You can help keep a friend or loved one from being readmitted to the hospital following treatment, says Kris Marks, manager of clinical social work at UHS. Stay in contact. Look for:
- Whether the patient is in pain, discomfort or appears disoriented. Suggest following up with a doctor.
- Whether medical equipment works properly.
- Whether the patient can keep follow-up appointments. Patients may be able to drive, but mobility problems keep them from getting to the car.
- Whether the patient eats well and sees to life’s daily chores. They may try to suffer through problems when they shouldn’t.
- Whether the patient has an adequate support network – people like you. Someone should help make sure the patient is OK.
Simple questions and simple contact can keep a patient from needing readmission, Ms. Marks says. Your attention will make the patient more comfortable and healthier, too.