- Respectful and considerate care and to be free from neglect, exploitation, abuse or harassment
- Receive treatment without discrimination as to age, race, ethnicity, color, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual preference or orientation, national origin, disability, gender identity or expression or socioeconomic status
- Receive information in a manner in which you understand
- Privacy and to receive a notice of our privacy practices and individual privacy rights
- Have your primary physician notified of admission to the hospital and to be informed of the name of the provider who will have primary responsibility for your care, treatment or services
- A clear, complete, and understandable description of your condition and treatment choices
- Ask questions and expect answers about benefits, common risks and recognized alternatives before giving your permission for any procedure or research study
- Refuse a diagnostic or therapeutic procedure, treatment, or research study to the extent permitted by law, and to be informed of the medical consequences of refusal
- Have pain appropriately assessed and managed
- Have a family member or representative of your choice notified of admission to the hospital and have a family member or representative present for emotional support
- Access, copy and update your medical record within a reasonable timeframe in accordance with the Notice of Privacy Practices
- Contact a Patient Advocate if there are concerns or complaints about care received or the privacy of your medical information
- Request or refuse an interpreter
- Give consent or refuse consent to the hospital to produce or use recordings, films or other images other than for your care
- Ask your healthcare provider to please wash their hands
- Formulate Advance Directives and have hospital and medical staff comply with those directives to the extent permitted by law
- Leave the Hospital as soon as possible with instructions about how to care for yourself at home
- Request a same sex chaperone to be available for any outpatient visit
- Give your health care team the most complete and correct information about your health, health history, insurance, and related issues
- Tell your caregivers about changes in the way you feel when you are in the hospital, doctor’s office, or after you leave
- Follow the plan of care
- Be considerate and respectful of other patients and Hospital employees as well as others’ property and equipment
- Keep noise to a minimum; use the telephone, TV, and lights courteously
- Pay attention and ask questions of the healthcare team regarding any aspect of your care
- Speak up if you do not understand
- Discuss your Advance Directive with your physician prior to admission, when admitted, and anytime you makes a change to the document
- Help us maintain a healthy and healing environment, refrain from the use of tobacco products in adherence to the hospital’s tobacco-free policy
- Meet financial commitments
We are pleased to provide excellent care.
Compliments, comments or concerns, call our 24 hour Patient Hotline.
Inside the Hospital: call ext. 4-2273
Outside the Hospital: call 202-444-2273
The first place to turn with a question or a concern is to your doctor, nurse coordinator, or another member of your health care team. When the staff does not help you to your satisfaction, or you have a special concern or need, please call a patient advocate. Patient Advocates provide advocacy and assistance to patients/families and physicians in all care settings and act as liaison between patients, physicians, hospital staff and departments to recognize and remove any obstacles to providing high quality care.
Advocates can be contacted Monday to Friday 8 a.m.–6 p.m. at ext. 4-3040 and by pager on the Patient Care Line ext. 4-CARE (ext. 4-2273). The Patient and Physician Advocacy Department also assists with patient amenities including the coordination of family lodging, sign language interpretation and cosmetology services for inpatients.
The department can be contacted at ext. 4-3040, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m. After hours and on weekends, contact the Patient Care Line or the Clinical Administrator through the Page Operator at 4-PAGE (ext. 4-7243). If you have continuing concerns about patient care or safety issues, you may contact the Joint Commission's Office of Quality Monitoring by either calling 1-800-994-6610 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about reporting a complaint, please visit the Joint Commission's website. You may also address your concerns to the District of Columbia Department of Health at 202-442-5955 or e-mail email@example.com. Please know that we would be pleased to work with you in resolving any issues—please do not hesitate to contact any member of the health care team.
The staff at Georgetown values the privacy and modesty of our patients and seeks to create a sense of security and personal space for all of those in our care. Staff members will knock and pause before entering your room, and close curtains before exams or procedures. Please note, however, that while we are committed to protecting your privacy, we also must identify your name and room in order to coordinate care. Most nursing units use large white boards that will identify your room number, last name and nurse. This is the primary communication tool to assure smoothly coordinated care. If this is problematic to you, please contact your nurse and we will be happy to make alternative arrangements.
