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Info for Patients of Unity Hospital

A message to our patients
Our Mission and Values
Patient safety concerns
Information for patient comfort and convenience
Your medical team
Preparing to leave the hospital
Patient education materials
Frequently asked questions

A MESSAGE TO OUR PATIENTS

Welcome to Unity Hospital, which is part of Unity Health System.

During your stay with us, we pledge to provide you with high quality medical care with respect and compassion, in a safe, comfortable environment. This patient information guide has been prepared to help you better understand what to expect during your hospital stay, and to provide information you will find useful while you are here.

Your comments are always welcome. Please do not hesitate to talk with your nurse, physician, or any member of your health care team about any questions or concerns you may have.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

OUR MISSION AND VALUES

Mission

The mission of Unity Health System is to make a positive difference in the health and well-being of those we serve.

Vision 
Unity will be the leading provider in the markets we serve, known for the excellent quality and service that we deliver to our customers.

Values

We value….

  • People above everything else… by treating each other and those we serve with compassion, dignity, and respect.
  • Excellence… by acting with integrity and striving for the highest quality and service.
  • Learning …. by sponsoring and participating in educational opportunities that foster personal and professional growth, and the development of future health care professionals.
  • Results… by meeting the expectations of the people we serve and the expectations we set for ourselves.

Your Comments are Important
While at Unity Hospital, you are our guest. As a guest, we value your comments regarding your stay. Please discuss any concerns with your doctor, nurse or the clinical coordinator of your unit. You may also direct comments or concerns to the Patient Assistance Line at 368-3220.

We track patient satisfaction in many ways, and use this information to improve our care and services. When asked, we hope you will respond to our patient satisfaction surveys.

Have a Complaint?
You have the right to express complaints about your care and services, and to have the Hospital investigate such complaints. To voice a complaint or concern, please call the Patient Assistance Line at 368-3220. If you request, we will provide you or your designee a written response indicating the findings of the investigation. If you are not satisfied with Unity Hospital's response, you may contact:

New York State Department of Health
Centralized Hospital Intake Program
433 River Street 6th Floor
Troy, New York 12180
1 (800) 804-5447

You may also contact The Joint Commission at 1 (800) 994-6610.

PATIENT SAFETY CONCERNS

As the patient, you are at the center of the Unity Hospital health care team. You can play a vital role in making your care safe by becoming an active, involved and informed member of this team. You are encouraged to speak up if you have a question or concern. Here are some ways to do so:

  • Pay attention to the care you are receiving.
  • If you don't understand something, ask again, or ask another member of the health care team.
  • If a caregiver does not introduce themselves, ask who they are and what they are going to do.
  • Make sure your caregivers wash their hands before treating you.
  • Remember when you are supposed to receive medication, and alert the nurse if it is late.
  • Make sure the doctor, nurse, or other caregiver confirms your identity by referring to your wristband or asking you.

These are just a few suggestions. For more information on how you can help contribute to your positive experience at Unity Hospital, refer to the Speak Up brochure included in the information packet you received when you were admitted.

We are all responsible for the prevention of errors. And by speaking up, patients can help the team provide the safest health care experience possible.

INFORMATION FOR PATIENT COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE

Private and Semi-Private Rooms
Unity Hospital is well-known for our private rooms – and when our expansion is complete, that’s how we will once again have all private patient rooms. However, we’ve had to create some temporary semi-private rooms in the new Golisano Center to accommodate construction over the next couple of years. These rooms are specially designed to accommodate two patients; each patient will have their own:

  • TV with headset
  • Storage areas – in-room closet and shelf in the bathroom
  • Telephone
  • Call light button

We carefully follow infection control guidelines, so patients who require isolation won’t be placed in semi-private rooms.

Television and Telephone Service
Telephone and cable television service is available in every room. Please dial extension 1623 to activate your television and telephone service. The charges will be billed to your home phone or to a credit card. The TV remote control is located at your bedside. For your enjoyment, educational and health care programming is always available on-demand at no charge.

Cell Phone Usage
For patient and visitor convenience, cellular devices (phones, PDAs, two-way pagers, walkie-talkies, etc.) may be used in lobbies, cafeterias, visitor waiting areas and private offices at Unity Hospital. However, these devices need to be powered OFF when carried into certain clinical areas (all restricted areas will be indicated with appropriate signage):

  • Inpatient Hospital Rooms
  • Emergency Center Rooms
  • Diagnostic Imaging Rooms
  • Cardiac Catheterization Lab
  • Clinical Laboratory
  • Recovery Room
  • Operating Rooms
  • August Family Birth Place Suites

Free Wireless Internet Access
Unity is proud to provide our patients and visitors with another convenient service – free wireless Internet service! Unity Wi-Fi is available at Unity Hospital in the main lobby, cafeteria, Surgical Services waiting room, the Emergency Center waiting room, and will be expanding to more areas soon.

