Technically, they aren’t trying to push you out
It’s in the medical team’s best interest to discharge you when you’re ready—not just to make empty beds for the next person. “There’s a big push that when we discharge patients they are stable and safe,” says Suparna Dutta, MD, chief of the division of hospital medicine at Rush University Medical Center. Getting out on time will also help control costs—check out what you need to know about hospital bills. She explains that government regulations on readmissions penalize hospitals if a patient returns in 30 days after being discharged. Of course, there are exceptions: If you have a chronic disease, it’s likely you’ll be back. But for the most part, it’s their goal to get you out of there when the time is right for you—not them.
But it happens
That said, being discharged too early is a reality for nearly one in five patients, shows research on over 32,000 people from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. (There are 50 more secrets hospitals are trying to hide from you.) Having one vital sign that’s not stable, like low blood pressure, increases risk of readmission or death by 36 percent compared to fully stable patients. Having three unstable signs quadruples the likelihood of readmission. If you’re being discharged, ask the doctor to verify that all your vital signs are stable.