Home mechanical ventilation has evolved to permit discharge of patients on portable negative or positive pressure mechanical ventilators. Assessment of the patient for home discharge is initiated by a multidisciplinary team. The nurse, physician, social worker, respiratory therapist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, home health nursing agency, durable medical equipment supplier, and caregivers constitute the team. The crucial links to a successful patient discharge are an involved family and a well-developed plan of care, although patient finances also are important. The nurse develops, coordinates, and implements the teaching plan over a period of 2 or more weeks. The home caregivers provide total care for the patient several days before discharge. The home health agency and the durable medical equipment supplier provide services which ease the transition of care from hospital to home. One alternative to home discharge is placement in an extended care facility

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