Discharge Begins at Intake

Published July 2018: Asian Hospital & Healthcare Management - Issue 40

Asian Hospital & Healthcare Management - Issue 40

In an ideal medical world, patient discharge expectations should begin and be explained as well -- during intake. There is no such thing as over-communicating with a patient -- especially at the beginning of a hospital stay or pre-admission. Money and time can be saved with this approach to “preview expectations” and expect a more positive outcome. Most people do not like surprises when it comes to their health and need to know what they might need to do to prepare themselves to enter a hospital, and maybe more importantly, what needs they might anticipate having when they go home. How can people know that they will need help (or what kind of help) when they return home if they are not told specifically what to expect?

In the end, a patient who was well-informed from the beginning will be much happier and will be “expecting” the course of events to happen within a particular timeframe, barring any challenges or complications that may arise. If this is done effectively, stays could be shorter, readmissions would be less frequent, and patients and family members would be more content with the process throughout the care continuum.

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