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Navigating Your Hospital Stay

Topic Overview

Hospitals can be big, confusing places, especially if you've never been a patient in one before.

But by taking the time to learn about how hospitals work and what you can expect, you may be able to lower your stress and concentrate on what's important: feeling better.

When—and After—You Leave

As a smart patient, you want to find out exactly what you need to do after you leave the hospital to stay as healthy as possible.

Taking charge of your health after you're home is one of the best ways to prevent a return trip to the hospital.

Other Places To Get Help

Organizations

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Consumers & Patients
Web Address: www.ahrq.gov/consumer

National Institute on Aging: Hospital Hints (U.S.)
Web Address: www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/hospital-hints

References

Other Works Consulted

  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2011). 20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors. Patient Fact Sheet (AHRQ Publication No. 11-0089). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Also available online: http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/20tips.pdf.
  • HealthGrades (2012). The Ninth Annual HealthGrades Patient Safety and Satisfaction Report. Denver: HealthGrades. Available online: https://www.cpmhealthgrades.com/index.cfm/portfolio/research-studies.
  • Hyman D (2012). Advancing the quality and safety of care. In WW Hay Jr et al., eds., Current Diagnosis and Treatment: Pediatrics, 21st ed., pp. 1–8. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Sanders J (2011). Family-centered care of the child during illness and hospitalization. In MJ Hockenberry, D Wilson, eds., Wong's Nursing Care of Infants and Children, 9th ed., pp. 964–997. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
  • Wachter RM (2012). Quality of care and patient safety. In L Goldman, A Shafer, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine, 24th ed., pp. 41–44. Philadelphia: Saunders.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Last Revised December 18, 2012

Last Revised: December 18, 2012

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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