Affinity Health Plan

  • Health Awareness Series: September 2017 - Just Discharged From The Hospital?

    September 19, 2017

    If you or a loved one was in the hospital recently, it was probably a stressful time. Now that you or your loved one feel better and are about to go home, there are some important facts you should know in order to make sure you stay healthy.

    Understand Your Medicines
    Making mistakes with your medicine is one of the most common reasons why people have to go back into the hospital. It is very important that you ask your doctors if they made any changes to your medication while they were taking care of you. Remember, you are in charge of your medicine once you leave the hospital. Make sure you understand what all the medicines are and how you need to take them.

    • Ask the nurse or doctor for a list of your medicines BEFORE you are discharged. It is your right to ask about any changes or side effects linked to your medicines.
    • Ask the hospital to fax your final list of medicines to your primary care doctor to make sure the list is added into your medical records.
    • Use one pharmacy for all your medication. Your pharmacist can help you keep track of them. If you have a lot of medicines to take, ask the pharmacist for ways to help you remember to take them the right way, like using a pill box with the days of the week on it.
    • At your follow-up visit, take a copy of the discharge medicine list and go over it with your doctor. He or she can check it against the medications you are already taking.

    Follow Up With Your Primary Care Doctor
    Once you are out of the hospital, you will need to see your primary care doctor or specialist. Make sure you get an appointment BEFORE you leave the hospital. Keep the appointment. There may be changes in your medicine that need to be closely watched, or you may need treatment as an outpatient.

    If you can’t get an appointment right away, tell the doctor’s office that you just got out of the hospital and you need to see the doctor that same week. If that doesn’t work, ask the nurse or the case manager from the hospital to make the appointment for you.

    Make Sure You Stay Healthy

    • Speak to your doctor or nurse before you leave the hospital about the signs to look for if you start to get sick again.
    • Follow the advice from the doctor or nurse — such as no salt or sugar in your diet — when you get discharged and are back at home. These instructions may keep you from having to go back into the hospital.
    • Find out the names and phone numbers of a doctor or nurse to call if there is a problem. Keep these numbers handy.
    • If you are not feeling well, call the doctor. Don’t end up back in the hospital because you did not want to bother anyone.


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