After you go home from the hospital, you need to focus on healing. Our discharge processes help smooth the transition. We’ll make sure you have the follow-up care, information and resources you need.
Discharge from Hershey Medical Center
Your medical team will monitor your progress and decide when you are able to go home. We’ll talk about it with you and your family.
Before discharge, we’ll give you written instructions about medications, diet, permitted activity and home care. We’ll go over the instructions to make sure you understand, and we’ll answer your questions. Remember to:
- Gather your belongings, including any valuables you stored in the safety deposit box.
- Go over written information with your medical team, including follow-up appointments and prescriptions.
- Ask your nurse to write your last dosage of medicine and when to take the next one on the discharge paperwork.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s important to understand how to take care of yourself at home.
We are happy to help you carry items to your vehicle. Just let a member of your care team know if you need help.
Continuing care at home
Your care coordinator will help prepare you for discharge. We’ll help you arrange for home health care, rehabilitation or medical equipment if needed.
Equipment for home care
If you’ll need home care, make sure you know:
- Your home care company’s name and phone number
- When home care equipment will be delivered and set up
- Whom to call in an emergency, if your health worsens or with questions
- Where and when to go for follow-up care
Your doctor at Hershey Medical Center may prescribe medicine for you to take at home. The Rx2GO Bedside Discharge program provides convenience to patients who need prescriptions upon discharge. Patients discharged between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. can have their prescriptions delivered to their room before discharge. Patients discharged between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., or on holidays, can pick up their prescriptions at our retail pharmacy, located on the first floor near the main entrance of the hospital (T1100). To find out if these services are available to you, ask your care team.
Call 717-531-1272 to make sure your insurance plan is accepted. If you have no prescription drug coverage, ask to speak with our prescription assistance program coordinator. The coordinator can also help if you’re having problems paying for your prescriptions.
The pharmacy’s fax number is 717-531-0080.
Properly conceal and dispose of old or unused medications. Do not flush prescription drugs down the toilet unless instructions on the label specifically instruct you to do so.
Remove medications from the original containers and mix with an undesirable substance (such as cat litter) in a sealable bag or container.
Before throwing out the original container, scratch out all identifying information on the prescription label to help protect your personal information.
Take advantage of community drug take-back programs, including Penn State Health’s each spring and fall, where any unused medications can be brought to a central location for proper disposal. Hershey Medical Center also offers three drug return boxes year-round at these locations:
- 30 Hope Drive, Hershey, inside Entrance B
- Penn State Cancer Institute, near the pharmacy by the main entrance
- University Physician Center lobby, Door 4, near the pharmacy
When in doubt about how to dispose of a medication, talk to a pharmacist. For more information, please visit the FDA’s Safe Drug Disposal Guidelines.
Accessing your medical records
Reviewing your medical records can help you stay informed about your condition and coordinate your care. You can access your records through our:
- Patient portal - the easiest way to get your medical records is through My Penn State Hershey Health, our new patient portal. Learn how to sign up.
- Health Information Services Office - you can get copies of your medical records from Health Information Services, located on the ground floor of University Physicians Center, entrance 4. Call 717-531-8055 to request medical records.
We offer financial assistance for families that need help paying medical bills. Learn how to apply for financial assistance.
Tell us how we’re doing
About a month after you go home, you’ll receive a patient satisfaction survey. Your answers will help us provide the best possible care for our patients. Please take a moment to complete and return the survey. You can also send us your comments directly.
For help managing your condition after you go home, consider these resources:
- Support groups - we offer support groups for a wide range of health conditions, from food allergies to epilepsy. Connect with others who are experiencing similar struggles. See the support groups offered at Hershey Medical Center and nearby.
- Wellness and education: Our classes, programs, and resources can help you stay healthy.