The Patient Care Partnership: Understanding Expectations, Rights, and Responsibilities
When you need hospital care, your doctor and the nurses and other pro-fessionals 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 below explain some of the basics about how you can ex-pect 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.
High quality hospital care.Our 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, as well as when they are students, resi-dents, or other trainees.
A clean and safe environment.Our 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 dis-cussed with you.
Involvement in your care.You and your doctor often make decisions about your care before you go to the hospital. Other times, especially in emergencies, those decisions are made during your hospital stay.
When they take place, making decisions should include:
Discussing your medical condition and information about medically ap-propriate treatment choices. To make informed decisions with yourdoctor, you need to understand several things:
– The benefits and risks of each treatment.
– Whether it 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.
– The financial consequences of using uncovered services or out-of-network providers.
Please tell your caregivers if you need more information about treat-ment choices.
Discussing your treatment plan.When you enter the hospital, you signa general consent to treatment. In some cases, such as surgery or ex-perimental 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 ex-plain the medical consequences of refusing recommended treatment. It also protects your right to decide if you want to participate in a re-search study.
Getting information from you.Your caregivers need complete andcorrect 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 diet supplements (such as vitamins and herbs) that you are taking.
– Any network or admission requirements under your health plan.
Understanding your health care goals and values. You may have healthcare 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 youhave 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.
Protection of your privacy.We respect the confidentiality of your rela-tionship with your doctor and other caregivers, and the sensitive in-formation 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, dis-close and safeguard patient information and that explains how you can obtain a copy of information from our records about your care.
Help preparing you and your family for when you leave the hospital. Your doctor works with hospital staff and professionals in your com-munity. You and your family also play an important role. The success of your treatment often depends on your efforts to follow medica-tion, 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 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 possi-ble, training about the self-care you will need when you go home.
Help with your bill and filing insurance claims.Our staff will file claims for you with health care insurers or other programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. They will also help your doctor with needed documentation. Hospital bills and insurance coverage are often con-fusing. 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. If 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.
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