Leaving Hospital? Why One Doctor Says to Have a Nurse Make Your Follow-Up Appointments First

When you check out of a hospital, the last thing you want to do is check right back in—especially for something preventable. But too often, that’s what happens.

Hospital readmission has become such a problem that facilities are experimenting with new discharge methods, and Medicare plans to start penalizing hospitals that have a lot of readmissions.

But there are many things patients and their families can do to decrease the chance of a boomerang hospital discharge. In fact, there are so many that even these solutions can get overwhelming. So in the magazine The Atlantic, one neurologist narrowed the advice down and picked his top-five tips. For example:

One of the main causes of readmission to the hospital is that the patient has not had appropriate follow-up after they leave the hospital. You may be told to see your regular doctor in 10 days, but when you call, they cannot see you for six weeks. Have the nurse or case manager at the hospital you are leaving call and make the appointment. Insist on it.

In the coming weeks, Preferred Care at Home will be announcing a new service that will help you through hospital discharge and the days afterward, so you have a better chance of stay home once you get there. The service will include a free tool you can download. Keep an eye on this blog for the announcement—and the opportunity to download the tool, which you can keep on-hand and use anytime.

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