Patient Choice

Patient Choice
Discharge is happening faster than ever and decisions are often being made during times of great personal stress and anxiety. When aftercare is needed this stress is amplified considerably. The important thing to remember is that you and your loved one have the final say as to where you (or from whom) you will receive this vital post hospital care.
Hospital social workers, nurses, doctors and other professionals will do their best to point you in the right direction when arranging care for you or your loved one. However, it is important to remember that they have a job to do and that job includes discharging patients as quickly as possible. Because of this patients and families must educate themselves and take ownership of their aftercare decisions.
Hospitals press for quick discharges for several reasons. Obviously the hospital has to take in to account the financial aspect. If discharge is not done in a timely manner hospitals will lose money. Aside from the financial piece it is also important for patients to be discharged quickly due to health and safety concerns. Hospitals are filled with sick (translates to CONTAGIOUS) people. Because of this it is important for patients to be moved to the next level of care as soon as it is medically safe to do so.
When this happens it is easy for a patient or their family to be pressured and even mislead into making a decision that might not be in their best interest. Some families and patients leave this decision up to their doctor, or even think they have to go to the facility their doctor recommended. This is not the case! You as the patient have the final say. If a doctor or hospital employee is pushing you towards a particular facility (or home health agency) inquire as to why. Is it for medical reasons? Or is it simply because this is where the doctor is the medical director? If it is for medical reasons ask for specific examples and reasons as to why this facility is the only or best option for you or a loved one. If there is not a sound medical reason then do your own homework. Chances are there are several facilities or home health agencies that could meet your needs.
This is a very important decision and one that can be made best by the family and patient in collaboration with their healthcare team. Listen to your doctors and other hospital staff’s recommendations. You will probably be approached by representatives of the facility or home health services you are considering. Listen to what they have to say but remember the final say is yours and yours alone. Nobody has the right to dictate where you receive your healthcare. This website and our printed guide will offer you valuable insight into the many options available to you following a hospital stay. Be sure to tour as many facilities as possible.