What Is A Hospital Discharge Planner?

If you have ever wondered what is involved in making a hospital discharge plan, you have come to the right place. A discharge planner can be anyone from Case managers to social workers to RNs. Here are some common roles and responsibilities. In addition to facilitating discharges, discharge planners can also serve as advocates for patients and families. Read on to learn more about these professionals. And remember, a hospital discharge planner is not a replacement for your family doctor.

Case managers

Often referred to as "case managers," hospital discharge planners are responsible for creating and executing patient discharge plans. The job of a case manager is a crucial one in ensuring a smooth transition from the hospital to home. The following article will provide an overview of the role of the case manager in the hospital setting. It also provides an overview of the responsibilities of a case manager in a nursing home.

Social workers

The role of social workers in the hospital is a critical one, and the work of social workers is not limited to the patient. While the patient's autonomy is a fundamental right, nurses must also adhere to the doctor's orders. Nurses are good at communicating with patients and understanding the medical conditions that can prevent a patient from following orders. Social workers, on the other hand, lack the necessary medical knowledge to properly handle medications and wound care.

Practical nurses

Discharge planners develop plans to coordinate services for patients after their stay in the hospital. Discharge planners work closely with physicians, social workers, physical therapists, and other health care professionals. They assess patient needs and help patients develop a plan to continue improving their health after leaving the hospital. Discharge planners often work with family members, friends, and other community support workers to help patients adjust to life after being in the hospital.


RNs are hospital discharge planners who provide patients with information about post-treatment options. This information is synthesized from physician orders and patient consent. After the patient is discharged, the discharge planner contacts vendors chosen by the patient with guidance from insurers to coordinate and verify services. If necessary, discharge planners will coordinate transportation to a receiving facility or home. These professionals are vital in helping patients and families navigate the transition out of the hospital.

Occupational therapists

A growing body of evidence suggests that occupational therapists are crucial players in hospital discharge planning. The shift to continuity of care (CC) fosters coordination and communication across hospital and community settings. Moreover, a CC-based discharge plan helps prevent hospital readmissions by facilitating ongoing occupational engagement. The aim of this study was to explore the perspectives of experienced occupational therapists in acute care. Findings from the study showed five key themes related to the role of OTs in hospital discharge planning:

Nurses versed in business

Hospital discharge planners coordinate many aspects of patient care. They must be highly organized and communicate well with various healthcare professionals. They may be part of a hospital's business team or collaborate with other medical professionals, such as social workers and case managers. Nurses in this position also often work with insurance companies, which may be difficult for non-medical professionals to understand. The discharge planner's role is to help the patient coordinate services and arrange for payment, ensuring that patients receive the appropriate care and follow insurance guidelines.