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Taking Care of Myself: A Guide for When I Leave the Hospital

Contents

Using the Guide
Taking Care of Myself: A Guide for When I Leave the Hospital
About the Guide

Using the Guide

Taking Care of Myself: A Guide for When I Leave the Hospital is a guide that providers can use to give patients the information they need to help them care for themselves when they leave the hospital.

How to use the fill-able PDF file:

Note: Some Web browsers may not allow you to fill in the blanks in this PDF file. To add your personal information to the guide, you may have to save the file to your computer and open it in Adobe® Acrobat® or Acrobat Reader®.

To save your additions, you have to use Adobe® Acrobat®. Follow these steps:

  1. Download the PDF file and save it to your computer.
  2. Open the file using Adobe Acrobat and type your information in the spaces provided.
  3. Save the completed file to your computer.
  4. Print the file, if desired.

You can view and add information to the file using Acrobat Reader®, but you will not be able to save your additions. Follow these steps:

  1. Download the PDF file and save it to your computer.
  2. Open the file using Adobe Reader and type your information in the spaces provided.
  3. Print the file.
    Note: You will not be able to save any changes made to the PDF file.

Hospital staff use:

  • Download the PDF Version to your computer and complete all of the information in the guide (except patient question sections).
  • Talk with patients about the information in the guide.
  • Confirm that patients understand instructions by asking patients to describe, in their own words, what they will do when they leave the hospital (e.g., when and how they will take their medicine, when they will go to their doctor's office).
  • Give the patient a copy of the completed guide to take home and instruct them to take it to future medical appointments.

Patient use:

  • Become familiar with the information covered in the guide before you enter the hospital.
  • Make sure that the information about you in the guide is correct (e.g. medication allergies, contact information, primary care provider information).
  • Study the guide with your clinicians to make sure you or your family members understand everything that is in it and how to care for yourself when you get home.
  • Take the guide to your future medical appointments.

How to Order A Copy of This Guide

To get a free copy of this guide, send an E-mail to the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse at AHRQPubs@ahrq.hhs.gov or call 1-800-358-9295 and ask for AHRQ Publication No. 10-0059. For other consumer and patient materials, go to the AHRQ Web site at: http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer.

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Taking Care of Myself: A Guide for When I Leave the Hospital

To use this guide you should:

  • Talk with the hospital staff about each of the items that are listed in the guide.
  • Take the completed guide home with you. It will help you to take care of yourself when you go home.
  • Share the guide with your family members and others who want to help you. The guide will help them know how to help take care of you.
  • Bring the guide to all of your doctor appointments so the doctor knows what you have been doing to care for yourself since you left the hospital.

When you leave the hospital, there are a lot of things you need to do to take care of yourself. You need to see your doctor, take your medicines, exercise, eat healthy foods, and know whom to call with questions or problems. This guide helps you keep track of all the things you need to do.

My name: _______________________________________________

When I'm leaving the hospital _______________________________

If I have questions or problems, I should call:

________________________________________________________

Phone number: __________________________________________

If I have a serious health problem, I should call:

________________________________________________________

Phone number: ___________________________________________

Bring this plan to all your medical appointments.

What is my medical problem?
______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

What are my medication allergies?
______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

Where is my pharmacy?
______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

What exercises are good for me?
______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

What should I eat?
______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

What activities or foods should I avoid?
______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

What medicines do I need to take?

Each day, follow this schedule:

Morning Medicines

Medicines name (generic and name brand and amount) Why am I taking this medicine? How much
do I take?
How do I take this medicine?
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

Afternoon Medicines

Medicines name (generic and name brand and amount) Why am I taking this medicine? How much do I take? How do I take this medicine?
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

Evening Medicines

Medicines name (generic and name brand and amount) Why am I taking this medicine? How much do I take? How do I take this medicine?
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

Bedtime Medicines

Medicines name (generic and name brand and amount) Why am I taking this medicine? How much do I take? How do I take this medicine?
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

What other medicines can I take?

