Tips for managing care at home

What can I do to make the transition go smoothly?

As a patient or family caregiver, there are several steps you can take to help you be a more informed and effective member of the care team during the transition back home after hospitalization. By knowing what to expect, you may be able to avoid health care complications and re-hospitalization.

woman and man sitting together looking and pointing to papers in their hands


The Discharge Checklist was designed to help patients and family caregivers know what questions to ask prior to discharge. The goal of this tool is not to complete or check off each box, but rather to encourage you to speak up about your anticipated needs. There are four steps you can take to help you prepare for and anticipate next steps in managing your healthcare.

1. Medication Management:
During hospitalization, you or your loved one may have been prescribed new medications. It is important that you talk to your doctor or pharmacist about these changes. Click here to learn more managing your medication.

2. Red Flags:
It is also important that you understand the health conditions that you or your loved one has and how to recognize “red flags” or warning signs that may indicate a condition is worsening. Click here to learn more about identifying red flags.

3. Follow-up with Primary Care doctor:
Check with the team in the hospital for how soon you should see your regular doctor.

4. Use a Personal Health Record:
Many patients and family caregivers have found Personal Health Record booklets helpful in organizing important health information including medications, health conditions, and questions for your doctor. Click here to learn more about using a Personal Health Record.

man and women sitting on a couch with medication bottles on the table

Health care services for improving quality care and safety of patients during transitions across care settings