The traditional role of hospitals and medical centers that admit patients is to discharge those patients upon recovery without further medical or social care. More recently this role has shifted where hospitals and medical centers provide comprehensive medical and social care programs for the patient during his stay and after discharge . These types of programs are referred to as Discharge Planning programs. The concept of discharge planning is to investigate the patient’s medical, social, and financial needs that might affect his/her health after discharge to prevent or reduce re-admitting the treated patient. The discharge planning processes start before the patient leaves the hospital where a professional team study the patient’s needs including medications, education, medical equipment and even scheduling home visits to avoid the patient’s re-admission. Preventing or reducing patients’ re-admission will benefit both the patients and the healthcare center. Cost, bed utilization, and quality of care are the major factors that encourage healthcare centers to apply discharge planning.
Discharging a medical inpatient usually requires a multidisciplinary team and is a complex process. It aims to improve the coordination of services after the patient is discharged by considering the patient’s needs after leaving the hospital. Its concept is to prevent or reduce the rate of patient readmission.