Preparing for Discharge
At the end of your hospital stay, you will get an after-visit summary (AVS), a paper with detailed discharge instructions that explains how to care for yourself and continue your recovery. Your nurse will go over these points with you before you leave. If anything is not clear, please ask questions.
As you prepare for discharge:
- Make sure that family members or anyone assisting you understands the type of care you will need, what to look for if your condition changes, when to call for help and whom to contact.
- Make sure you know how to operate any equipment or devices that are going home with you.
- Ask about support groups for your condition.
Be sure to take your AVS and any additional paperwork to your follow-up appointments with your doctors after you leave the hospital.
To help bring your primary care practitioner up to date on your condition, make a follow-up appointment with him or her for one week after you leave the hospital, unless otherwise directed. A hospital staff member can help you make the appointment. Please try to do it before you leave.
After you leave the hospital, we will call to see how you are doing and to answer any questions about your care.
Your AVS will include a list of medications you need to take and how to take it when you go home. These medications might differ from the ones you took during your hospital stay. Make sure you understand these instructions before you leave the hospital. Please review this list at your appointment with your primary care physician and discuss any notable side effects.
Your Hospital Bill
When you leave the hospital, you, a family member or friend should be prepared to pay for non-covered items such as television or private room fees, extra services and any co-insurance or deductibles that your health plan indicates.
We will file health insurance claims directly with your primary and/or secondary insurance provider to pay for the covered expenses. Any remaining balances will be billed to you.
Leaving the Hospital
Your nurse will let you know what time you will be discharged from the hospital. Patients are often discharged in the morning. However, the timing depends on when your physician has prepared your discharge orders. If the person taking you home cannot pick you up when you are cleared for discharge, please let a member of your care team know. When you are ready to leave the hospital, a nursing staff member or volunteer will accompany you to your vehicle.
Discharged patients check out at the cashier’s office or other location, depending on the time of day.
If You Have Had Surgery
- For your safety, you will not be allowed to drive after your procedure if you received anesthesia.
- You must plan in advance to ride home with a responsible driver 18 years of age or older.
- We request that the person who is taking you home is with you at the hospital before your scheduled discharge.
- You may not take a taxicab or bus home unless you have a responsible adult accompanying you.
Check your personal items before leaving. If you deposited valuables with Security, ask your nurse to notify a security officer. A staff member or volunteer will accompany you to the main lobby.
We'd Like to Hear From YouShare Your Feedback
Your experience matters to us. Johns Hopkins hospitals are committed to listening and helping you address any concerns you may have. You may receive a patient satisfaction survey following inpatient, outpatient or emergency care. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and return it to the organization that sent it to you on our behalf. Your honest feedback helps us continually improve patient care.
If you have any questions, concerns or other feedback about your hospital stay, please don’t hesitate to speak with a patient relations representative.