If you or a loved one has been in the hospital, discharge day is a big day.
There are a couple of things you can do to make sure you or your loved one has a smooth transition between the hospital and home.
First, ask the hospital staff to send a discharge summary that includes a list of discharge medications to your doctor or your family member’s doctor. This helps fill the doctor in on the reason for the hospitalization, what tests were done and what follow up is needed.
In 2018, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas surveyed many of our primary care physicians, and only 59 percent said they received a discharge summary from the hospital following their patient’s discharge. This is much lower than in 2017 when 72 percent of primary care physicians said they received a discharge summary from the hospital. So be sure to ask the hospital to send the summary to your doctor.
Second, make sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor or your family member’s doctor. That way you can discuss the hospitalization and any test results. It also improves continuity of care and helps make sure you get safe, timely clinical care.
It is important for your doctor to review the medications prescribed at the time of discharge. The doctor can decide if any further medication changes are needed.
Doing these two things can help make sure care is coordinated between the hospital and your doctor.