A discharge plan developed by an interdisciplinary team helps to improve the transition from hospital to home or other facility. Discharge planning should address individual needs. For those with newly diagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes, the plan should include outpatient education and follow up diabetes management appointments (Diabetes Care. January 2006, 29(1): S4-S42).
Trying to teach or learn in a hospital setting can be difficult due to the busy and sometimes stressful environment, but basic “survival skills” for managing diabetes need to be taught prior to discharge. Survival skill training helps to ensure safe self-care once a person with newly diagnosed diabetes goes home. It includes information on medications, diet, exercise, disease process, and insulin administration. Further training and adjustment of medications is needed for optimal diabetes management, but this generally takes place later.
In the outpatient setting, follow-up education builds upon “survival skill” training. Additional training may also help those who have not had recent diabetes education to make improvements.