5 Steps to keep your loved ones from going back into the hospital
It is important to remember that a significant portion of people discharged from the hospital will end up back in the hospital within 30 days.
1. Think about the discharge as early as possible
2. Coordinate with a pharmacy as early as possible
3. Compliance Packaging
4. Make a follow up appointment with a primary care physician
5. Watch for Side effects
1. Think about discharge on day 1 admission
Typically, the medical team will know what services and products your loved one will require when they leave.
You can start to look for things such durable medical equipment (walkers, wheelchairs, nebulizers, etc.) as soon as you know what will be required.
Typically, this information is known by the medical team days before the actual discharge date.
2. Coordinate with a pharmacy EARLY
Often the medical team will not know what type of prescription drug insurance your loved on has nor will they know the out of pocket cost.
The sooner you know this information the better you can prepare.
3. Consider Compliance Packaging
If your loved one is taking more than 5 medications, consider some form of compliance packaging. Scott’s Pharmacy offers med packs. These small packs sort your medications based on date and time. All medications are filled at the same time every month. No more multiple pill bottles and no more multiple trips to the pharmacy.
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4 & 5. Make a follow up appointment with the physician and watch for side effects
As soon as possible have your loved one see their primary care physician. The primary care physician as a complete picture of their health status and can ascertain if any medication changes are needed sooner than later
Watch for side effects. Medications do have side effects and sometimes they are not noticed until a person is back at home. Many times side effects lead to patients stopping their medications prematurely and ultimately putting them at risk for being readmitted to the hospital. Talking to your pharmacist and physician about any side effects can really reduce the chance of any drug related problems.