People who are hospitalized should plan their exit strategy before the doctor signs a discharge order, suggests UTMB Dr. Michael Warren in his It’s Your Health column. “Unless your problem is unusually severe and will require an extended stay in the hospital, it’s generally possible for the doctor to predict your approximate discharge date. And regardless of whether you will be returning to your own home or spending time at a convalescent facility, you will need to make the appropriate arrangements: travel, special needs (crutches, maybe?) or special arrangements, such as a private nurse,” he wrote.