§ 23-17.27-4. Instruction to designated caregiver.
(a) As soon as possible and prior to a patient's discharge from a hospital, the hospital shall consult with the designated caregiver along with the patient regarding the caregiver's capabilities and limitations and issue a discharge plan that describes a patient's after-care needs at his or her residence.
The consultation session will include an assessment of the caregiver's capability to provide after care and any limitations the caregiver foresees in providing after care. Each hospital will have the discretion to determine which hospital staff are best qualified to conduct the caregiver assessment. If, upon assessment, the hospital determines a caregiver may have difficulty supplying the needed care safely, the discharge plan may be adjusted accordingly and alternate care arrangements may be made in consultation with the caregiver.
(b) The consultation and issuance of a discharge plan shall occur on a schedule that takes into consideration the severity of the patient's condition; the setting in which care is to be delivered; and the urgency of the need for caregiver services. In the event the hospital is unable to contact the designated caregiver, the lack of contact shall not interfere with, delay, or otherwise affect the medical care provided to the patient, or an appropriate discharge of the patient. The hospital shall promptly document the attempt in the patient's medical record.
(1) At minimum, a discharge plan shall include:
(i) The name and contact information of the caregiver designated under this chapter;
(ii) A description of all after-care tasks recommended by the patient's physician, or other health care professional, taking into account the capabilities and limitations of the caregiver;
(iii) Contact information for any health care, community resources, and long-term services and support necessary to successfully carry out the patient's discharge plan.
(c) The hospital issuing the discharge plan must offer to provide caregivers with instruction in all after-care tasks described in the discharge plan. Any training or instructions provided to a caregiver shall be provided, to the extent possible, in non-technical language and in the caregiver's native language.
(1) At minimum, such instruction shall include:
(i) A live or recorded demonstration of the tasks performed by the hospital employee or individual with whom the hospital has a contractual relationship authorized to perform the after-care task;
(ii) An opportunity for the caregiver and patient to ask questions about the after-care tasks; and
(iii) Answers to the caregiver's and the patient's questions provided in a culturally competent manner and in accordance with the hospital's requirements to provide language access services under state and federal law.
(2) Any instruction required under this chapter shall be documented in the patient's medical record, including, at minimum, the date, time, and contents of the instruction.
(d) The Rhode Island department of health is authorized to promulgate regulations to implement the provisions of this chapter including, but not limited to, regulations to further define the content and scope of any instruction provided to caregivers under this chapter.
(e) Nothing in this chapter shall delay the discharge of a patient, or the transfer of a patient from a hospital to another facility.
(P.L. 2015, ch. 95, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 115, § 1.)