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Preparing for Discharge from hospital

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Our focus is not only on your care and treatment while in hospital, but also on your discharge.

We will start planning for your discharge as soon as possible to help ensure that the appropriate services are in place, if needed. The team will discuss expected date of discharge with you in advance.

We request your assistance with your discharge and ask that you or your loved ones arrange for you to be picked up by 10 a.m. on your scheduled discharge day. Please ensure you have any necessary items (clothes, shoes, etc.) so that you are comfortable when you leave.

Although every effort is made to accurately predict the day of discharge, you should be prepared for discharge to occur earlier than planned. We encourage you to ask questions about your discharge so that you are prepared for when you get home.

If you have questions about your discharge, please discuss with your Discharge Planning Case Manager or any member of your healthcare team.

Tips for ensuring you are discharged smoothly

  • We recommend you plan your ride home with family or friends to avoid having to pay for transportation services. If you are not able to arrange transportation, the hospital will help you make arrangements at your cost.
  • There are private transportation services available that usually need to be booked 24 hours in advance. Your healthcare team can provide further information. You will be required to pay for your own transportation when you are discharged home.
  • If you are transitioning to another hospital, Niagara Health will arrange and pay for your transportation.

Please note: We cannot hold beds to accommodate delayed travel arrangements.

Important Discharge Information

Time of Discharge

Please be prepared to leave the hospital by 10 a.m. on your scheduled discharge day.

We ask that you or your family make the necessary arrangements for you to be picked up by 10 a.m.

Every effort is made to accurately predict the day of discharge; however, you should be prepared for your discharge to occur earlier or later than planned. Your healthcare team will keep you up-to-date on any changes to your discharge time.

Be sure to take all personal belongings including any medications when you leave.

Home First

Home First is an approach to planning what happens when you no longer need hospital care. The goal of Home First is to get you back home as quickly and safely as possible, and help you stay there until you’re ready to make a decision about the future.

It’s better to be home

You are receiving hospital care because you are ill, injured or have undergone surgery. Your care is delivered by a skilled and dedicated healthcare team, using advanced equipment and techniques. When you need hospital care, it’s definitely the right place to be.

But when you no longer need this level of care, you’ll find it’s better to be at home. You will be more comfortable and able to get back to your routine.

The care you need, at home

A member of your healthcare team will visit you in hospital and talk to you about your needs. Then he or she will make arrangements, if needed, for the right care to be provided at home. 

Always ready to help

Your healthcare team is here to support you, your family and friends and to answer any questions you may have. 


To assist you with your prescription needs, independently owned and operated pharmacies are located in our Niagara Falls and St. Catharines hospitals.

Hauser’s Pharmacy

St. Catharines hospital
First floor, main lobby across from Food Court
Hours: 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Monday – Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday and holidays
Phone: 905-685-3030Goldencare Pharmacy

Goldencare Pharmacy

Niagara Falls hospital
Main floor, beside the Gift Shop
Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday; 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday. Please check about holiday hours.
Phone: 905-354-0077

Transportation Assistance

If you are in need of transportation, please visit Community Support Services of Niagara.

Paying your bill

Niagara Health offers many ways to make a payment on your account.

  • In person
  • Bank and online banking
  • By phone

You may also pay your hospital bill on the Niagara Health website, 24 hours a day/seven days a week using your credit card. You will need to refer to your account number on your patient bill or statement to pay online. Please note there is a $2 service fee to make an online payment. This fee goes directly to the provider of this service, not the hospital.


If you hold a supplementary insurance policy, (e.g. Manulife Financial, Sun Life, Green Shield, etc.,) the hospital can bill your insurer on your behalf for costs that are not paid by OHIP, but are covered by your insurance policy. Please note that if you request Preferred Accommodation (a semiprivate or private room) and your supplementary insurance only pays a portion of the charge, you are responsible for the balance. Please check your insurance policy carefully and make sure you are covered before requesting a semi-private or private room and signing a preferred accommodation payment agreement.

The same responsibility applies to all other charges, such as those for splints, crutches and canes.

To make sure you have all of the information you need regarding your insurance coverage, please ask your insurer to answer the following questions:

  • What is your insurance policy number?
  • What is the effective date and expiry date of your coverage?
  • What benefits are covered? (e.g. Semi-private or private accommodations)
  • Do you have a deductible? (e.g. You must pay the first $50 of charges incurred)
  • Do you have a cap? (e.g. The insurance will only pay a maximum of $100/day of your semiprivate coverage). Is the cap a daily, yearly, or lifetime limit?
  • Are you covered for the services you are receiving?

If you wish to change your accommodations, you must contact Patient Registration directly in order for your request to be processed. Discussions with other members of your care team cannot be considered notification of your request. A new payment agreement will be prepared and you will be responsible for all charges incurred before the new agreement is signed. Payment for services not covered by your insurer should be paid when you are discharged. Payments can be made by cash, cheque, debit or major credit card at the Cashier Desk or outside of regular business hours at Patient Registration.

Niagara Health