The Importance of Your ER Discharge Instructions and Follow-Up Appointments

You’ve been discharged from the emergency room, now what?

From respiratory infections to broken bones, your recovery doesn’t end when you leave the emergency room. In fact, your recovery period is most likely just beginning, and there are several discharge instructions you will need to follow.

Allowing yourself plenty of time to recover and keeping up with your discharge instructions is key to avoiding readmittance to the ER later. Here are a few things to keep in mind following your visit to the emergency room:

Before Leaving the Emergency Room

While you are still at the emergency room, it’s just as important for your medical team to perform the right tests and imaging as it is for you to be honest about your pain scale. Let your doctor know if you are still in pain, your symptoms are worse, or if you do not feel well enough to recover at home. Many patients attempt to fib about their worsening symptoms just to get home into their own bed. While this sounds relaxing in theory, it can result in more injuries or illness.

Readmissions following discharge are common. At ER Near Me, however, we carefully monitor your vitals and evaluate your condition before discharging you to your home.

If you suffer an injury or develop an illness that requires overnight health monitoring by medical professionals, you might stay in ER Near Me’s on-site observation suite. Here, you can relax and recover in a comfortable, state-of-the-art suite. Observation may be offered to ensure our physicians can monitor your symptoms and continue treatment for your medical emergency.

Inpatient services are available for up to 23 hours and our medical team will evaluate you during your stay to determine if you need to be transferred to a hospital of your choice for extended evaluation and care.

Want to learn more about the differences between an ER Near Me and a traditional hospital? Check out our blog 6 Key Differences Between a Hospital and ER Near Me From a Doctor’s Perspective.

Understanding Your Discharge Instructions and Follow-Up Appointments

For most injuries and illnesses, prescriptions and follow-up appointments may be required. Your medical team should keep you updated on what to expect at the time of your discharge based on your progress, including any necessary medications you might need. This is also the time when your medical team should work with you to schedule any follow-up appointments needed with your primary care doctor or specialist.

The medical staff should also forward a record of your visit to your primary care physician. If you do not have a primary care doctor, you can request recommendations to help you find one as well as assistance in scheduling your follow-up appointments.

Other discharge instructions you should receive include:

  • Prescriptions
  • A schedule and recommendations for taking medications
  • Additional testing or diagnostic procedures
  • Information about follow-up appointments
  • Dietary and physical activity restrictions
  • Other instructions for recovery (i.e., elevating a broken leg, cleaning wounds, etc.)

Do not be afraid to ask questions or clarification on these discharge instructions before leaving the facility as it’s important for you to feel confident and prepared for the recovery period at home. 

How to Recovery Properly at Home

Depending on the scope of your injury or illness, it is important to arrange for help while at home, at least for the first few days of recovery. Whether that is a spouse, family member, close friend, or neighbor, have someone on hand to help you with daily tasks so that you can focus on resting.

Here is a breakdown of what a caregiver may need to provide during your recovery at home:

  • Healthcare such as medication management, follow-up appointments, wound treatment, and injections
  • Personal care such as bathing, eating, dressing, and going to the bathroom
  • Household care such as cleaning, cooking, laundry, and grocery shopping
  • Emotional care such as conversation and companionship
  • Childcare such as transporting kids to daycare or babysitting during recovery

While recovering at home, be sure to follow your discharge instructions carefully. Arrange for your caregiver to pick up your medications and to remind you when and how often to take those medications. For most injuries, taking these medications on a schedule is critically important to your recovery and pain management.

Your follow-up appointments are also essential to your recovery, whether it’s with your primary care provider, a physical therapist, or another doctor. You will also want your caregiver to drive you to your follow-up appointments if you are unable to do so yourself.

If you need immediate care or want to learn more about our excellent facilities, visit your local ER Near Me in Richardson, Plano, Addison, or Hulen.

Are you not sure what to ask before leaving the emergency room or at your follow-up appointments? We’ve put together a list of questions to get you started.

ER near me October offer Questions to Ask at the ER CTA