The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has developed a guide for patients to help them care for themselves when they leave a hospital, although the guide can be applied to other facilities including ambulatory surgery centers.
"Taking Care of Myself: A Guide for When I Leave the Hospital" can be used by both facility staff and patients during the discharge process and provides a way for patients to track their medication schedules, upcoming medical appointments and important phone numbers.
The AHRQ has made the guide, available as a PDF, fill-able, so staff members can complete all of the information in the guide (except patient question sections) on their computer.
Staff members should confirm that patients understand instructions by asking patients to describe, in their own words, what they will do when they leave the facility (e.g., when and how they will take their medicine, when they will go to their doctor's office) and patients should be provided with a copy of the completed guide to take home and instructed to take it to future medical appointments.
Read about other patient safety tools: