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At Northwest Community Hospital, we are committed to keeping you well-informed and prepared throughout each step of your Hospital stay. As early as your first day in the Hospital, your doctors and nurses will identify a target date for your discharge. The clinical care team also will work closely with both you and your loved ones to anticipate and prepare for your specific needs after you leave the Hospital. Our goal through preparation and communication is to help make your transition to the next level of care as smooth and comfortable as possible, whether you are going home or to another healthcare facility.

Once your doctor believes it is appropriate for you to leave the Hospital, you will receive discharge instructions for follow-up care and details about new medications. While the specific time you are discharged may vary, many patients go home before 2 pm. However, unanticipated issues may impact your specific discharge time or day.

In addition to your doctors and nurses, a case manager may assist you with arranging home care services, or admission to an extended care facility or rehabilitation center. NCH social workers are available to provide guidance to help you and your loved ones deal with financial, social and emotional needs related to illness or hospitalization.

Asking the Right Questions

As your discharge time nears, we suggest making arrangements for someone to be present when you receive discharge and follow-up care instructions. It's valuable to have a loved one or friend with you to take notes, to ask questions and to provide overall support during the discharge process. Some questions to consider asking your doctors or nurse before leaving the Hospital include:

  • What medications am I taking? Why and when do I need to take these medications?
  • Do I have any new prescriptions to fill?
  • Should I see a doctor or specialist after discharge, and when should this appointment be scheduled? (Ask for names and contact information, too).
  • Who should I call if I feel my condition is getting worse, and what symptoms should I watch for?
  • Are there any special diets I need to follow?
  • Will I need to get medical supplies or equipment?
  • Do I need to modify or make changes in my home to accommodate medical equipment and supplies? Do I need to consider adding any safety measures?
  • Will I need extra help performing daily activities (e.g., preparing meals, shopping for groceries, performing housework/chores)?

Before leaving the Hospital, you should feel comfortable with the information and instructions provided to you. If you are unsure in any way about your condition, safety, medications or follow-up care, please ask your doctor or nurse for further explanation.

Arranging for Transportation

Planning in advance with loved ones and friends can help make your transition to home much smoother. When the moment to leave the Hospital arrives, you will be escorted to the Hospital's East Entrance 4 or North Entrance 2. Please arrange for someone to pick you up at the entrance specified by your nurse. While many patient discharges occur before 2 pm, your nurse will communicate a more precise time so that you can make the appropriate arrangements.

NCH has a fee-based Medicar Transport service for patients who live in the surrounding communities and need an affordable ride home following an overnight stay at the Hospital. In addition, NCH's Courtesy Van is a fee-based transportation service available to individuals receiving outpatient services or tests at any NCH location. For more information about rates and service area, please call 847.618.6480.

Additional Resources

  • After discharge, some patients require home healthcare. NCH Home Care is among the home care agencies serving the surrounding area, and has been a leader in providing home healthcare services since 1969. Click here for more information about services and the communities served.
  • Support groups connect individuals who have faced, or are facing, similar medical experiences. NCH offers support groups on a variety of topics including chronic illness, diabetes management and heart health, to name a few.
  • If you have concerns about your medical expenses, NCH provides a complete range of financial services including price quotes and room rates, prompt pay discounts, and financial assistance.
  • NCH's Physical Rehabilitation Services is conveniently located in six locations with extended weekday and weekend hours. Services include physical, occupational, speech and language, and aquatic or sports medicine therapy.
  • NCH's community outreach program has developed innovative programs and services to address the unique needs of the under-resourced and vulnerable populations within the surrounding community. This includes affordable community health clinics, educational health programs and counseling services.
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Last Updated 04/10/2009