While you are here in the hospital, we want your stay to be as safe, pleasant and comfortable as possible. When you are admitted, you will be given a Patient Handbook which provides useful information. You can find some of that information on this website.
Watch our Welcome Video
Learn More About Your Stay
- Room Assignment
- Patient ID
- Advance Directive
- Healthcare Team
- Partners in Care (Speak Up!)
- Infection Control
- Surgical Safety
- Safe Patient Handling
- Personal Items
- Pain Management
- Pressure Ulcers
- Rapid Response Team
- Receiving and Donating Blood
- Spiritual Support
- Telephone Service
- Internet Access
- Television Service
- Newspapers and Gift Cart
- Special Communication Needs
- Financial Assistance Policy
- Leaving the Hospital
- Filling Your Prescriptions
- Follow-Up Medical Care
- Patient Care Advisory Committee
- Case Management
- Home Care
- Patient Satisfaction Survey
- Expressing Gratitude
If you are coming into the hospital as a direct admission, our Admitting office is now located on the first floor of the new Patient Care Tower.
All of our patient rooms are private. This offers our patients an increased level of privacy, comfort and safety. Your room assignment has been determined by the type of medical care you require, your doctor’s orders and the availability of rooms. At times during your stay, it may become necessary for you to transfer to another floor or room in order to receive the level of care and attention you need.
Upon arrival, you will be given your patient identification bracelet. You may receive a red allergy or other color-coded bracelets. Your bracelets provide us with important information about your specific care needs. Please wear your bracelets during your entire stay.
In the event that you become unable to voice your treatment wishes an advance directive allows you to have made known ahead of time your decisions about your treatment. If you do not have one and you are no longer able to make medical decisions for yourself, a surrogate, such as your closest relative, will be appointed. If a relative is not available, the court my appoint a guardian to make your medical decisions.
When you come to the hospital, you will be asked for a copy of your Advance Directive. If you need to make one, forms are available forms are available through the Case Management office, or download an Advance Directive online. Ask you doctor, nurse or social worker for help, or call 443-777-7547.
During your stay at MedStar Franklin Square, you will have a team of healthcare professionals who are committed to providing you with the highest quality care. Your team may include physicians, hospitalists, physician assistants, nurses and case managers as well as lab and radiology technologists, technicians, therapists, patient transporters, social workers and dieticians. Your nurse and caregivers will write their names on the white board in your room, along with areas of focus that you feel are most important to you in your care. If there is anything any of us can do to make you more comfortable, please let your nurse know.
As a member of your healthcare team, you play an important role in your care. Research shows that patients who take part in decisions about their health care are more likely to have better outcomes. The "Speak Up" program urges patients to get involved in their care by following these tips:
To help prevent health care errors, patients are urged to "Speak Up."
- Speak up if you have questions or concerns, and if you don't understand, ask again. You have a right to know.
- Pay attention to the care you are receiving. Make sure you're getting the right treatments and medications by the right health care professionals. Don't assume anything.
- Educated yourself about your diagnosis, the medical tests you are undergoing, and your treatment plan.
- Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate.
- Know what medications you take and why you take them. Medication errors are the most common health care mistakes. Ask a nurse about your medications before taking them.
- Use a hospital that has undergone a rigorous on-site evaluation against established, state-of-the-art quality and safety standards, such as that provided by the Joint Commission. (MedStar Franklin Square is fully accredited by the Joint Commission.
- Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of the health care team.
To protect our patients and visitors from infection, we follow the recommended policies of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All staff members use precautions which are designed to prevent the spread of infections. One of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs is proper hand hygiene. Make sure those caring for you and your visitors have washed their hands. Your doctor or nurse will gladly answer questions about isolation and other precautions. Don’t be afraid to ask any staff member if they’ve washed their hands.
Isolation precautions are used for patients carrying certain infectious diseases. If you are in isolation, you may be restricted to your room and your visitors will need to check with the nursing station for instructions before entering your room. They may need to wear required proper attire such as isolation gowns, gloves and masks, before they enter your room. For everyone’s safety, we request that all patients refrain from visiting the cafeteria, which is open to the public, during their stay.
Because your safety is very important to us, we take several measures to prevent complications during surgery. This includes but is not limited to asking questions for proper identification, preventing surgical infections and marking procedure sites.
To reduce injuries to hospital staff as well as patients, we use a Safe Patient Handling/ Minimal Lift Program. The program uses special lift equipment and tools to decrease manual lifting, transferring and repositioning of patients.
If any medical tests are required during your stay, we may ask you not to eat or drink during certain periods of time to ensure that the test results are accurate. We will give you detailed instructions before and during your tests. Please speak up at any time if you have questions or concerns. Ask why a test is needed, what the test might include and ask about when the results may be available to your doctor. If you are having surgery, make sure you and your doctor are clear about what is to be done, and ask your doctor to mark the site on which your surgery is to be performed.
MedStar Franklin Square is not responsible for any valuables or personal belongings brought into the hospital. We recommend sending these items home with a friend or family member. For your convenience, some patient rooms have personal safes in the closet. To use, see the instructions or ask a nurse for assistance. Items such as dentures, eyeglasses, hearing aids and prosthetics require special care. Be sure to store them in protective containers in a safe place such as inside the bedside table. Never wrap dentures or eyeglasses in a napkin or tissue or leave them on your meal tray or in the bed.
Good nutrition is an important part of your healing process. Special diets have been ordered for you as part of your plan of care to help you recover quickly. Please don’t share your food with others; family and friends are welcome to visit the cafeteria. Your Catering Associate is your link to Food & Nutrition Services throughout your stay, and will provide you with menu selections offering several options for each meal per the diet ordered by your doctor as part of your care. If the available menu does not appeal to you, please ask your Catering Associate for additional options. If you have any questions about nutrition, diet restrictions or any other food concern or request, please call 443-777-2785 or 7721.