We value the privacy of your medical information and strive to use only the minimum amount of your health information necessary for the purposes described in the Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP), which you were offered before receiving care at Georgetown. We collect information from you and use it to provide you with quality care, and to comply with certain legal requirements. Everyone who supports or participates in your care at Georgetown is required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information. If you would like to receive another copy of the NPP, please contact your nurse.
Help us protect your privacy by designating one individual as your spokesperson to receive updates concerning your health information. This spokesperson can then relay your progress to other members of your family and friends as appropriate. Have your spokesperson ask your nurse for a preferred time to call the nurses station.
Patient safety is a prime concern of everyone at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and we consider maintenance of a safe environment to be everyone's job. We also depend on you to help this effort by becoming an active and informed participant in your health care. You are the center of the health care team. Participate in all decisions about your treatment.
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital endorses the "Speak Up" program recommended by the Joint Commission to help patients get involved in their care. Here are some ways that you can participate:
Speak up if you have questions or concerns, and if you don't understand, ask again. It's your body and you have a right to know.
- Your health is too important to worry about being embarrassed if you don't understand something that your doctor, nurse, or other health care professional tells you.
- Don't be afraid to tell the nurse or doctor if you think you are about to receive the wrong medication.
Pay attention to the care you are receiving. Make sure you are getting the right treatments and medications by the right health care professionals. Don't assume anything.
- Tell your nurse or doctor if something doesn't seem quite right.
- Expect healthcare workers to introduce themselves and look for their identification badges.
- Hand washing is the most important way to prevent the spread of infections. Notice whether your caregivers have washed their hands and don't be afraid to gently remind them to do this.
- Be aware of the time of the day you normally receive a medication and if that doesn't happen, bring this to the attention of your nurse or doctor.
- Make sure that your nurse or doctor checks your wristband or asks your name and date of birth before he or she administers any medication or treatment.
Educate yourself about your diagnosis, the medical tests you are undergoing, and your treatment plan.
- Gather information about your condition. Good sources include your doctor, your library and respected websites and support groups.
- Write down important facts your doctor tells you so that you can look for additional information later.
- Thoroughly read all medical forms and make sure you understand them before signing anything. If you don't understand something, ask your doctor or nurse to explain.
- Be sure you are familiar with the operation of any equipment that is being used in your care.
Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate.
Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate.
- Your advocate can ask questions that you may not think of when you are under stress.
- Your advocate can also help remember answers to questions and speak up for you if you cannot.
- Make sure this person understands your preferences for your care and your wishes concerning resuscitation and life support. This should be explicitly stated in your Advance Directive.
- Review consents with your advocate before signing and be sure you both understand what you are agreeing to.
- Make sure your advocate understands the type of care you will need when you get home. Your advocate should know what to look for if your condition is getting worse and whom to call for help.
Know what medications you take and why you take them. Medication errors are the most common health care mistake.
- Ask about the purpose of the medication and ask for written information about it, including its brand and generic names. Also, inquire about the side effects of the medication.
- If you don't recognize a medication, verify that it is for you.
- Whenever you are going to receive a new medication, tell your doctors and nurses about allergies you have, or negative reactions you have had to medications in the past.
- If you are taking multiple medications or a new medication, be sure you tell your physician and nurse about over the counter drugs, vitamins and herbal supplements to be sure that it is safe to take them together.
Choose a Magnet Hospital, clinic, or surgery center that has undergone a rigorous on-site evaluation against established, state-of-the-art nursing quality and safety standards.
- MedStar Georgetown University Hospital was awarded Magnet Status in 2004 and submits a detailed quality report yearly to assure ongoing excellence.
- MedStar Georgetown University Hospital also undergoes the Joint Commission accreditation every three years. The lengthy survey process reviews procedures, safety aspects, documentation, as well as other key indicators of quality and patient safety standards.