For Your Convenience
When you see your doctor
Here are some tips to keep in mind the next time you visit your doctor's office:
1. Be prepared. If you have questions, write them down in advance and ask the doctor or the doctor's nurse. If you're seeing the doctor for the first time, be sure to have your medical records sent to his or her office (or to you) well ahead of your appointment.
2. If you are on any medications, write them down on a list and bring it with you.
3. It's okay to ask what your procedure or treatment will cost. Cost issues are very important and should not be taken lightly by anyone
4. If you don't understand something, don't be afraid to ask for another explanation. It is your responsibility to understand your medical options and make decisions with your doctor.
5. It's a good idea to have another family member with you when talking with your doctor. Having another listener can relieve stress and help you remember more.
6. If you don't have doctor, it's always a good idea to find one, even if you¹re not sick. You can ask your family and friends for referrals or you can call a physician referral service.
7. Make certain your doctor participates with your health insurance plan. Going to a doctor who does not participate with your plan can be costly.
Your patient rights
The following principles guide us in caring for our patients at Mercy Medical Center. If you are not satisfied that these principles of care are being adequately followed, please contact the Administration Office, extension 3411.
1. You shall be accorded impartial access to treatment or accommodations that are available or medically indicated, regardless of race, creed, sex, national origin, disability, religion or source of payment for care.
2. You have the right to considerate, respectful care at all times and under all circumstances.
3. You have the right to be informed of the patient rights in advance of furnishing or discontinuing patient care whenever possible.
4. You have a right to file a grievance and to be informed of the process to review and resolve the grievance.
5. You have the right to participate in the development and implementation of your plan of care.
6. You have the right to know who is responsible for authorizing and performing the procedure or treatment.
7. You or your representative have the right to make informed decisions regarding your care, including being informed of your health status, involved in care planning and treatment, and being able to request or refuse treatment. This right must not be construed as a mechanism to demand the provision of treatment or services deemed medically unnecessary or inappropriate.
8. You have the right to formulate advance directives and to have hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital comply with these directives.
9. You have the right to have a family member or representative of your choice and your physician notified promptly of your admission to the hospital.
10. You have the right to consult with a specialist at your own request and expense.
11. You have the right to personal privacy.
12. You have the right to receive care in a safe setting.
13. You have the right to be free from all forms of abuse or harassment.
14. You have the right to the confidentiality of your clinical records.
15. You have the right to access information contained in your clinical records within a reasonable time.
16. You have the right to be free from restraints and seclusion of any form that are not medically necessary or are used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff.
17. You have the right to send and receive unopened mail and to have reasonable access to a telephone to receive and place confidential calls.
18. You have the right to receive visitors at any reasonable hour or times other than established visiting hours, particularly at times of critical illness.
19. You shall be informed if the hospital proposes to engage in or perform human experimentation or other research/educational projects affecting one¹s care or treatment, and shall have the right to refuse to participate in any such activity.
20. You may not be transferred to another facility unless a complete explanation of the need for the transfer and the alternatives to such a transfer are given, and unless the transfer to the other facility is acceptable.
21. Regardless of the source of payment for care, you have the right to request and receive an itemized and detailed explanation for the bill for services rendered in the hospital. You have the right to timely notice prior to termination of eligibility for reimbursement by any third-party payor for the cost of care.
You also have responsibilities as a patient
You have the responsibility to provide, to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalization, medications and other health matters. You have the responsibility to report unexpected changes in your condition to your physician or other appropriate hospital staff. You are expected to cooperate with the instructions of nurses and allied health personnel as they carry out their coordinated plan of care and implement your physician¹s orders. You are expected to treat staff with understanding and respect as they enforce the applicable hospital rules and regulations. You are responsible for keeping appointments and, when unable to do so for any reason, notifying the appropriate physician or hospital staff members.
You are responsible for the result should you refuse treatment or fail to follow instructions.
You are responsible for accepting the financial obligations generated from the care provided to you at the hospital and to settle your accounts promptly.
You are responsible for following all hospital rules and regulations that are concerned with patient care and the conduct of patients and visitors.
You are responsible for being considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital personnel, for assisting in the control of noise, smoking, and the number of visitors you receive while a patient.
You are responsible for respecting the property of other patients and of the hospital as well as the staff you encounter during your stay.
You have a right to formulate advance directives and to have hospital staff and practitioners who provide care in the hospital comply with these directives.
Questions about medical care at the end of life are of great concern today. The growing ability of medical technology to prolong life and highly publicized legal cases involving comatose patients whose families wanted to withdraw treatment have brought attention to this issue. Many people want to avoid extending personal and family suffering through artificial prolongation of life for those in a vegetative state with no hope of recovery. The best way for you to retain control in such a situation is to record your preferences for medical care in advance.
The Patient Self-Determination Act of 1990 requires hospitals to inform patients about advance directives. Advance directives are documents written in advance of serious illness that state your choices for health care, or name someone to make those choices, if you become unable to make decisions. Through advance directives such as living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care, you can make legally valid decisions about your future medical treatment.
For more information or to request living-will and health-care-power-of-attorney forms, contact our social services department at extension 3436.
Business and Professional Behavior
Mercy Medical Center is committed to providing healthcare services to the community in an environment that is based on fair and ethical principles of service. Policies and procedures addressing the hospital¹s code of ethical business and professional behavior are available upon request. You may request those by calling extension 3411.
Mercy Medical Center¹s mission urges us to emphasize human dignity and social justice as we move toward the creation of a healthier community. Respect for human dignity includes respecting your rights as a patient in our hospital.
If you have any questions or concerns about your care at Mercy, please mention them to your physician or nurse.
You have received a list of patient rights. If you feel that any of your rights may have been violated, you may initiate a formal grievance or complaint. You may notify the President of the hospital in writing at Mercy Medical Center, One St. Joseph¹s Dr., Centerville, IA 52544. You may also notify the Vice President of Community and Staff Relations at 515-437-3434.
The Vice President will contact you upon receipt of the grievance, and will investigate the complaint. The Grievance committee will provide a written response to you within 60 days of receipt of your grievance detailing the steps taken on your behalf to investigate the grievance, and the results of the process. The letter will also have the name of the contact person for any further correspondence.
You also have the right to file a complaint with the State survey agency, regardless of whether you choose to first use the Mercy grievance process. The State survey agency¹s address and phone number:
Health Facilities Division
Lucas State Office Building
Des Moines, IA 50319-0083