To ask for help in your room
The call button is located on the remote control at your bedside. Use it to ask for help when you need it. There is also a call button in the bathroom. It is best to ask for assistance before you get out of bed. In our semi-private rooms, each patient has his or her own call button.

Smoking
For the health of our patients and visitors, smoking is not allowed anywhere inside Unity Hospital. Smoking outside of the hospital is restricted to designated areas.

What to bring to the hospital
You are welcome to bring items from home which may make you more comfortable during your stay, such as shoes, underclothes, daytime clothes, hearing aids, glasses, dentures, etc. Please label your clothing or other personal items. (In semi-private rooms, these items will be labeled with both your name and a "D" if you're closest to the door or a "W" if you're closest to the window.) Please do not keep cash or other valuables in your room.

Personal toiletries such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brushes, combs, deodorant, etc. are not routinely provided. You may bring these items from home, or they can be purchased from our gift cart or in the Park Place Gift Shop located on the first floor.

As a safety precaution, personal electrical appliances such as televisions, radios, hair dryers and shavers may not be used in the Hospital. You may use battery-operated grooming appliances.

Meals
Meals are served during the following hours:
Breakfast   7:15 - 10 a.m.
Lunch   11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Dinner   4:15 - 7 p.m.

You will be visited by a member of the Food and Nutrition Services Department to select meals for the following day.

Your nutritional needs are supervised by a dietician. If you have any problems with your menu selections, food delivery or quality of your food, please contact the Food and Nutrition Services Department at extension 1503.

Visitors are not allowed to bring you food or beverages unless approved by your doctor, dietician or nurse.

Spiritual Care
The spiritual needs of patients and their families are important to the concept of total health care at Unity Hospital. A Hospital chaplain is available to all patients and visitors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Meetings with the chaplain may be arranged by calling (585) 723-7969. Your clergy or a member of your faith community are encouraged to visit you while you are here.

Unity Hospital's Chapel is located on the first floor, and is always open for patients and visitors. Communion is available for Catholic and Protestant patients. Arrangements for receiving communion and other sacraments can be made by contacting the Spiritual Care department at the numbers above.

Language Assistance Program 
For Patients with Limited English Proficiency and/or Hearing Loss

Language barriers can make it difficult for patients to obtain information about medical services, make appointments and navigate the health care system. Unity Health System’s Language Assistance Program is in place to ensure appropriate access to care and services for patients who require communication assistance.

Facts to Know:

  • If qualified interpreters are not available on-staff to assist patients with their language needs, Unity Health System will connect the patient with a professional phone interpreter to assist with communication (at no charge to the patient).
  • If required, Unity Health System will coordinate the services of a professional interpreter for in-person interpretation (at no charge to the patient).
  • Special telephones (TTYs) or portable assistive listening devices are available at Unity Hospital for use by patients with hearing loss. If necessary, patients may use a "replay service" provided by the telephone company for communication assistance (at no charge to the patient).
  • All Unity phones have a volume adjustment feature.
  • All Unity televisions are equipped with closed-captioning (not all programs are closed-captioned).

If any patient requires language assistance, ask the nurse manager on your unit. They will happy to assist!

YOUR MEDICAL TEAM

Many different people will be involved in your care while you are a patient at Unity Hospital.

DOCTORS
You may see a number of different types of doctors while you are here. They will all work together to provide proper diagnosis and treatment.

  • Attending Physician
    Your care in the hospital is under the leadership of one doctor - the attending physician - who you will see every day during your stay. This may be your own Primary Care Doctor, one of his/her partners or a specialist - such as a Cardiologist, Surgeon, or Hospitalist. 
     
  • Hospitalist
    A Hospitalist is a doctor who specializes in the care of hospitalized patients. Your Primary Care Doctor may have chosen to have a Hospitalist direct your care and act as your Attending Physician while you are at Unity Hospital.
     
  • Intensivist
    Intensivists are specially-trained physicians responsible for the care of critically ill patients.
     
  • Physician Assistant (P.A.) – (Medical or Surgical)
    P.A.s are licensed health professionals who practice medicine with physician supervision. A P.A. may work with your Attending Physician in your diagnosis, treatment and discharge planning. P.A.s are always present on-site to respond to any urgent medical attention you may need at any time of the day or night.
     
  • Medical Residents – Medical or Surgical
    A Resident is a physician who has graduated from medical school, and is now in the final phase of specialty training. The activities of any Resident involved in your care are under the supervision of our teaching faculty and your Attending Physician. Unity Hospital is proud to participate in the training of tomorrow's doctors.

