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Sample Script for Follow-Up Phone Call

Project RED (Re-Engineered Discharge) Training Program

This page provides a sample script for the follow-up phone call that should occur 48 to 72 hours after the patient leaves the hospital to ensure the patient understands the discharge instructions and is able to comply with the treatment plan.

The sample script below is provided to assist you with planning your follow-up phone calls with patients who were recently discharged.

The purpose of the call is to connect with the patient 48 to 72 hours after discharge to assess the patient's current status and compliance with the treatment plan (medications, diet, activity, etc.), and to resolve any clinical issues (using tactics such as a phone call with the physician or pharmacist) to prevent an unnecessary readmission or emergency room visit. In some instances, you may be speaking with a caregiver.

Even though the patient or caregiver may have been taught the information needed for safe care at home, the patient or caregiver may not have been able to fully comprehend everything.

Use the following script and questions to guide your conversation to assess the patient's compliance with the care plan. You also should review the symptoms of the patient's condition to determine whether any are present and warrant follow-up care or a phone call with the physician. For example, you might ask any relevant clinical questions (e.g., what is your weight?) or diet related questions (e.g., did you stop using salt?).

Sample Script

Hello, my name is ______________, and I'm calling from (name of facility). I'm checking in because it has been a few days since you went home and I wanted to see how you are doing. How are you feeling?

I'd also like to ask you a few questions about your after-care plan.

  • Were you able to get your prescriptions filled?
  • Are you taking your medication(s) as your doctor ordered?
  • Are you taking any other medications that are not on the list? (may explain rationale to the patient—something like “this information is helpful for us to know because some drugs when used together can cause different interactions and can be less effective.”
  • Do you have any questions about your medications?
  • Did you make your follow-up appointments (if the hospital did not do this before discharge)?
  • Is there any reason you might not be able to keep your follow-up appointments?
  • Do you have any questions about your care plan?
  • Do you have any questions about your condition?
  • Do you know which symptoms to watch for that would mean you would need to call your doctor right away? (read list of symptom prompts if needed)
  • Do you have any questions about the follow up process or any instructions that we have provided?

Thank you for speaking with me today. If you have any additional questions, please call me at (phone number).

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Page last reviewed August 2011
Internet Citation: Sample Script for Follow-Up Phone Call: Project RED (Re-Engineered Discharge) Training Program. August 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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