Discharge Planning Rounds
Image: Photo of a team conducting rounds in a hospital.
Preparing the patient for discharge is often left to the last minute, which makes hospital discharge more of an event than a process. Discharge planning ought to be a process and a team activity that begins at admission with frequent and clear communication across disciplines. Discharge planning and education must be comprehensive and address the condition, the medications, discharge orders, follow-up appointments, and other post-discharge services and activities. These issues cannot be decided by nursing or case management alone. Medical staff involvement is important throughout the patient's stay and leads to the decision that discharge is appropriate. With the discharge order written, the final aspects of discharge education and preparation should occur.