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    Navigating Your Hospital Stay

    Navigating Your Hospital Stay

    Topic Overview

    Hospitals can be big, confusing places, especially if you've never been a patient in one before.

    But by taking the time to learn about how hospitals work and what you can expect, you may be able to lower your stress and concentrate on what's important: feeling better.

    When?and After?You Leave

    As a smart patient, you want to find out exactly what you need to do after you leave the hospital to stay as healthy as possible.

    Taking charge of your health after you're home is one of the best ways to prevent a return trip to the hospital.

    Other Places To Get Help


    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Consumers & Patients
    540 Gaither Road
    Suite 2000
    Rockville, MD 20850
    Phone: (301) 427-1364
    Web Address:

    This Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) website has evidence-based tips on staying healthy, choosing quality care, getting safe care, understanding diseases, comparing medical treatments, and more. AHRQ is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It supports research that will help people make more informed decisions and improve the quality of health care services.

    National Institute on Aging: Hospital Hints
    P.O. Box 8057
    Gaithersburg, MD 20898
    Phone: 1-800-222-2225
    TDD: 1-800-222-4225
    Web Address:

    This website includes tips to help you prepare for a hospital stay. It also has information about health care workers in the hospital, hospital care for older patients, and patient rights.

    National Patient Safety Foundation
    268 Summer Street, 6th Floor
    Boston, MA02210
    Phone: (617) 391-9900
    Fax: (617) 391-9999
    Web Address:

    The National Patient Safety Foundation is an organization dedicated to improving the safety of patients. The foundation works to raise public awareness about patient safety and is a resource for people and organizations who are concerned about the safety of patients.


    Other Works Consulted

    • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2011). 20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors. Patient Fact Sheet (AHRQ Publication No. 11-0089). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Also available online:
    • HealthGrades (2012). The Ninth Annual HealthGrades Patient Safety and Satisfaction Report. Denver: HealthGrades. Available online:
    • Hyman D (2012). Advancing the quality and safety of care. In WW Hay Jr et al., eds., Current Diagnosis and Treatment: Pediatrics, 21st ed., pp. 1?8. New York: McGraw-Hill.
    • Sanders J (2011). Family-centered care of the child during illness and hospitalization. In MJ Hockenberry, D Wilson, eds., Wong's Nursing Care of Infants and Children, 9th ed., pp. 964?997. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
    • Wachter RM (2012). Quality of care and patient safety. In L Goldman, A Shafer, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine, 24th ed., pp. 41?44. Philadelphia: Saunders.


    By Healthwise Staff
    Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
    Specialist Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
    Last Revised December 18, 2012

    Last Revised: December 18, 2012

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