TRENTON — Recognizing the important role of a spouse, relative or a friend when a patient is discharged from a hospital, the state Legislature has passed a bill that will require hospitals to provide designated caregivers with detailed instructions and training on how to carry out their responsibilities.
The Assembly cleared the bill (A2955) by a 72-0 vote Monday. The Senate passed it last week. The bill now heads to Gov. Chris Christie, who will decide whether it should be signed into law.
The legislation would let patients admitted to the hospital identify a caregiver who will be providing assistance when the patient is discharged. When the caregiver is identified, the hospital must include that person’s name, address and telephone number in the patient’s medical record, according to the bill.
Within 24 hours after a decision is made to discharge a patient, the hospital would have to contact the caregiver and share a plan outlining what the patient needs in order to recover, according to the bill. Training via a live or recorded demonstration of the tasks involved, would be provided, as would an opportunity for the caregiver to ask questions.