When choosing a hospital, either for emergencies or for an elective procedure (one in which you have a choice about timing), choose the hospital that is best for your medical needs and best for you. Do not be taken in by fancy lobbies or art on the walls. They are a nice addition - but the key is to get the quality care you need.
It is also advisable to pre-plan before entering a hospital. Focus on things to do before you enter the hospital, as well as entering a hospital through the front door on a voluntary basis or through the emergency room.
While in the hospital:
- Participate actively in your care to make sure you maximize your stay, minimize medical errors and risk of infection, and save money.
- Have a family member or friend with you as much of the time as possible to act as a patient advocate, to make sure you get the tests, treatments and drugs that are scheduled, and that people who touch you follow anti-infection guidelines.
- Know what each of the medical people visit do - and whether they are in your network. For instance, there may be a hospitalist - a doctor who works in hospital and coordinates care.
Before being discharged, be sure to get a discharge plan.
Review your hospital bill even if you have insurance.
- If you have insurance, you may be responsible for "balance billing" - charges for out of network services. If you are, steps to take include reviewing the bill and negotiating.
- If you don't have insurance, negotiate the bill.
NOTE: A hospital and the health care providers in it cannot discriminate against anyone because of their health condition.
- How To Choose A Hospital
- What To Do Before Entering A Hospital
- What To Take With You To The Hospital
- Entering the hospital
- In the hospital