people leaving the hospital

Going Home

Your doctor will determine the best time for you to go home. Before you leave the hospital, your nurse will review the written discharge instructions for your care at home. Please ask the nurse questions about any of the instructions. If you disagree with your discharge plan, you have the right to appeal. Contact your case manager at 716-845-5735.

What you need to know before you head home

  • Medications. You’ll receive all the prescriptions you will need. You and your nurse will review the medications your doctor ordered and discuss when and how to take them.
  • Homecare. If your doctor and case manager ordered homecare or other assistance for you, the nurse will review those services with you.
  • Your daily activities. Your nurse will review any restrictions the doctor ordered, such as bathing, driving or lifting and carrying.
  • Caring for your incision/wound. The nurse will review instructions on how to clean your incision or change the dressing, and when you can take a shower or a tub bath.
  • Caring for catheter, lines or tubes: Catheters, central lines, drains and tubes have special homecare instructions. Your nurse will review these with you before you leave. Additionally, our case managers are always available to help you with your homecare needs.
    Watch a video to learn how to care for your central line at home.
  • Rest and exercise. Your discharge instructions may specify how and when you are to rest. You may be told to stay in bed for a few days or to put your feet up when you sit. You also may be asked to perform certain exercises regularly, such as leg or breathing exercises.
  • Diet. Your nurse will discuss whether you may return to your normal diet at home or if there is a special diet your doctor wants you to follow. If you need further information for your special diet, ask your nurse to contact the dietitian.
  • Follow up. The nurse will give you information on your follow-up visits before you leave.

These Roswell Park staff members will help you

  • Case managers. Case managers are registered nurses (RNs) who coordinate resources and medical support services to ease your transition from hospital to home. Case managers understand your special needs. If you require it, your case manager will arrange homecare, special equipment and other home services.
  • Licensed clinical social workers (LCSW). Our social workers assist with discharge planning for patients who will be transferred to rehabilitation, long-term care, hospice and other facilities.

At Home

Once you are home, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Keep a list of questions to ask your doctor at your next scheduled visit.

Questions and Concerns

  • Your discharge instructions will include a When to Call Your Doctor section, listing symptoms you need to tell us about immediately and others that can wait until your treatment center opens.
  • Always report a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher to your doctor.
  • For questions about your cancer treatments, side effects, appointments or prescription refills during business hours (Mon. - Fri., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), call your Roswell Park treatment center.
  • After 5 p.m. and on weekends and holidays, call 716-845-2300 and you will be connected to the care you need. If it is determined you need to be seen, we may ask you to come to our Assessment and Treatment Center (ATC).  Please note: you must be referred to the ATC by your doctor, or the doctor on call. The ATC is open 24/7 but it is not a walk-in clinic.
  • Roswell Park does not have an emergency room. If you are experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency, go directly to the nearest hospital emergency room or call 911. If you do go to an emergency room and/or are admitted to another hospital, call Roswell Park at 716-845-4358 as soon as you are able.