Have you ever been hospitalized? Or at least spent hours within the ED waiting for test results and discharge? The whole experience is anxiety-producing, leaving you spent with exhaustion from disruption to your normal lifestyle.
Then the good news comes that you will be discharged! As a patient, you are thinking, I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed, and have something I like to eat. Depending on the situation, you may also have lots of questions and concerns.
Upon discharge, the nurse inundates you with information, and, as typical human nature prevails, you only really listen to a small percentage of this information. Once you are home, you rely on whatever paperwork you were handed or a family member’s recollection of what you were told. As a result, many of the important discharge instructions often are not followed in a timely manner, or at all. Nearly 20% of Medicare patients are re-hospitalized within 30 days of discharge, and nearly 20% of patients experience adverse events within 3 weeks of discharge, nearly three-quarters of which could have been prevented or ameliorated. Minimizing post-discharge adverse events has become a priority for the US health care system.