Improving the flow and care of patients

Improving the flow and care of patients is about making your journey through the health care system easier while ensuring you receive the most appropriate care and treatment. If you require hospital care, Health PEI wants to ensure you have a timely admission, followed by a seamless discharge back to your home or community.

Improving and managing the flow of patients is known to:

  • increase patient safety;
  • enhance patient, family and provider satisfaction; and
  • ensure health resources are used as effectively as possible.

What is a hospital discharge?

Hospital discharge happens when you no longer require the level of inpatient care provided. At this point in your health care journey, you may be well enough to go home or you may be transferred to another hospital to continue your treatment and recovery. When your recovery is complete, you would be discharged home.

When will I be discharged?

Discharge planning starts when you are admitted to hospital for treatment. Your care team will discuss your expected date of discharge (EDD) with you within 48 hours of your admission. This date may change as you progress through your care plan. Share the date with your family members, so they can make arrangements to pick you up from the hospital. Good planning allows you and your family to be prepared to continue your recovery at home.

Hospital discharge time is before 11 a.m.  [PDF | 348 KB].

Your care team will help you prepare to leave by the discharge time. They will provide you with any care instructions, (eg. taking medications, caring for a wound) and answer any questions you may have.

How can I prepare to be discharged from hospital?

Make a list of any questions you have for your care team and request answers to these questions before you leave the hospital. If English is not your first language, you can ask for language interpreter assistance. You may also ask a family member or friend to be present during the discharge process.

If you are going home, you may need to arrange a ride home from the hospital. You also may need to arrange for extra help at home or have a family member/friend stay with you.

What happens if I am not ready for discharge?

If you have completed the acute phase of your care and no longer require the range of services offered at your current hospital, you may be transferred to another hospital where your existing care needs will be met. 

If your health care team decides to transfer you to another hospital, you and your family or caregiver will be notified. Your care plan and patient history will be shared with your new health care team and the receiving hospital will be ready to provide you with the care you need.

Island residents with a valid PEI Health Card who are transferred to another hospital will not be required to pay the ambulance transfer fee.

View the Patient Care Journey [PDF | 431 KB].

What happens during the discharge process?

Members of your care team will answer any questions you have and provide you with information or care instructions. They will discuss:

  • your discharge time (before 11 a.m.);
  • your medical condition at time of discharge;
  • any follow-up care that you require;
  • medication that you need, including why, when and how to take it, and possible side effects to watch for;
  • medical equipment you may need, and how to get it;
  • what you can expect at your new facility, if you’re not going home;
  • who to call if you have a question or problem; and
  • information about any follow-up appointments or how to make an appointment.

What happens after being discharged from hospital?

After you are discharged from hospital, you will need to carefully follow the care instructions that were provided to you.

Let family and friends be a part of your recovery after discharge. They may be able to pick up medications or take you to your appointments. They may remember things that you forget or questions to ask. This can help you have a smoother recovery after discharge.

Will there be a hospital bed for me when I need it?

All sectors of the health care system are working together to ensure you get the right care, by the right provider, in the right place. Health PEI has a provincial Bed Coordinator and coordination team to help make the best use of limited hospital beds. It is important that Island patients most in need of acute services receive the timely care they require. One way Health PEI is keeping hospital beds available for those who need them most is by transferring individuals who have completed the acute phase of their care and no longer require the range of services available at a referral hospital. These patients may be waiting for admission to a long-term care facility, or simply need more time to recuperate before they are able to return home.

If I am in hospital waiting for long-term care, can I choose the facility I will be transferred to?

No, not while you are waiting in hospital. You will be offered the first available long-term care bed that meets your health care needs. Sometimes this will mean accepting a bed that is not your first choice and may be outside of your home community. If you are placed in a facility that is not you or your family’s choice, your name will be placed in priority to be transferred to the area of your first choice, as soon as a bed becomes available.

Published date: 
June 23, 2021
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Health PEI
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6130
Fax: 902-368-6136

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Health PEI Board of Directors

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If you are unsure what to do about a health issue or if you need health information, call 8-1-1.

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