No Recovery, You Owe Us Nothing
Hospitals can be frightening even to the bravest patient: A maze of corridors filled with people in “scrubs,” scurrying around and issuing orders just when you are feeling your worst. Here is a checklist to help you get ready and make your hospital visit as comfortable as possible.
|Ask your doctor to explain the purpose of your hospitalization and what will happen.|
|If you are having surgery, ask your surgeon to talk you through it, from anesthesia to the operation to recovery time and the expected outcome.|
|Ask a family member or friend to come with you and serve as your advocate.|
|Have legal documents in order, called “advance directives” or “health care directives.” Provide copies to your hospital, doctor, family and advocate.|
|Make sure that the hospital has your accurate, up-to-date medical records.|
|Comply with hospital requests for pre-admission tests and paperwork, including health insurance information.|
|Clarify with your health insurance carrier what is covered and what may not be covered
during your stay.
|Make sure the hospital provides you with a written copy of your patient rights.|
|Pack a small bag with essentials, but leave valuables at home.|
|Do not bring your own medications to the hospital.|
|Upon admission, verify that your identification band is correct. Do not remove it.|
|Be sure your chart reflects the drugs you must take regularly, and drug allergies.|
|Ask questions about new medications: What is this, and why am I taking it?|
|Limit hugs with visitors in order to minimize germs, and ask hospital staff to wash their
hands in your presence.
|Before you are discharged, get instructions for post-hospitalization care.|
|After you are home, call the hospital and/or your doctor if you have unusual or painful
after-effects. In an emergency, dial 911.
Your own questions and notes: