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How To Choose A Hospital

                How to ----------------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------CHOOSE A HOSPITAL
                                                    IMPORTANT POINTS
> Conveniently              >Accredited by                > Financial                      > Atmosphere,
    located for you            a nationally                      assistance is                   is it clean,
    and your family?          recognized body?            available?                       comfortable?
> Services and               > Patient’s rights           > Personal care              > Discharge plan
   specialities meet            rights and                      plan? Are you                  explained to you?
   your needs?                   responsibilities              involved?                           
Selecting quality health-care services for yourself, a relative or friend requires special thought and attention.  Knowing what to look for and what to ask will help you choose a facility that provides care and best meets your needs.
You may not always have the opportunity to choose the hospital from which you receive care, especially in an emergency.  However, when you or a loved one has a planned admission to the hospital, obtaining some important information first can help make your hospital experience a positive one.
Begin by asking your physician about the advantages or special characteristics of each hospital where he or she practices.  Your physician can help you select the hospital that is best for you,.  You should also verify which hospitals are accepted by your insurance, HMO or PPO plan.  Then ask for the following questions to help you determine which hospital meets your needs.
1. Is the hospital conveniently located?  Can you and your family get there easily for scheduled as well as emergency medical care?
2. Is the hospital accredited by a nationally recognized body, such as the Joint Commission on Accreditations of Healthcare Organizations?  Joint Commission accreditation means the organization voluntarily sought accreditation and met national health and safety standards.  
The Joint Commission provides on-site surveys to review the hospital’s medical and nursing care, physical condition, life safety program, special care units, pharmaceutical services, infection control procedures and a number of their areas affecting patient care.  If you have any questions about the Joint Commission, visit its Web site at www.jcaho.org.  You can get information on the importance of accreditation.
3. Does the hospital provide help to find financial assistance if you need it?
4. Is the hospital clean?  Visit the hospital and look around.  Ask to see the waiting rooms and patient care rooms.  Does the waiting room look comfortable?  Would you want to recuperate in the patient rooms?  Do the patient rooms have comfortable chairs for visitors? Do you have privacy in the rooms?
5. Do the services and specialties provided by the hospital meet your specific medical needs? Do you have a medical condition requiring specialized attention?  Your medical history and present medical condition may affect the type of hospital you choose.
6. Do you know the hospital’s success record in carrying out the specific medical procedure you need?  What is the specific training of the physician who will perform the procedure?  Ask how often the particular procedure is done.
7. Does the hospital explain the patient’s rights and responsibilities?  Ask to see a copy of the hospital’s patient rights and responsibilities information.
8. Do you know who is responsible for maintaining your personal care plan?  How are the involved practitioners kept informed about your specific care needs?  Can you or your family be kept up-to-date on your medical care?
9. Does the hospital have social workers?  Ask what services the social workers provide. Social workers usually help patients and their families find emotional, social, clinical, physical, and financial support services.
10. Will a discharge plan be developed for you before you leave the hospital?  Ask what services are available and what your primary care physician’s involvement will be.
11. Does the hospital provide you with the necessary training to continue your care in your home after you have been discharged?  Ask what training is provided in changing dressings, taking medications or using medial devices.  Does the hospital provide you with easy-to-understand 


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