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Patients and Visitors
About Your Hospital Stay: Patients and Visitors
Your stay with us should be as smooth and comfortable as possible. Find out everything you need to know about the patient experience at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, from what to bring to the hospital to what to expect when you’re discharged.
What to expect
Knowing what your hospital stay will be like can provide reassurance. We welcome your questions and want you to take an active role in your care. Here’s what you need to do before your procedure or treatment:
In many cases, we’ll call you before you come to the hospital to obtain your medical history. Otherwise, you’ll be asked for your medical history when you arrive.
You’ll go to the registration desk where you will sign a form giving your consent for treatment. We’ll then escort you to the appropriate department. We may start an IV when you reach the department.
What to bring to the hospital
When preparing your hospital bag, make sure to include your:
- List of current medications
- Picture identification
- Insurance card
- Inhaler, eye drops, walker, cane or crutches if you use them
- Personal items, such as glasses, contact lenses and hearing aids
- If you’re staying overnight, you may choose to bring your own toiletries
Please do not bring
- Valuables, including jewelry
- Personal electronic devices (laptop, tablet, iPod); they are your responsibility during your stay
Communication is crucial to a smooth and effective hospital stay. We want to ensure that you can communicate with your provider and other medical staff. We provide interpreters for our patients when necessary. When you arrive at the hospital, please notify the patient care staff if you need for an interpreter.
Customer satisfaction is our top priority. Our staff includes patient advocates, who work with the hospital’s managers and supervisors to respond to, and seek resolutions for, concerns and complaints expressed by our patients.
Patient escorts are available within the hospital to ensure that you arrive safely, comfortably and on time for appointments within our facility.
Patient safety is one of our hospital’s primary goals. We strive to ensure that those who entrust their care to us receive the care they need in the safest environment possible.
Hospital Discharge: What to expect
We want you to feel comfortable and confident when you leave the hospital. Your care may involve follow-up appointments or treatments.
- A Discharge Planning nurse works with patients and families to identify equipment needs and discharge options. The nurse can assist you in obtaining any medical equipment you might need and can facilitate placement in a skilled nursing, rehabilitation or transitional-care facility if you are unable to return to your home immediately after discharge.
- Your discharge date and time depend on your provider's written orders for discharge, or by your meeting certain physician-specified criteria. We usually discharge inpatients from the hospital any time between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., depending on the need for hospital services.
Personal Medication Record
Carry a Personal Medication Record with you at all times. This record should:
- Provide your first and last names, birth date and emergency contact information.
- List the names and doses of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you’re taking, as well as vitamins, vitamin supplements (such as fish oil tablets), dietary supplements and herbal products.
- State how often you take each medication and/or supplement.
- Identify any allergies to drugs you have.
Why Do I Need a Personal Medication Record?
A Personal Medication Record is valuable information that supports your medical care and safety. It can:
- Help providers and pharmacists ensure that you don’t take two forms of the same medicine or mix medications that could harm instead of help.
- In emergencies, a complete and accurate Personal Medication Record can help the emergency medical staff to know who you are, what medications you take and what medication allergies you have.
Start your own personal medication record today if you don’t already have one, and keep it up to date. We’ve created a form that can be easily filled out on your computer or by hand.
Becoming an organ/tissue donor
Anyone, regardless of age or medical condition, can become an organ or tissue donor. The circumstances at the time of death determine what organs/tissues can be donated.
- Organs that can be donated and transplanted include kidneys, heart, lungs, liver, pancreas and intestines.
- Tissue that can be donated includes blood vessels, bone, bone marrow, connective tissue, corneas, heart valves, middle ears and skin.
Contact any of our hospitals with location-specific questions.
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