To ensure a smooth transition from hospital to home-and to alleviate any unnecessary stress on your loved one or family-consider the items on this checklist. Some of the items may take one or more days to accomplish, so getting an early start is recommended. The hospital discharge planner will assist with many of the items below. Feel free to contact Tendercare Home Health Services at 317.251.0700 and ask for an administrative staff nurse if you have questions about the checklist.

Home Preperation

  • Set up your loved one’s room and prepare your home prior to discharge
  • With the help of the nursing staff, discharge planner, and physician, determine what supplies and equipment will be needed at the home.
  • With the help of the hospital discharge planner, choose a durable medical equipment (DME) company in your insurance company’s network to provide the supplies and equipment needed for your child’s care at home. Tendercare is a licensed DME company and can provide select equipment and supplies.
  • Arrange for home care supplies and equipment to be delivered prior to discharge.
  • Designate space for medical equipment and supplies:
    • Daily supplies are best stored in a bedside storage unit.
    • Store weekly supplies in a cabinet near the bedroom.
    • Monthly supplies should be stored in a separate area with adequate heating and cooling.
    • Be prepared to store at least one month’s worth of necessary supplies
  • Understand how to operate your loved one’s medical equipment and what to do if problems arise. The DME company will train you initially, and the hospital staff will continue to reinforce your training during the days prior to discharge. Home care nurses will be there to support and assist you once you are at home.
  • Perform a home safety check.
    (The DME company generally handles this, as well as the home care company)
  • Install power strips to prevent surges, if needed.
  • Notify utility companies if life support equipment will be used at home
  • Make sure electric service and outlets in your home are adequate to handle any needed medical equipment. Any deficiencies will need to be taken care of prior to discharge. The DME company will determine this with the home safety inspection.
  • Install power strips to prevent surges, if needed.
  • Arrange for a back-up power source (batteries, generator) if life support is required.
  • Install smoke detectors, if they are not already in your home. If you have smoke detectors, test the and assure that they are functioning properly. Replace the batteries as needed.
  • Make sure a fire extinguisher is on hand in your home
  • Ensure your home has a working telephone.
  • Install or purchase a baby monitor.
  • Other items to have on hand:
    • Paper towels
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Plastic storage containers for organizing supplies
    • Flashlight with batteries
    • Notebook or journal for recording information and questions for home healthcare nurse/doctor.

Before Coming Home

  • Become CPR-certified.
  • Arrange for a ride home from the hospital
  • Ensure the proper transportation is available.
  • Obtain doctor’s written prescriptions and have them filled ahead of time, if possible
  • Make a list of doctors and hospitals phone numbers; know who to call a when.
  • Have any equipment needed for transport from hospital to home charged and ready.
  • Assemble a travel bag and have it ready on the day of discharge. (See Tendercare’s suggested travel bag supply list)

Communication with home health agency

  • Notify your home health agency of anticipated discharge date and time.
  • Arrange for your home healthcare nurse to assist with transport or meet you at home.

Day of Discharge

  • Bring necessary transportation to the hospital.
  • Bring travel bag to the hospital
  • Ask hospital staff to review all the aspects of your loved one’s care with you before discharge.
  • Review all medications and ask questions of hospital staff, if necessary.
  • Review all discharge orders before leaving hospital and ask questions, if necessary.

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