If you are reading this guide, you are probably in the hospital or preparing to be in the hospital. Our goal while you are a patient in our hospital is to help you experience the best possible outcome from your stay here. For this to happen, everyone — you, your family and your health care team — must all work together and communicate clearly. This guide is provided to help you understand how you and your family can work with your health care team toward the goal of achieving the best possible outcome, as well as to help you understand what our rights and responsibilities are while you are a patient here.
We know that a hospital can be a confusing place. You may have many different doctors who visit when your family isn?t nearby. Physicians and nurses may use words you don't understand. You may have questions about hospital rules or your rights as a patient. You may be very sick and hard choices may need to be made about your treatment. Making those decisions can be difficult and emotions may be strong. We hope the information you find in this guide will ease your mind, make you feel comfortable communicating with your health care team about your treatment or any other issues, and enhance the experience of both you and your family.
As a patient, you have certain rights and responsibilities. As a hospital, it is our responsibility under federal law and hospital accreditation standards to make sure you are informed about those rights and responsibilities.
For example, you have the right to:
With your rights come certain responsibilities.
Your responsibilities, among others, include:
Throughout this guide we refer often to your health care team. Depending on many factors, your health care team may be made up of any number of individuals who will provide your care. Every team member brings special expertise to your plan of care. .ese individuals will identify themselves, their professional status if applicable, their relationship to others on the team, and their role in your treatment and care.
The most basic goal of medicine is to fix or cure your health problem. If a complete cure is not possible, the goal of the health care team is to try to slow down the problem or make it go away for a while (remission). Perhaps the most important goal is to provide you with comfort and relief of suffering at all times. You will receive medically appropriate treatment to meet these goals and we hope that you will do well.
Good communication is essential to every part of medical treatment. It is important when things are going well. It may be even more important when things are not going well and the outcome you and your family expected is not being achieved. Either way, it is vital that you, your family and your health care team communicate clearly. You should feel free to discuss any topic associated with your care and treatment with members of your health care team. For example, you may want to discuss:
It is important that you discuss your goals and the types of treatment with your physicians, nurses and your family while you are able to speak for yourself. How do you want to be treated if you have an accident or an illness and become so sick you can't speak for yourself? Who should speak for you and what should they say?
Many people see a visit to the hospital as a reminder to do important thing like: make sure arrangements are made if you have to stay a little longer than you thought; make sure family and friends know that you'll be out for a little time; prepare yourself mentally by looking forward to a positive outcome (your Plan A); make sure you?ve made legal preparations in the event that you need to go to a Plan B. These are Advance Directives.
Advance Directives guide your care when you can't. For instance, surgery on patients, they are taking medicine preventing them from making choices. During times like this, everyone needs forms to speak for them: The forms should say who makes choices for you and what kinds of choices you would want.
People often say, Someday, I'll fill one of those out. Sadly, too often they never get around to it. Like most things that come about when we haven't planned, if we don't get advance directives ahead of time, it often hurts our survivors. The guilt of having to make decisions can be overwhelming. Here?s the good news: in one large study, written guidelines significantly reduced emotional distress for family members who had to make hard decisions.
Are Advance Directives hard to do? No, not really. Currently, at Baylor Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital, we recommend doing them online. There are several resources you can use. Baylor Scott & White Health helped participate in the development of one tool: www.MyDirectives.com. It combines all the directives you need into one handy tool.
Reasons to complete directives online:
In spite of the advantages of completing directives online, some people prefer written style forms. If you?re one of these folks, you can get the forms at the address below. Witnesses must be present and the first witness should be someone who is not related to you.
Whichever way you choose to do your documents, please bring a copy with you when you come to the hospital. You will be asked upon registration if you have Advance Directives. We'll attach this document to your chart so your doctors know about it. Also, if you complete paper forms, make sure to give a copy to anyone who has a vested interest or provide directions and permission for any on-line access to your documents. For additional Baylor Scott & White resources or more information about Advance Directives, you may request the following information from your nurse, social worker, chaplain or physician. Or you may access Advance Directives from www.MyDirectives.com. Additional documents are available online at www.BaylorHealth.com/PatientInformation.
Yes, you may cancel any advance directive simply by destroying the document, signing and dating a written statement that states your desire to cancel the directive, or telling your doctor or nurse. You may also review and revise your advance directive. If you choose to change an advance directive, you must execute a new one.
In addition to your personal physician, all Baylor Health Care System hospitals have specially trained social workers, nurses, and chaplains who can help you with advance care planning concerns. You may also have ethical concerns as you consider potentially serious issues. All Baylor Health Care System hospitals have access to ethics committees and ethics consultants who may offer counsel and assist in resolving ethical issues that might arise. These services are provided free of charge. You, your family or health care decision maker, your physician or any member of your health care team may request guidance from a Baylor Health Care System hospital ethics committee. For further information, your physician, nurse, social worker or chaplain can help you reach the ethics committee at your facility or you may call one of the phone numbers at the end of this handout. You may also wish to consult your personal or family lawyer if you have questions about advance care planning.
On rare occasions there may be ethical disagreements between you, your family and/or health care providers. We believe good communication can prevent most ethical disagreements. It is also worth remembering the following:
At some point, you may be asked to make hard choices about treatment when cure of your illness is no longer possible and emotions may be strong. We have provided this information in hopes of helping you better understand your rights, responsibilities and ethical issues associated with being in the hospital. We hope a better understanding will improve communication, treatment and lessen stress for all.
We welcome your feedback at all times, both positive and negative. If you have any complaints, we hope you will:
We will investigate your complaint through our formal complaint process and we will give you a response.
Although we encourage you to bring your concerns directly to us, you always have the right to take any complaint to the Texas Department of State Health Services and/or the Joint Commission by e-mail, fax, letter or phone at the contact numbers and addresses listed below.
THE JOINT COMMISSION:
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES:
If you have any complaints concerning the information that we have provided in this document, you may contact the Texas Department of State Health Services
at (888) 973-0022 (toll free number).
1100 W. 49th Street
Austin, TX 78756-3199
PATIENT PRIVACY OR CONFIDENTIALITY COMPLAINTS:
If you have concerns about patient privacy or confidentiality, you may call (866) 245-0815 (toll-free number).
(214) 820-3151 or (800) 725-0024
BAYLOR ALL SAINTS MEDICAL CENTER — FORT WORTH
Administration: (817) 926-2544
Pastoral Care/Chaplain Office: (817) 927-6150
Guest Representative: (817) 922-2777
Public Safety: (817) 922-1911
BAYLOR JACK AND JANE HAMILTON HEART AND VASCULAR HOSPITAL
Administration: (214) 820-0695
Pastoral Care/Chaplain: (214) 820-2542
Guest Representative: (214) 820-0629
Public Safety: (214) 820-4444
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER AT DALLAS
Nursing Administration: (214) 820-7727
Pastoral Care/Chaplain: (214) 820-2542
Guest Representative: 3-SERV or (214) 818-7378
Public Safety: (214) 820-4444
Dial-a-Prayer Line: (214) 820-2333
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