Preparing to go home

Discharge planning: helping you coordinate your care

We to ensure all people can access the hospital services when they need them. Your part in discharge planning makes this possible.

A team of skilled physicians, nurses and other health-care professionals will provide your care during your stay at an Eastern Health hospital. During your stay, your team will work with you to plan for your discharge.

Discharge from hospital does not mean you are fully recovered. It simply means that your doctor has determined that your medical condition is stable and you do not need hospital-level care.

Discharge planning is most often a short-term plan to meet your current needs and your condition may change over time.


Confirm your ride the day before discharge. Remember, discharge is in the morning. This allows other patients waiting admission to get to their bed early and get the care they need.

When we wait for you, another patient waits for us!

Sudden hospital stays

Ideally, the discharge process begins on admission to hospital when it is a planned admission, like surgery. But if the hospital stay is unplanned, like an accident or sudden illness, you and your team may not have a clear idea of how long you will be in hospital.

Talk to your doctor and team often, and ask about when you are expected to be discharged so you and your team can ensure that everything is ready on your day of discharge.

Information you need can include

  • Special instructions about eating, drinking, and activity.
  • Medications – what to take, when to take it and for how long.
  • How you can expect to feel.
  • When to call your doctor.
  • Special needs like pain control, incisions and drain care.
  • Ask the staff about your health condition and what you can do to help yourself get better.
  • Ask about problems to watch for and what to do about them.


Make sure you have your prescription and know about your medications – what ones, when to take them and for how long.

Have a list of all your drugs with you, review the list with the staff, tell the staff what drugs, vitamins and supplements you take, and ask if you should still take them when you leave the hospital.

Special needs like equipment, special medications, home oxygen, and home supports require a lot of time to arrange so it is important to make these arrangements as early as possible. Your team will need your help in making these arrangements.

Extra help

If you require extra help on discharge, or can’t return home, the discharge process will take more time and your involvement is even more important.

  • Ask staff to show you and your caregiver any tasks that you may be required to do, like changing a dressing or giving a needle.
  • Ask when the community health nurse will notify you of follow-up appointment.
  • Ask for a name and contact number for the nearest community health office in your area.
  • Ask to speak to a social worker or discharge planner if you are concerned about how you and your family are coping with your illness or you cannot return to your home.
  • Ask about community support groups and other resources.
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Last updated: 2021-06-24