the medications at certain times each day? Are there side effects associated with the medications? Do I get the medications from a pharmacy or the hospital? Will my insurance pay for them?
Obtaining an EMR will benefit you in the long run and facilitate any proceeding hospital visits. All of the hospital information you and your doctor need can be located on your personal EMR. If you have multiple doctors than an EMR will help communicate your information to and from each doctor visit.
5) Know Who To Call & What To Do
The first few days at home can be tough and confusing, which is why signing up with a direct primary care practice or a concierge medical practice can be advantageous. Both practices offer unlimited doctor appointments (in-home or in-office), same or next day appointment scheduling, 24/7 access to your personal physician's cell phone, routine physicals and preventive care.
If you or a loved one is transitioning from the hospital to home and in need of assistance than consider becoming a member of a direct primary care practice or a concierge medical service. Personal doctors who are available 24 / 7 can significantly ease the pain, stress and challenges associated with in-home care.