Nobody likes to be stuck in the hospital. When you’re there, you feel like you have no personal agency or control over your own situation and health.
Unfortunately, when you leave, you may be in worse danger.
Why is the transition to in-home care so deadly?
Hospital stays are meant to stabilize patients and get them to a point where they no longer need round-the-clock nursing care – but that doesn’t mean they’re exactly “well,” either. Most patients are discharged into some version of at-home care or have a huge list of specialists they need to see in the following days and weeks (or both).
It’s the sudden disorganization of the patient’s care that often causes problems. The sheer number of people that may be involved in a recently discharged patient’s treatment can easily lead to communication issues and mistakes.
According to studies, some of the most common problems include:
- Medication errors, which can be overlooked when at-home nurses or health aides, pharmacists and physicians don’t all have access to the same information
- Inadequate care plans, which happens when there are gaps in medical services and a patient just “falls through the cracks” in the system
- Poor nursing home management, which can affect patients who leave a hospital for a stay in rehab until they fully recover
- Unshared information, which is largely due to the fact that electronic medical records aren’t easily shared between different facilities or medical practices
It’s hard to advocate for yourself when you’re sick and trying to recover. It’s not much easier to advocate for a loved one, especially when you put your faith in your medical providers. If you have been injured by a medical mistake or a loved one was killed, find out more about your legal right to compensation for your losses.