Getting hospitalized just one time is enough for most people. But to end up back in the hospital can cause a lot of stress, creating additional medical bills and sometimes avoidable health complications. There are ways you can help prevent a hospital readmission.
Getting out and staying out of the hospital:
- Learn which hospitals have the highest rate of readmissions. Kaiser Health News provides a comprehensive list of hospitals with higher rates of readmissions across the nation. The list includes several in the state of West Virginia.
- Don't leave if you aren't ready. You may not have a lot of say when it comes to getting discharged. Insurance companies are oftentimes quick to get patients out. But under certain circumstances it may warrant reconsideration. For instance, if experiencing pain that isn't controlled with medicine. If you don't feel well or there's anything about which you feel uncomfortable, discuss this with a doctor.
- Make sure you understand the discharge plan. The process of getting discharged can feel overwhelming. There's a lot of information (and paperwork) getting thrown at you. But not understanding follow-up care, such as how to clean a surgical wound, could get you right back in the hospital. It also helps to have a family member or friend with you at the time.
- Schedule an appointment with your physician. It's important to see your doctor after getting released. Ask the hospital when to schedule, which could be in a couple of days, a week or more. Even if you feel fine, it's best to keep all appointments.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions. If confused about aftercare, instructions in the discharge papers, what medications to take and stop taking, or anything else, just ask. Many patients are so eager to leave, they don't bother addressing concerns or admitting to confusion.
If a hospital or doctor is responsible for your worsening condition because of medical negligence (improper prescription, failure to inform), call Miley Legal Group to discuss whether you have a valid malpractice case: 304-931-4088.