Medical care providers have an obligation to ensure that patients receive proper care and attention. Unfortunately, sometimes oversights and mistakes lead to patients receiving an early discharge from treatment. Patients released from the hospital too early may suffer significant consequences.
You should understand the risks associated with premature discharge and some ways to prevent it.
Reasons for premature discharge
Patients receive early discharge for many different reasons. Overcrowded hospitals might rush to free patient rooms. Sometimes limited resources make extended care challenging, and some instances result from physician misjudgments.
Risks of early medical discharge
The American College of Surgeons found that more than 56% of surgical patients experienced post-discharge complications. Some patients may still have underlying medical problems that receive insufficient attention, which leads to prolonged discomfort or worsening symptoms.
Sometimes early discharge leads to complications or setbacks that physicians could avoid with proper monitoring in the hospital. Patients might do too much because they are at home, leading to strain injuries or risks of infection. Lack of rest in the home environment can also impede recovery and increase complication risks.
Ways to avoid an early discharge
If you feel uncomfortable with the treatment decisions, ask about complication risks from leaving the hospital. You can also ask for a clear picture of your expected recovery after your discharge.
If you have concerns about going home too soon, express those worries to your medical care staff. You have the right to participate in decisions about your care, so speak up if you have worries.
Get a clear follow-up plan for when you leave. Make sure you have clear post-discharge instructions, medication information and follow-up appointments. Ask for details about emergency calls as well.