When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Remember that saying? Rome is an unfamiliar place for many of us, so most of us make arrangements to go to Rome with a tour guide, to show us the ins and outs, and to make sure we have the best experience possible when we go.
Hospitals are also unfamiliar places for many of us, and unfortunately, there aren’t really any tour guides for hire. I will often try to run interference when our Life Care clients go to the hospital, but here are some things to keep in mind if you find yourself or a loved one in the hospital. Lots can potentially go wrong before you are even admitted to the hospital.
I can’t stress how important it is to make sure that Admissions gets all the information on the”face sheet” correct. This is the sheet (or screen, now that more hospitals have electronic records) that has the patient’s contact information, as well as family or other contact information. When I worked in the hospital, this sheet often had wrong information on it. If you have been in that hospital before, the clerk might pull up previous information, and fail to correct it. I just had a client in my office tell me that the nursing home his wife is in had incorrect information, which they got from the previous hospital 9 months ago. That hospital got the wrong information from the hospital before that–even though the husband made sure the correct information got in the system. The problem? The original hospital never removed the paper copies from the medical record at the nurses station, and that copy got sent to every subsequent health care provider.
This same client told me that when he started getting angry phone calls from other health providers claiming he had given them fraudulent information, he found out that the original hospital had made copies of all the insurance cards, but they had never entered the updated information into their computer system. It was the hospital giving out incorrect information, not the client giving out fraudulent information. He had to stand there and watch the clerk key in the updated information to make sure everything was correct.