Hospital to Home

Thank you for choosing Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center for your hospital care. Penn State Hershey Medical Center is a participating hospital in the Hospital to Home (H2H) National Quality Improvement Initiative, led by the American College of Cardiology and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. This initiative was developed in an effort to reduce hospital readmissions and improve the move from hospital to home for patients who have been hospitalized with heart disease.

This initiative has three areas of focus:

  1. Medication management - Do you have your medications and do you know when to take them and why you need them?
  2. Early follow-up - Do you have a follow-up visit scheduled within seven to ten days of discharge and are you able to get there?
  3. Symptom management - Do you know the signs and symptoms that need medical attention and who to contact if they occur?

Medication Management

You have been prescribed medications to treat your heart disease. For these medications to work as planned, it is important that you take all of them as directed.

  • Some medications need to be taken at certain times of the day.
  • Some medications may interact with medications you are already taking or with certain foods.
  • If you cannot afford your medications or are having problems paying for your prescriptions, a prescription assistance program coordinator is available to help you.

Early follow-up

Under the stress of a hospital discharge, it is possible for a patient to forget or misunderstand discharge or medication instructions.

Symptom management

Many symptoms, if realized early enough and discussed with a health care provider, may be kept under control. It is important to be prepared and know what to do if your symptoms return. To help you be in control of your condition, know your action plan.

  • Which symptoms require medical attention?
  • Who should I call?
  • When should I call?

There may be times that you recognize a symptom and you can call your health care provider to work through the symptom. However, there may be other times, when the symptom is more serious and requires a call for emergency medical services. It is important to understand the difference between these symptoms and work with your health care providers so they can help you determine the best action plan.

Your Hospital to Home Appointment

Research has shown that a patient’s likelihood of being readmitted to the hospital can decrease when the patient has had a follow-up appointment within seven to ten days of discharge. We will schedule you for a follow-up appointment prior to your leaving the hospital. This appointment will typically be scheduled within seven working days from discharge. Your  appointment will be with one of the nurse practitioners or physician assistants. During this appointment, the provider will ensure that you understand your medications and how to take them, identify and provide help if you cannot afford your medications, and make sure you know your action plan should you have any symptoms.

If you are unable to keep this appointment, please call the Penn State Hershey Heart and Vascular Institute Access Center at 877-GO PSHVI (877-467-7484) to reschedule. Should you have any difficulty with transportation, please remember to let your care team know and the inpatient social worker can identify resources for you.