  Medication name
and amount
How much
do I take?
How do I take this medicine?
If I need medicine for a headache      
If I need medicine to stop smoking      
If I need medicine for
______________
     
If I need medicine for
_____________
     
If I need medicine for
_____________
     
If I need medicine for
_____________
     
If I need medicine for
_____________
     
If I need medicine for
_____________
     

When are my next appointments?

Day ____________ Date ____________
Time _____________________
Doctor's name ______________ Specialty ____________________
Address _____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________
Reason for appointment ___________________________________________________
Doctor's phone number ____________________________________________

Questions for my appointment

Check any of the boxes below and write notes to remember what to discuss with your doctor.

I have questions about:

___ My medicines ________________________________________________

___ My test results ________________________________________________

___ My pain _____________________________________________________

___ Feeling stressed _____________________________________________

Other questions or concerns ________________________________________

         ___________________________________________________________

When are my next appointments?

Day ____________ Date ____________
Time _____________________
Doctor's name ______________ Specialty ____________________
Address _____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________
Reason for appointment ___________________________________________________
Doctor's phone number ____________________________________________

Questions for my appointment

Check any of the boxes below and write notes to remember what to discuss with your doctor.

I have questions about:

___ My medicines ________________________________________________

___ My test results ________________________________________________

___ My pain _____________________________________________________

___ Feeling stressed _____________________________________________

___ Other questions or concerns ____________________________________

         __________________________________________________________

When are my next appointments?

Day ____________ Date ____________
Time _____________________
Doctor's name ______________ Specialty ____________________
Address _____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________
Reason for appointment ___________________________________________________
Doctor's phone number ____________________________________________

Questions for my appointment

Check any of the boxes below and write notes to remember what to discuss with your doctor.

I have questions about:

___ My medicines ________________________________________________

___ My test results ________________________________________________

___ My pain _____________________________________________________

___ Feeling stressed _____________________________________________

___ Other questions or concerns ____________________________________

         __________________________________________________________

When are my next appointments?

Day ____________ Date ____________
Time _____________________
Doctor's name ______________ Specialty ____________________
Address _____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________
Reason for appointment ___________________________________________________
Doctor's phone number ____________________________________________

Questions for my appointment

Check any of the boxes below and write notes to remember what to discuss with your doctor.

I have questions about:

___ My medicines ________________________________________________

___ My test results ________________________________________________

___ My pain _____________________________________________________

___ Feeling stressed _____________________________________________

___ Other questions or concerns ____________________________________

         __________________________________________________________

When are my next appointments?

Day ____________ Date ____________
Time _____________________
Doctor's name ______________ Specialty ____________________
Address _____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________
Reason for appointment ___________________________________________________
Doctor's phone number ____________________________________________

Questions for my appointment

Check any of the boxes below and write notes to remember what to discuss with your doctor.

I have questions about:

___ My medicines ________________________________________________

___ My test results ________________________________________________

___ My pain _____________________________________________________

___ Feeling stressed _____________________________________________

___ Other questions or concerns ____________________________________

         __________________________________________________________

Notes about my medical problem

 

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About the Guide

Taking Care of Myself: A Guide for When I Leave the Hospital is adapted from the Project RED (Re-Engineered Discharge), which was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and operated by the Boston University Medical Center. Project RED showed that preparing patients to care for themselves when they leave the hospital can improve patient safety and reduce re-hospitalization rates. Giving patients an easy-to-understand discharge plan is 1 of 11 elements in the RED process.

More information about Project RED and tools to support some of the other elements of the RED can be obtained at: https://www.bu.edu/fammed/projectred/

More detailed tools for implementing RED, and revisions of existing tools to ensure that diverse populations—especially patients with limited English proficiency, are now being developed. The tools will be completed by late 2012 and posted on the AHRQ Web site and the Boston University Medical Center's Project RED Web site.

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Current as of April 2010
Internet Citation: Taking Care of Myself: A Guide for When I Leave the Hospital. April 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/patients-consumers/diagnosis-treatment/hospitals-clinics/goinghome/index.html