4) Learn the Recovery Plan Instructions with a Friend
Don’t rely on your own memory as the sole source of detailed care instructions. Two sets of ears listening and two brains remembering is better than one. You can benefit from another person at home who fully understands your care instructions. Anyone you talk to regularly can help with medication reminders and encouragement to stick to the recovery plan as defined by the doctor.
Try to have a friend or relative present when you get the explanation for outpatient care routine. Having someone else who can recite “what the doctor said” can be a huge help, especially if you tend to be forgetful or have trouble keeping track of the layered recovery tasks. When a spouse, adult child, or friend can remind you to take the right meds at the right times or go through certain physical therapy techniques, it can make a real difference. You will also have an easily accessible person to ask if you forget or get confused.
When receiving a complex and layered recovery plan or a plan built from various sources, it can also help you to build a cohesive set of recovery plan instructions. This should layer all medications, treatments, and advised lifestyle changes from each medical professional you have worked with.
5) Build a Comprehensive Schedule for Physical Therapy and Follow-Up Appointments
Another major cause of hospital readmission is a failure to understand the recovery plan schedule. After a serious personal injury, patients are often told in a disjointed way when to go to physical therapy, when to schedule follow-up appointments, and when to come in for an additional test. Instead of giving them three separate schedules, build a comprehensive recovery plan schedule with all the important dates mapped out visually.
Craft the complete schedule in an app or draw it on a single calendar. Make sure there is one unified place your patients can check to know if a check-up appointment, test, or physical therapy session is coming up in the next week. This way, you don’t have to compare three or four different calendars and listed dates to maintain a complete care schedule.
6) Be Prepared for Follow-Up Support Services
Finally, be prepared to sometimes need reinforcements. If you want to stay out of the hospital, it may be necessary to seek little extra help at home. Some patients may need a physician to check on them in the home if they can’t or won’t make it to follow-up appointments. Some might need temporary or long-term in-home care assistance. Some might need meal plans delivered. Whatever you need, having this help provided can help to avoid hospital readmission.
While many services can be provided through your primary care provider’s facilities, it is often smart to find additional local providers as well. The more options that are close-to-home, the more likely you are to make use of important follow-up services that will keep you out of the hospital.
After you’ve been released from the hospital for injury recovery, one of your biggest goals is avoiding hospital readmission. The last thing you want is to deal with accidental re-injury, complications, or illness made possible by your recovery state. Here at Freeman & Freeman, we’re dedicated to helping you get the personal injury settlement you deserve and we’d like to help you reach a full and rewarding recovery. We hope these tips will help you take better care of yourself or of a loved one who has recently experienced a serious personal injury. Contact us today for more personal injury insights or to consult on your injury case.