Understanding Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities
• High quality hospital care.A clean and safe environment. Involvement in your care.
• Protection of your privacy. Help when leaving the hospital. Help with your billing claims.
What to expect during your hospital stay:
ur first priority is to provide you the care you need, when you need it, with skill,
compassion and respect. Tell your caregivers if you have concerns about your care or if you have pain. You have the right to know the identity of doctors, nurses and others involved in your care, and you have the right to know when they are students, residents or other trainees.
ur hospital works hard to keep you safe. We use special policies and procedures to
avoid mistakes in your care and keep you free from abuse or neglect. If anything unexpected and significant happens during your hospital stay, you will be told what happened, and any resulting changes in your care will be discussed with you.
A clean and safe environment.
What to Expect During Your Hospital Stay
hen you need hospital care, your doctor and the nurses and other professionals
at our hospital are committed to working with you and your family to meet your health care needs. Our dedicated doctors and staff serve the community in all its ethnic, religious and economic diversity. Our goal is for you and your family to have the same care and attention we would want for our families and ourselves.
The sections explain some of the basics about how you can expect to be treated during your hospital stay. They also cover what we will need from you to care for you better. If you have questions at any time, please ask them. Unasked or unanswered questions can add to the stress of being in the hospital. Your comfort and confidence in your care are very important to us.
Understanding Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities
Involvement in your care.
ou and your doctor often make decisions about your care before you go to the hospital. Other times, especially in emer-
gencies, those decisions are made during your hospital stay. When decision-making takes place, it should include:
• Discussing your medical condition and information about medically appropriate treatment choices. To make informed decisions with your doctor, you need to understand:
• The benefits and risks of each treatment. • Whether your treatment is experimental or
part of a research study. • What you can reasonably expect from your
treatment and any long-term effects it might have on your quality of life.
• What you and your family will need to do after you leave the hospital.
• Getting information from you. Your caregivers need complete and correct information about your health and coverage so that they can make good decisions about your care. That includes:
• Past illnesses, surgeries or hospital stays. • Past allergic reactions. • Any medicines or dietary supplements (such as vitamins and herbs)
that you are taking. • Any network or admission requirements under your health plan.
Discussing your treatment plan. When you enter the hospital, you sign a general consent to treatment. In some cases, such as surgery or experimental treatment, you may be asked to confirm in writing that you understand what is planned and agree to it. This process protects your right to consent to or refuse a treatment. Your doctor will explain the medical conse- quences of refusing recommended treatment. It also protects your right to decide if you want to participate in a research study.
Understanding your health care goals and values. You may have health care goals and values or spiritual beliefs that are important to your well-being. They will be taken into account as much as possible throughout your hospital stay. Make sure your doctor, your family and your care team know your wishes.
Understanding who should make decisions when you cannot. If you have signed a health care power of attorney stating who should speak for you if you become unable to make health care decisions for yourself, or a “living will” or
“advance directive” that states your wishes about end-of-life care; give copies to your doctor, your family and your care team. If you or your family need help making difficult decisions, counselors, chaplains and others are available to help.
e respect the confidentiality of your relationship with your doctor and other
caregivers, and the sensitive information about your health and health care that are part of that relationship. State and federal laws and hospital operating policies protect the privacy of your medical information. You will receive a Notice of Privacy Practices that describes the ways that we use, disclose and safeguard patient information and that explains how you can obtain a copy of information from our records about your care.
Protection of your privacy.
our doctor works with hospital staff and professionals in your community. You and
your family also play an important role in your care. The success of your treatment often depends on your efforts to follow medication, diet and therapy plans. Your family may need to help care for you at home.
You can expect us to help you identify sources of follow-up care and to let you know if our hospital has a financial interest in any referrals. As long as you agree that we can share information about your care with them, we will coordinate our activities with your caregivers outside the hospital. You can also expect to receive information and, where possible, training about the self-care you will need when you go home.
Preparing you and your family for when you leave the hospital.
ur staff will file claims for you with health care insurers or other programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. They also will help your
doctor with needed documentation. Hospital bills and insurance coverage are often confusing. If you have questions about your bill, contact our business office. If you need help understanding your insurance coverage or health plan, start with your insurance company or health benefits manager. And you do not have health coverage, we will try to help you and your family find financial help or make other arrangements. We need your help with collecting needed information and other requirements to obtain coverage or assistance.
Help with your bill and filing insurance claims.
While you are here, you will receive more detailed notices about some of the rights you have as a hospital patient and how to exercise them. We are always interested in improving. If you have questions, comments or concerns, please contact:
©2003 American Hospital Association. All rights reserved.