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HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR HOSPITAL STAY


You and your care partner are important members of your hospital care team. Other members include doctors, nurses and staff who will care for you during your hospital stay.

We invite you to partner with us in your care. Just like you, our goal is to make sure that you get the best and safest care.

Use this checklist to help you get ready for your hospital stay and to help you during your hospital stay.


BEFORE ADMISSION TO THE HOSPITAL


Choose at least one trusted family member or friend to be your care partner. A care partner is someone who can:

Help you with your care and making decisions about your care
Support your recovery in the hospital and at home after your leave
Help make sure that your preferences, values and goals are used in care planning

Bring the following important items with you to the hospital:

List of all medicines you take including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and supplements (include reason for taking, dose, time you take and how you take them)
Allergies to medications or food
Names and phone numbers of your primary care doctors and specialists
Your insurance information
Your wishes about care and treatment in case you become unable to speak for yourself (bring any written forms you have such as an Advance Directive for care or Living Will)
A small notebook to keep track of important information

Talk to your doctor who is admitting you to the hospital to get the information you want and need about:

Your treatment or surgery
Diagnosis or condition
Tests you will have
Medicines you will be given
How your pain will be safely managed
How long you will be in the hospital and if it is likely you will need to go to a rehabilitation hospital or skilled nursing facility before you go home
Any physical therapy or other therapies you will receive in the hospital


WHEN YOU ARE ADMITTED TO THE HOSPITAL


Learn about who is on your team by asking:

Who will be taking care of you and what they will do
How to contact them
What time the bedside rounding is done, so your care partner can be present, if desired

Find out about how you and your care partner can share and get information and be part of care planning. This includes:

During bedside rounding
In planning meetings for discharge or transition to your home or another care setting
On whiteboard in your hospital room
Through an online patient portal

Safety is key! We all work together to make sure your care is safe. Speak up at any time with any concerns you have. Talk with your team about the best ways to:

Make sure everyone washes their hands - family, friends, staff and doctors
Help prevent infections
Help prevent pressure injuries (sometimes called bed sores)
Protect yourself from falling
Make sure your patient identification is correct and is checked especially before tests, procedures and being given medicines
Make sure that all doctors, nurses and staff introduce themselves and explain what they are going to do before giving you any medicine or before a treatment or test
Make sure your surgery site is correctly marked on your body or you are getting the correct test or procedure
Be aware of side effects of treatment and medicines
Learn about symptoms and danger signs to watch out for
Know what to do and who to talk to about concerns if you or your care partner thinks something does not seem "right"


BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE HOSPITAL


Talk with your team as early as possible about how you and your care partner can get ready to leave the hospital. You will get specific discharge instructions before you leave the hospital but you can talk with your team at any time about:

Your medicines and what they are for and how to take them properly
Serious signs and symptoms to look out for once you get home, what to do if you see them and who to call if you have concerns
What to expect in your recovery
Instructions for care related to your surgery or treatment
Instructions for what you should and should not eat and drink
Need for additional therapy, home care, support or equipment at home
Follow-up appointments
How doctors and staff will share information with your primary care doctors and specialists