Hospital / Department schedule follow up appointments for patients before discharge?


I was just wondering if anyone's facility makes follow up appointments for their patients prior to their discharge? Our facility is trying to implement a system where all follow up appointments are made for our patient prior to discharge. If your facility does this, please answer these questions below:

-Who is in charge of making the follow up appointment?

- Is it done for every patient? Do you give them a choice whether or not they would like to make one?

JustBeachyNurse, LPN

1 Article; 13,952 Posts

Specializes in Complex pedi to LTC/SA & now a manager. Has 13 years experience.

I've seen this the nurse or social worker makes the appointments with patient/family approval. It prints out on the discharge instructions. The ones I've seen are large university teaching hospitals so most of the physicians have outpatient offices in or very near the hospital.

Specializes in Med/surg, Onc.

Yes my hospital does it. It's done automatically. The HUC (health unit coordinator) does it. We tell the patients it's made for them as we go over discharge paper work.

I hate to say she's a secretary because ours are so much more than that! They are invaluable. Not sure how I'd get it done on top of everything else that needs to be done without them doing it.

dudette10, MSN, RN

1 Article; 3,530 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Academics. Has 12 years experience.

Yes, I think it's one step beyond a CMS requirement. In other words, CMS requires that the patient follow up with their PCP within 2 weeks of discharge. Hospitals are now making policy that the discharging unit make an appointment and inform the pt prior to discharge.

Our unit secretary has been charged with that task, but each hospital/unit has their own processes in place. One unit I work on requires the nurse to print out the discharge papers, give them to the secretary, the secretary makes the appointment and writes it on the paper, then give it back to the nurse. I find that process to be inefficient, so I make the appointment myself. Much faster, and I can work on other aspects of the discharge while I am making the call.

ETA:The discharge paperwork has the office address and phone number of the primary already on it by the time we print it out. I write the appt date/time in my hand off to the side. I inform patients about the appt. if they balk, I tell them they can change the appt by calling the number listed, but I also educate them on the importance of f/up. I also tell them to take their d/c papers with them to their appt, so the PCP can see all the meds and discharge instructions.

Has 13 years experience.

It depends on the unit. Some like the NICU require that an appt be made and confirmed with the MD's office before the infant can be d/c. I think it is a nice service to offer. It also encourages the patients to keep the appt.


82 Posts

Specializes in LTC, Wounds, Med/Surg, Tele, Triage.

We are now utilizing our MTAs for this. After nursing goes over d/c instructions with the pt. the MTA then schedules any of the appts/tests/procedures that the d/c forms state need scheduled.