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Who Discharges Patients from the Hospital?

When you no longer need inpatient treatment, you will be discharged from the hospital. Many hospitals have discharge planners or coordinators who help with the discharge process, coordinate the information, and help you find caregiver organizations in the community.

While only a doctor can authorize your release from the hospital, the actual process of discharge planning can be carried out by a nurse in charge, discharge planner, social worker, case manager, or other professionals. Typically, discharge planning involves a team approach.

Before you are discharged, you should be given a copy of a discharge assessment of how you should manage day-to-day activities and whether you need more care after you leave the hospital. This assessment usually is carried out by an occupational therapist or a social worker in the hospital.

Other professionals that are usually involved in the hospital discharge process are:

  • Discharge consultant – they decide whether you are well enough to leave the hospital and what medical care you might need after going out
  • A nurse in charge – they are supervising the care you receive and overseeing plans for your hospital discharge
  • A pharmacist – they provide the medication you should be taking and give information on how and when you should be taking the prescribed meds.

In specific situations, in your discharge, may also be involved other professionals working at the hospital, such as a hospital social worker, speech and language therapist, community psychiatric nurse, physiotherapist, dietician, and others.

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