We all want to go home after having spent a few days in the hospital because of some procedure, surgery, or illness. There will be many things you must do to take care of yourself. Below, we give you step by step advice that will help you achieve a speedy recovery with greater safety.

• Before going home, ask for your discharge process coordinator in the hospital. They will advise you about the discharge report and treatment to follow, coordination of appointments, and requests for medical equipment if necessary, among other details. 

• Prepare your home for your return. Ask your doctor or health personnel, everything you need to do to make your return home and to ensure a fast and full recovery. If you had a planned hospitalization, prepare your house beforehand. If your hospital stay was unexpected, request the collaboration of family or friends. 

• If you need help with daily activities in your home during the first days, ask a person you trust. 

• Attend the follow-up appointment with your physician on or before seven days after your discharge. 

• Talk with your doctor about medication reconciliation; this will help you to familiarize with them and follow the treatment as indicated. 

• Review your medications: dosage, schedules, and why you are taking them. Do not make changes unless your doctor orders it. 

• Ask your doctor when you can start your exercise routine, what foods you should eat, and when you can resume your daily tasks. 

• Keep in contact with your other health care professionals in your care plan. 

• Verify and write down the phone numbers for emergencies.

REMEMBER! You’re the most important person in your treatment and recovery. You must understand and observed your care plan, attend your medical appointments, and maintain communication with your doctor.

References based on Guide for when you are discharged from the hospital. Content last reviewed October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/patients-consumers/diagnosistreatment/hospitalsclinics/goinghome-esp/goinghomesp.html http://nextstepincare.org/uploads/File/NSIC_Hospital_to_Home_P C_Sp anish2.pdf