Leaving hospital or moving to another facility
No one wants to be in hospital longer than they need to be. Staying in hospital longer than you need to can have negative impacts on your health.
That’s why helping get you home or moved to another facility as smoothly as possible is one of our key priorities.
We want to make sure you are safe when you leave hospital and that you receive the care and support you need after your hospital stay.
The process of leaving hospital is called “Discharge”.
Why do we discharge patients at 10:00am?
You will not be discharged from hospital if you are not well enough to do so.
However, if are well enough and it is appropriate for you to leave the ward or to move to another facility, we will try to make sure that you will be discharged by 10:00am.
Leaving hospital at this time aims to reduce unnecessary delays and improve the patient experience.
It also helps us prepare the bed for the next patient coming into the hospital.
Leaving hospital earlier in the day is also safer and more convenient. You are likely to feel more awake, and shops, pharmacies and other services are open.
Planning for your discharge
To ensure your discharge from hospital is not delayed, we will begin planning your discharge as soon as you are admitted to hospital (or in some cases even before you arrive).
We will discuss your expected date of discharge with you and/or your carer as early as possible, so you can start making plans.
This planning may include arrangements for you to receive continued nursing, rehabilitation or other support services at another facility, at home or in another inpatient program.
Your next destination may be your home, or another healthcare facility, i.e., Aged Care or Rehabilitation.
We will discuss your estimated date of discharge, transport options and any other care needs you have, then agree on a plan.
Read more about: Discharge procedures | Tasmanian Department of Health
What will your team do for you?
When your treatment is complete and your team is happy for you to leave hospital, your discharge will be prioritised.
We will involve you in planning your discharge, with family, a carer or friend, if appropriate.
We will give you an estimated date of discharge within the first 24 hours of your stay, where appropriate, and update you and your family/carer if this date changes.
We will discuss and agree on equipment or support needs you may have, so that they are organised when you are discharged.
Your medical team will lead your care, but you may not see them on the day you are discharged. They will have provided instructions for your discharge to the nursing team or other members of your healthcare team.
You may be moved to the Transit Lounge to wait for medications, final test results or transport. This helps free up beds for other patients.
The Transit Lounge
We aim to make sure you are ready to leave the ward by 10:00am but if something is not ready (like medications or blood tests), we will ask you to wait in our Transit Lounge.
The Transit Lounge is an area where you can wait comfortably to be picked up by family, friends or Patient Transport.
How you can help
You will need to arrange your own transport home. Daily discharge is normally by 10.00am on the morning of discharge.
Make sure you have:
- suitable clothes
- a bag for your belongings
- your house keys
- enough food at home (if that is where you are going next).
Please let us know if you need a medical certificate for work.
Discuss with the healthcare team any dressings and/or equipment you might need on discharge.
Information about your stay will automatically be sent to your doctor/general practitioner (GP) so please make sure we have your current information.
How can family, friends and carers help?
- Make arrangements to be available at the time of discharge
- Make the home comfortable for the patients return
- Arrange help around the home
- Arrange transport and clothes to leave hospital in
- Put the heating on if needed
- Stock the patient's home with basic food and any medicine they might need.
Medication that you bought into hospital, and still need, will be returned to you, if it is suitable to use. Medication no longer required will be left with the ward staff.
If you have started on new medication, you will be given a small amount to take home. Please see your GP for a repeat prescription before this supply runs out.
We will talk to you about your medications. Ask us if you would like the information repeated or written down.
Your GP will be sent information about your stay in hospital and medication changes.
When you are home, if you have any questions about your medications, your GP or local pharmacist will be happy to help you.
Concerns you may have
You may feel concerned about how you’ll cope after you’re discharged from hospital. Many people worry they will be a burden on their family, but there are many people who can give different kinds of support.
You may need equipment such as hand rails or a stair lift, or help with everyday chores. You may need medical help to change dressings and give injections, or you may need more personal care to be able to wash and dress. Many people may simply need emotional support or someone to talk to.
If you have questions is OK to ask. Speak to a member of your healthcare team about your discharge. They will be happy to answer any questions that you have.
Your discharge to-do-list
On your first day in the ward
- Ask your team about your expected discharge date.
- If you will need help at home, talk to your healthcare team, family, friends or carer.
- Check that we have your up-to-date GP details.
- Tell us who is you next-of-kin.
Two days before discharge
- Talk to your team about your discharge plan. We will include your family or friends if you like.
- Talk to your team about how you will get home.
- Ask your doctor if you need a certificate for work.
One day before your discharge
- Make sure you have arranged transport home. Check in with your family or friends to confirm the time.
- Ask your nurse if you need any wound dressings for home.
On the day of your discharge
- Do I have my valuables with me?
- You may be given outpatient appointment times, your medications or a prescription or transfer information.
Care after you leave hospital
Your healthcare team may recommend continuing care from community nurses or other health professionals after your discharge and if necessary will give you follow-up outpatient appointments.
Your health care team will advise you of their recommendations and organise any care that is required. A nursing discharge summary will be sent home with you if you are referred onto community nurses.