Discharge Management Plans and Your Medicine

A good “discharge management plan” helps you to stay well after hospitalization. When you leave the hospital (discharge), you should have the resources you need to be successful. This includes knowing about the medicines you are taking and having aftercare appointments scheduled.

Understanding Your Medicine
Make sure you understand any changes to your medicine. You should have a list of exactly what you should and should not take for your treatment and recovery.

If you get treatment in the hospital in the future, “medication reconciliation” can help you be more active in your treatment and make sure you understand your medicines.

What is Medication Reconciliation?
Medication reconciliation is a review of all medicine you were taking before you went to the hospital and all medicine given to you at discharge from the hospital. The list that you get when you leave the hospital should include every new medicine and every medicine that you will continue to take. It might also include a list of medicines that you should stop taking. For each medicine on the list, your discharge plan should say:

  • The name of the medicine.
  • How much you should take.
  • How often you should take that amount.
  • How you should take it (pill, liquid, chewable, or injected by a nurse).
  • Why it has been prescribed and how it will help.
  • What side effects could happen and what to do if they happen.

All your medicines should be on this list:

  • Prescriptions
  • Over-the-counter medicine
  • Vitamins
  • Herbals
  • Nutritional supplements

The list helps you understand what medicines you take and how they help you. It keeps you from getting the wrong medicine or the wrong amount. The list will also help your doctor make sure your medicines are safe to take together. Medication reconciliation should happen any time that you leave a hospital, or any time you change your provider or type of treatment. This process should involve you, your family or caregivers, your primary care doctor, other treatment providers, and the pharmacist.

If you have questions about the medicine you are taking, talk to your doctor. You can also call us.