Your Discharge

At Saint Peter's University Hospital, we offer services to make your stay a comfortable and convenient one -- for you and for your family. We also request that you follow our policies and practices to help ensure your safety and comfort.

Care Coordination

Together with your physician and nurse, our Care Coordination staff will work with you to prepare for your care after your hospital stay. We recognize that most patients expect to return home after hospitalization, but there are times when care in another setting may be needed. Our social workers can help if you are not sure that you or a family member will be able to manage safely at home. We will work with you and your health insurance provider to review your care needs, and to start planning for both a discharge to home and a transfer to another facility. To ensure that you have all the needed information for decisions about alternate facilities, we will provide you with a list of participating providers and tell you more about the facilities that can meet your specific medical needs. This includes short- or long-term care in a variety of facilities, including rehabilitation, sub-acute care, residential health care, long-term acute care hospital (LTACH), nursing home, hospice care and assisted living. We can also provide you with information about visiting nurses, home equipment, and home infusion therapy. You or your representative are responsible for informing us of your preferences for providers; we will educate you about the providers/facilities that have available services that match your needs. We will also assist you in identifying and arranging for services that are reimbursable by your health insurance company or payer. However, please understand that not all services are covered or paid for by health insurance companies.

A stay in the hospital can be a stressful experience. Also, personal and financial problems may add to your concerns. Our social workers are available to help you and give you resource information. Support groups facilitated by the Care Coordination staff include groups for parents of infants in the intensive care nursery, pregnant patients, and a bereavement support group for those who have experienced infant loss. For more information or to speak with a member of the Care Coordination staff, please dial extension 8522.

Your Discharge

Preparing for your discharge begins on admission. On the day of your discharge, your nurses are required to complete a number of forms and review important information with you. This begins after your doctor has written the order allowing you to leave the hospital. We appreciate your patience through your discharge experience as it is designed with your safety in mind. Please make plans for someone to take you home. If possible, please send most of your belongings home prior to the day of discharge.

In maternity, the mother and her baby will be transported to the car in a wheelchair. The baby should be placed in his or her car seat while in the hospital to ensure a proper fit. The base of the baby’s car seat should remain in the car, secured in the back seat of the car in the rear-facing position. By taking these steps, you will only need to place the baby and car seat in the already secured base. In the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the baby is not discharged by wheelchair. Rather, a member of the NICU staff carries the baby out of the hospital, whether or not the mother has been previously discharged.

In other areas, if you, your doctor or your nurse feels you need a wheelchair, Transport Services will be called by the nurses’ station and a wheelchair will be brought to you. Otherwise, you may walk to the car after receiving your discharge information from the nurse. In all cases, the person taking you home should bring the car to the area marked “Patient Discharge” where you may be picked up. We want you to feel ready.

  • Ask any questions about what you can expect (or cannot expect) when you go home.
  • Review your discharge instructions about medications, allergies (food/medications), wound care, physical limitations, dietary restrictions, safety precautions, and when you should next see your doctor.
  • Know what symptoms are “normal,” which ones might or should cause you concern and when to call your healthcare provider. Before you are discharged from the hospital, you can learn more about your condition through our free patient education system, known as TIGR. Just use the phone and TV in your room to scroll through a menu of options to help prepare you for returning home.
  • Be sure you are familiar with and comfortable about the working of any equipment you will need to use.
  • Make sure you can read the prescriptions given to you by your doctor before you leave.
  • Know which of your previous medications you should or should not continue to take with any newly prescribed medications.

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