After you leave the hospital

It is very important to understand your care after you leave the hospital.

You will leave with a “Discharge Plan and Hospital Summary.” This handout has multiple pages. 

The first page has your name and medical record on the top. It also lists five important questions for you to ask your healthcare team*.

  • When is the next time I need to take my medications?
  • When and where will I get my medicine filled?
  • What health problems or symptoms should I look out for?
  • What medical supplies or equipment do I need at home?
  • When and where is my next appointment or test?

Please write down the answers to these questions on your page. There is space to write down other questions.

The next few pages of the handout go over:

  • The names of your doctor(s)
  • Your diagnosis (your disease or condition)
  • Your medical history
  • A summary of what happened while you were in the hospital, such as:
    • Procedures or surgeries
    • Tests/test results
  • Instructions for your care at home may include:
    • Treatments or wound care
    • Diet
    • Activity and exercise
    • Pain control
    • Weight or fluid management
    • When to call the doctor
    • If something is not listed, please ask!
  • Follow-up Instructions such as:
    • Appointments you already have scheduled at Cleveland Clinic
    • Appointments you need to make after you leave the hospital
    • Lab work or tests you may need
    • Cardiac rehabilitation instructions
  • Your Medications:
    • This can be several pages long. Make sure the list does not continue to the next page.
    • The listing includes the names of your medications; special instructions, such as the dose; how often to take each medication; and when to start or stop taking the medication.
    • There is a column to check off when you should take your next dose after you get home.
    • It is important to discard all old medications and medication lists. Use this new list to update your healthcare providers and retail pharmacies.
    • Please make sure you understand why you need to take each of your medications. Also make sure you know about the side effects of each one.
    • You may not need a prescription for some of your medications. These are called over-the-counter drugs. Some examples are vitamins and aspirin. Over-the-counter medications are just as important as those that need a prescription.
    • If you have any questions about your medications or a medication that is not on the list, please ask.
If you do not understand your discharge instructions – let us know!

We are here for you even after you leave the hospital.

We will call you when you go home. Please make sure we have the best phone number to reach you. Before you leave the hospital, you will receive a phone number to call if you have ANY questions. A nurse is available 24/7 to answer your questions.