Doctors & Hospitals

Make sure you know the hospital in advance that will serve your parent in the case of emergency. Hospitals serve up many types of specializations. Look for the following:

  • a location within a 10 minute drive from your parent’s home or care facility
  • a specialty in Geriatrics along with specialty care in:
  • Cardiology, Pulmonary, Vascular Health
  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia
  • Urology, Orthopedics
  • the ability to treat key issues that tend to be the most common in seniors including but not limited to:
  • immobility, instability
  • Incontinence, as well as memory Issues

Make sure the hospital has an affiliation with Home Health Care, Physical Therapy, Hospice, Palliative Care and Mental Health.

Symptoms

Hospital visits are the last choice on a check list of any healthy individual. Stay informed by the Geriatric Care Manager and General Practitioner that your loved ones are seeing in order to determine the necessity of non-obvious reasons to be checked into a hospital.

Specialization

According to Forbes Magazine, there are various ways you can find out about a hospital’s reputation. Here are some great sources:

  • The Joint Commission tracks performance of types of care, and allows users to compare six hospitals at once using its Internet database.
  • The Leapfrog Group is a consortium of corporations and public agencies that purchase health care for their employees. They survey more than 1,300 hospitals across the country on four quality and safety practices, including ICU staffing and computerized records. Consumers can search its online database to see how various hospitals performed on 10 different procedures.
  • HealthGrades, a private company based in Golden, Colo., charges a fee to access performance data at individual hospitals. It distills the many statistics into ratings that reflect safety and quality of the facility.

Preparation

  • Not all physicians accept Medicare. Make sure if your parent does not have a healthcare supplemental policy that the attending physician is part of the Medicare network.
  • Look for the availability of a geriatric department.
  • Do they provide a complete network of specialists for your parent?
  • Check out the emergency room well in advance to observe process, procedures and staff.
  • Carry at all times a copy of your loved ones current medications.
  • Keep a copy of your Durable Power of Attorney close by.
  • Proof of Medicare/Medicaid and/or Healthcare Supplemental Insurance cards will be required for submission.
  • Upon discharge, a transfer to a rehab facility is a choice you can make. Check out these types of facilities in advance, as well.

Evaluation

  • Ask to obtain a copy of their state survey on the facility.
  • What is the hospitals rating compared to other hospitals within a geographical acceptable distance from home.
  • Referring doctors and patients should be interviewed about the hospitals process, procedures and staff.
  • Learn about the triage and check-in process of a hospital.

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