Discharge Planning

The discharge planning process begins at the time the child/adolescent is admitted to Laurel Heights. At admission or shortly thereafter, we establish a discharge goal and establish a discharge plan. We ask parents/guardians to provide names and contact numbers for the outpatient mental health providers that have worked with the patient prior to admission, so that we can coordinate with them in planning aftercare.

During  psychiatric treatment plan review process, the discharge plan and expected date of discharge is reviewed by the treatment team, including the family/guardian to ensure that it remains appropriate. As progress is made in treatment, the treatment team makes recommendations for aftercare services to ensure that needed services are in place for when the patient transitions back home or to a step-down program.

Good discharge planning provides the patient and family/guardian with the therapeutic supports needed to ensure that the patient maintains the gains they made while at Laurel Heights and addresses incomplete goals established during treatment and any problems that may arise following discharge. It is important all of these supports and services are established prior to discharge to ensure a smooth transition.

Criteria for Discharge

The criteria will vary according to each patient’s specific circumstances and needs. In general, a patient is ready for discharge when their behavior stabilizes to the point that they no longer require a psychiatric residential setting to address treatment issues. This means that the patient’s behavior is safe, not that they have addressed all their issues.

Procedure for Discharge

The psychiatric treatment team will provide recommendations for services and set up aftercare appointments. If the patient is to be discharged with medications, the attending physician will write the appropriate prescriptions. Members of the treatment team will meet with parents/guardians to review discharge instructions, safety plans and medications. We will also ask that parents/guardians complete a satisfaction survey.