Greetings, A Patient Advocate’s Story:

Have you or someone you know been hospitalized and discharged with a poor understanding of the follow-up care plan?

Do you have a clear understanding of why specific procedures occurred while in the hospital?

A recent client had this experience.

She was discharged from the hospital with a feeding tube in her stomach but didn’t know why.

Her son accompanied her during our session and attempted to disclose her medical history.

He shared a folder that consisted of crumpled disorganized papers.   He nor the patient understood what occurred in the hospital other than the feeding tube in her stomach.  She said, “I had a stint place in my stomach.” Her son attempted to describe what happened, but I determined he was unclear and a little confused. He looked exasperated. 

As I scanned his folder, nothing looked significant other than instructions about a feeding tube.

I inquired about that. 

•           What initially brought her to the hospital?  What was her main complaint?

•           Was she getting her nutrition through her feeding tube?

•           Was she eating a regular diet?

•           Did anyone educate them on how to use the feeding tube?

The son said, “I don’t know, that’s why I’m here!”

So, the alarms sounded in my head:

•           Who discharged the patient?

•           Who signed off on the discharge instructions?

•           Was she safe eating a regular diet?

•           Why doesn’t anyone know the story?

I like to know the story.  Hospital discharge is typically overwhelming for most people.  There is much information discussed over a short amount of time.

Medical hazards occur when discharge planning isn’t practical and thorough.  Patients don’t always remember or understand the discharge instructions before leaving the hospital. The paperwork is lost transitioning home from the hospital, or they don’t know where to look to find the information.  

So, how can you prepare for a safe hospital discharge and feel confident about the follow-up care?

A patient advocate can help you avoid this situation.  If you want your discharge to run smoothly and the medical mumble jumble is confusing, it’s time to reach out, so you understand and feel confident about your care.  I will help you stay informed about your situation, questions to ask, and make sure you or your loved one gets the information needed, so they don’t end up back in the hospital due to misinformation.   

Through CampaignZERO:  Families and Patient Safety, I’m offering a 30-minute presentation free of charge about how to partner with doctors and nurses for a safe and sound hospital stay. 

Have your organization reach out to me today. 

If you can relate to these situations, let’s journey together and map the right direction for your care.So what

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