Going Home: Discharge from North Mountain Hospital

Frequently asked questions about taking your loved one home.

Your doctor will determine when you are ready to go home. It is natural to feel happy that you are going home, and apprehensive about how to care for yourself. Your doctor understands this and will give you specific instructions regarding your recovery and answer any questions; you will receive a written copy of these instructions from your nurse.

John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital takes pride in providing safe, timely, efficient, effective, patient-centered care. Hundreds of patients seek care at John C. Lincoln Hospitals on a daily basis. In order for us to provide very good care to our patients, we must use our resources efficiently. Family members or friends can help by being ready and available to assist their loved one during their release or "discharge" from the hospital.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does "discharge" mean?

Discharge means your family member is in stable condition and is no longer in need of hospital-level care. Your family member is ready to go home, to a skilled nursing facility, or other medical facility.

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Who authorizes a discharge?

Each physician treating your family member during their stay must authorize their release from the hospital. Please speak with your case manager to ensure that each physician has evaluated your family member’s condition and has authorized your family member to go home.

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How will I know when my family member is ready for discharge?

Maintain communication with nurses, case managers, and/or social workers to know when your family member will be ready to go home. It can be difficult to know the exact date of discharge as it depends on the condition of the patient. Our top priority is the best care for your family member and we will do our best to keep you informed.

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What should a discharge checklist include?

  • Diet
  • Medications
  • Bathing and showering
  • Signs of infection
  • Driving and other activities
  • Bandages and dressings
  • Pain (what to expect, what to do)
  • Stitches and incision care

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As a family member, what can I do to ensure a safe and timely release?

You can help by arranging transportation for your loved one on the day of anticipated discharge so that your family member can be moved to the next level of care. If your family member is elderly and needs assistance, someone must be at home to greet them.

Emotionally prepare your family member for their discharge by communicating with them on how you plan to assist them once they leave the hospital.

Prepare yourself to care for your family member. Please ask the nursing staff, case managers and social workers if you are unsure about how to care for your family member at home. We can help!

Take care of yourself. Having a family member in the hospital can be very stressful. The Care Management department can help you find community resources and direct you to the hospital chaplain for assistance.

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Why is timely discharge a good thing?

Timely discharge is good for:

  • You: There are many things to coordinate once your loved one arrives at home. Preparing for the patient earlier in the day can be beneficial for you and for them.
  • Your family member: Getting home earlier in the day can allow your family member to rest properly in the evening. Going home early in the day is easier for your loved one as they're more rested and alert earlier in the day.
  • Your community: Many patients wait in the Emergency Department (ED) because a hospital bed is not available. A patient that is authorized to go home can open a bed for a new patient with more urgent needs and reduce the waiting time for patients needing treatment in the ED.

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How does discharge planning help your loved one?

Once a patient is ready to be released from the hospital, it is best to move them to the recommended level of care. By providing a smooth and timely discharge, we are helping to create a better healing environment for the patient.

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How can John C. Lincoln assist me with timely release from the hospital?

We can provide written documentation, if needed, that you have a family member in the hospital, and will need to take time off from work to take them home.

We can give you a boxed meal on the day of discharge if discharge is close to meal time.

And in special circumstances, when you need help with transportation for your family member, we can help! Please contact the social worker or case manager by calling 602-870-6060, ext. 1298.

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