At Penn State Health Children’s Hospital, we’re committed to making the discharge process go as smoothly as possible for our patients and families. Learn what to expect as your child prepares to go home.

A mother speaks with a nurse about her baby's care

Going Home and Ongoing Care

Your child’s medical team will determine when your child is able to go home and discuss this decision with you. Before your child is discharged, you’ll be given verbal and written instructions about medications, diet, permitted activity, and home care. Remember to:

  • Gather your child’s belongings, including any valuables you stored in the safety deposit box.
  • Review any written information from your medical team, including follow-up appointments and prescriptions.
  • Ask your nurse to write your child’s last dosage of medicine on the discharge paperwork and when the next dose is scheduled.
  • Discharge paperwork will be provided–at this time, make sure medication dosage information is documented by your nurse.
  • Return your parent access badge to your nurse before you leave.

Be sure to ask questions if there’s something you don’t understand. We are happy to help you transport your child and your belongings to your vehicle. Please let us know if you need assistance.

We typically discharge patients by 7 a.m.

Continuing care at home

Your child’s care coordinator will help prepare your child for discharge and help you make arrangements for any home health care, rehabilitation, or medical equipment that’s needed.

Equipment for home care

If your child will need home care, make sure you know:

  • Your home care company’s name, number, and who to call for questions
  • The plan for delivery and set-up of home care equipment
  • Who to call if there is an emergency, your child’s health worsens, or when you have questions
  • Where to go for any follow up appointments


In many cases, your doctor will prescribe medication for your child to take at home. You can fill the prescriptions conveniently at our retail pharmacy, located on the first floor of the main entrance of the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (T1100). You may ask your nurse or doctor to call or fax in your prescriptions ahead of time so that they can be ready as you are leaving the hospital. You’re encouraged to contact the pharmacy at call 717-531-1272 to verify that your insurance plan is accepted. The pharmacy’s fax number is 717-531-0080. A prescription assistance program coordinator is available to consult with your care coordination team if you have no prescription drug coverage or benefits. The coordinator can also assist you if you’re having problems paying for your prescriptions.

Accessing your child’s medical records

Keeping track of your child’s medical records can help you stay up to date on your child’s condition and coordinate future care.

Patient portal

The easiest way to obtain your child’s medical records is through My Penn State Hershey Health, our new patient portal. Learn how to sign up.

Health Information Services Office

You may also obtain copies of your child’s medical records by contacting Health Information Services, located on the ground floor of University Physicians Center (UPC). Learn how to request medical records.

Financial assistance

We offer financial assistance for families that need help paying medical bills. Learn how to apply for financial assistance.

Providing feedback

About a month after your child’s discharge, you’ll receive a patient satisfaction survey. Your feedback will help us measure our effectiveness and provide the best possible care for all patients. Please take a moment to complete this survey. You may also submit your comments and concerns to us directly.

Learn more about the survey

Getting support

We offer many tools and resources to help you manage your child’s condition after his or her discharge.

Support groups 

From food allergies to epilepsy, our support groups can connect you with other parents and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles. See the support groups offered at Penn State Health Children’s Hospital and nearby areas.

Wellness and education

Our goal is for our patients to thrive after they transition to home care. Learn about the classes, programs, and resources we provide to enrich the lives of children and strengthen our community.