NURSES
Nurses are responsible for treating patients, educating patients about various medical conditions and providing advice and emotional support. Nurses assess and record patients’ medical histories and symptoms, help perform diagnostic tests and analyze results, operate medical machinery, administer treatment and medications and help with patient follow-up and rehabilitation.

  • Care Facilitator
    One Registered Nurse on your floor is your Care Facilitator, who works with you and all members of the medical team to make sure the services and tests your physician orders take place in a timely manner.
     
  • Nurse Manager/Clinical Coordinator
    The Nurse Manager/Clinical Coordinator is a Registered Nurse who oversees the care of all patients on each unit. If you have any questions or concerns related to your care, please ask to see the Nurse Manager/Clinical Coordinator.
     
  • Vascular Access Team
    These specially trained nurses may be involved in your care to evaluate your intravenous needs and to make sure you have the most appropriate I.V. line for your care. These lines include traditional I.V. catheters, as well as a variety of long term lines that may enable you to finish your treatments in the comfort of your own home.
     
  • Care Assistants
    These experienced individuals assist patients with bathing, eating, walking and dressing.

OTHER MEMBERS OF THE MEDICAL TEAM
Social Worker
Social Work Services play an important part of your hospital care. A social worker or discharge planner is assigned to each floor.

Our Social Work Services staff will assist you in planning your discharge from the Hospital. Your social worker or discharge planner will help you find services you may need after you leave the Hospital (e.g. home care). They can also help in the transition to another care facility if necessary.

Our staff is available to assist you in understanding and completing Advance Medical Directives, such as a Health Care Proxy or Living Will. Counseling services are also available to assist you in coping with your illness or related problems.

You may contact a social worker through your nurse or physician, or by calling us at extension 7160.

Phlebotomist
A phlebotomist is the person who comes and draws blood for lab tests.

Radiologic Technologists
Radiologic Technologists perform diagnostic imaging procedures (x-rays) ordered by your physician. They also assist with interventional procedures (cardiac catheterizations and other special procedures).

PREPARING TO LEAVE THE HOSPITAL

Your medical team will work with you so you may leave the Hospital as quickly as possible, but only when leaving will be more beneficial to you than continuing your stay. You can be certain when your doctor determines it's time for you to leave Unity Hospital, it is the right next step in your health care plan.

It's really not in your best health interest to stay in the Hospital longer than necessary. There are risks of getting certain infections here, that you won't be exposed to once discharged. You can begin to resume a more normal routine in a quieter and more restful place – like your home.

Your medical team starts to plan for your discharge almost as soon as you arrive. You will meet with a social worker who will help you plan for your transition from Hospital to home, or to other facilities as needed.

Our team will put in place a thorough plan for your care after you leave the Hospital. If you are going home, you will receive clear written instructions that we will review with you before you leave. If you are leaving to go to another health care facility, our team will make all the necessary arrangements for transfer and will make sure all medical information is forwarded to the new facility so you may continue your care without interruption.

BILLING AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION

After you leave the Hospital, you will receive bills related to your care here. You may receive bills from people you never met personally. This occurs because specialists may have consulted on your care or interpreted test results, even though you may not have seen them do so. Many of the bills will be covered by your health insurance.

Every bill contains a telephone number you can call to reach a member of our accounting staff. A representative will be happy to review all of the charges with you.


PATIENT EDUCATION MATERIALS


Pulmonary Post


What to Expect During A COPD Hospitalization
Managing Symptoms at Home

Heart Headlines

What to Expect During A Congestive Heart Failure Hospitalization
Managing Symptoms at Home

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. Who decides when I am ready to leave the Hospital? Could I be sent home before I am ready?
A. You can be certain that we won't let you leave the Hospital until we know it is safe for you to do so. Your Attending Physician and the rest of your medical team will work together with you to decide when your condition no longer requires hospital care. It's really not in your best health interest to stay in the Hospital longer than necessary. There are risks of getting certain infections and you can continue your recovery in a quieter and more restful place like your home or another care facility.

Q. Why do different people ask me the same questions over and over?
A. Because there are so many people involved in your care, you may find you are asked the same questions over and over about your medical history, symptoms and daily activity. Each health professional needs the information for different purposes to plan your care and to double-check for allergies and to ensure your safety. We know it can be tiring to answer these questions again and again, please bear with us as we make absolutely certain you are receiving the right care for your needs.

Q. Is Unity a teaching Hospital? Does this mean that students will be involved in my care?
A. You will meet health care providers in training during your stay. We are proud to be a teaching affiliate of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Medical Residents, under the supervision of licensed physicians, will be involved in your care. These students often have some extra time to spend with you. We believe this adds to the quality of your care, and in turn, our patients help to educate the health care providers of the future.

For more information about Unity Health System’s programs and services, office locations or providers, call Unity Contact Center at  (585) 368-3000. A Registered Nurse is available to help you, free of charge.