A-Level Outline Answer: Discharge Planning

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What is Discharge Planning?

Discharge planning is a process that assists patients in arranging the care that is necessary after hospital stay (Lamiani, 2009). Those who participate in discharge planning help arrange in-home care, rehabilitation, out-patient treatment, and various other services (Lamiani, 2009). In addition to this, one aspect of the discharge process involves nurses addressing any concerns patients have involving leaving their current level of care (Lamiani, 2009). This allows for patients to be prepared for leaving hospital care and leads to their lives being healthier even while receiving less care (Han, 2009). If requested by a patient's physician, a discharge plan must be implemented and developed by the hospital.

A registered nurse or social worker must oversee or supervise the designed discharge plan for their patient unless there is another appropriately qualified person to do so (Bauer, 2009).

Why is Discharge Planning important?

Discharge planning is essential for the quality of patients' health. If not properly done, patients will leave a hospital's care without confidence or necessarily the know-how to be sure they are healthy (Lamiani, 2009). It is important for patients to have a healthcare plan that expands beyond their time stayed in their hospital. The hospitals involvement in the discharge process is valuable as it ensures that patients receive proper rehabilitation if needed (Bauer, 2009). Otherwise, patients would be left to fend for themselves and may not choose an adequate rehabilitation program (Lamiani, 2009). Studies have proven that careful discharge planning can dramatically improve patients' health after discharge (Bauer, 2009). Keeping in contact with patients and following-up after they have left for alternative care is also shown to improve health in patients (Bauer, 2009).

What are the benefits of discharge planning?

There are numerous benefits to discharge planning. Most importantly, proper discharge planning is known to better the quality of patient's lives after they leave the hospital (Bauer, 2009). Patients possess the ability to monitor their own progress and health with after discharge planning because they are informed and instructed thoroughly by nurses (Bauer, 2009). Granted, follow-up contact is still of high importance as patients do not have supreme knowledge on their medical conditions regardless of the quality of discharge (Bauer, 2009). The most obvious benefit of discharge planning, is that a secure plan is in place for outside patient care (Lamiani, 2009).

Identify discharge planning principles

In order to have a successful discharge plan, nurses must be sure to follow valuable principles. For one, nurses must make the wishes and needs of their patient and their guardians or caregivers the highest priority (Han, 2009). Attentiveness to patient and caregiver needs is highly regarded in the discharge process because they need to learn how future care should take place (Han, 2009). Communication is of significance as well in order for nurses to effectively share information vital to patients' health (Lamiani, 2009). Nurses must be extremely aware of the current programs in place regarding discharge planning (Bauer, 2009). If the programs do not meet the requirements necessary to maintain patients health post-discharge, nurses assist in creating or altering programs (Han, 2009). In the same realm, nurses should continually review and attempt to update policies in order to ensure high-quality post-hospitalization care (Bauer, 2009).

Describe discharge planning principle

The idea of putting others before themselves is not a new concept to nurses. In discharge planning however, it is particularly important (Bauer,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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