To provide you the most safe and effective care, it is important that we have a list of all medicines you are taking, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medicine, herbs and vitamins. A doctor or nurse will collect this information from you at admission. If you brought medications with you, please show them to your admission nurses and then send them home with a family member or friend. Your doctor will make arrangements for you to receive the medications you need while you are here. We encourage you to ask your caregivers what medicine they are giving you and why. A Med Card is available on the back page of this booklet to help you keep track of your medications.
We believe that our patients have a right to care that promotes comfort and well-being, and that pain must be managed using a “holistic” (or complete) approach to patient care. This means we will provide care and/or resources to address physical and emotional pain as well as spiritual distress. There are many ways to treat pain in addition to medications. Your doctor and nurse—and as needed, a pain management coordinator or pain specialist—will work together with you to determine the most effective plan to manage your pain.
Your nurse will ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 1-10 before and after each pain management intervention/ medication. This will assist us in better managing the effectiveness of your treatment. You can help us promote your comfort and well-being by describing the pain you experience and how your pain is responding to medications and treatments.
A pressure ulcer is an area on your skin that breaks down when you stay in one position for too long. The constant pressure creates a wound, also known as a bed sore. While in the hospital, your caregiver will provide special care each day to prevent pressure ulcers.
The Rapid Response Team at MedStar Franklin Square is made up of on call around-the-clock critical care specialists, who can arrive at the bedside in minutes should a non-critical patient’s condition start to decline. By bringing specialized care immediately to the patient, the team can often prevent a medical emergency, such as a heart attack, before it happens. At MedStar Franklin Square, we ask that family members and friends join us in this initiative. If you notice a loved one’s health deteriorating, notify the nurse who can then activate the Rapid Response Team if necessary.
A blood transfusion may be needed to replace blood lost during surgery or for internal bleeding. Transfusions may also be used during the treatment of severe anemias, leukemia, some forms of cancer and kidney failure. The hospital’s blood supply is obtained from volunteer donors who are extensively screened and tested for infectious diseases to minimize transfusion risks. All testing meets the requirements of the Food and Drug Administration and the American Association of Blood Banks.
Patients are billed for fees that cover the testing, handling and storage of blood and blood components. If for religious or personal reasons you choose not to receive blood transfusions, other options are available through our Bloodless Medicine and Surgery program. By using state-of-the-art medical technology, it is possible to minimize blood loss and maximize the oxygen-carrying capabilities of blood during many medical and surgical procedures. For more information on the Bloodless Medicine and Surgery program, call 443-777-8280.
The Department of Pastoral Care provides religious and spiritual support for patients and families. Your own clergyperson is an important member of the healthcare team and is welcome to visit you at any time. The Pastoral Care Department has an office on the first floor across from the cafeteria. The Chaplains in the Pastoral Care Department can provide a listening ear, prayer support, print and other spiritual resources. Chaplains can help connect patients to what is meaningful for them. Let your nurse know if you would like a Chaplain to visit or call 443-777-7827.
- Relaxation/Meditation TV Channel: Channel 15 - Pastoral Care TV provides music and beautiful images designed to soothe the spirit and encourage relaxation. This service is provided free 24 hours-a-day.
- Chapel: The Chapel is open 24 hours and offers a quiet, sacred space welcoming people of all faiths or no faith. An anonymous prayer journal is provided to receive prayer requests. The Chapel is located on the first floor off of the tower lobby. Just outside the chapel is a meditation garden (closed at night)
- Roman Catholic Eucharistic Ministry/ Mass: Mass is celebrated at 11:00 a.m. in the Chapel, Monday through Wednesday. Mass is televised live on Channel 15 – Pastoral Care TV. Eucharistic Ministers carry Holy Communion to Catholic patients Monday through Saturday. Please let your nurse know if you would like Communion.
- Protestant Worship: A Protestant Worship service is provided in the Chapel at 11:00 a.m. on Fridays. The service is televised on Channel 15. The New Day Baptist Church provides worship in the Kotzen Auditorium on Sundays at 11:00 a.m. Patients and visitors are welcome.
Bedside telephones are now provided free of charge in patient rooms. Family and friends may call you from outside the hospital by dialing the hospital’s “443” area code followed by “777” and your extension number. Please note, your room number and telephone extension are not the same. You will be given an extension upon admission.
If you do not want us to give callers your extension number or want to restrict calls between certain hours, please call the Information Desk at 443-777-7344. Cell phone usage may be restricted in some areas of the hospital. Please check before using your cell phone.
For your convenience, we offer free wireless Internet access to our patients and visitors. Ask your nurse for an Internet voucher and access code.
Television service is available at no cost to our patients. We are pleased to offer the following special programming:
- Channel 3: Welcome Message
- Channel 15: Pastoral Care (see “Spiritual Support” on page 7)
- Channel 16: Newborn Channel (information for new parents, from child care basics to bathing and breastfeeding)
- Channel 53: Patient Education (a variety of health information)
On weekdays, our Auxiliary gift cart circulates on patient floors from which you can purchase newspapers, magazines, toiletries, snacks, small gifts, crafts and other items. These items may also be purchased from our Auxiliary Gift Shop, located in the lobby of the Visitor’s Entrance.
- For the Hearing Impaired: A Teletypewriter (TTY) machine is available for patients with hearing impairments. If you did not request a machine upon admission, ask your nurse to make arrangements for one to be brought to you. Amplified telephones, interpreters and other special arrangements for the hearing impaired are also available upon request.
- For the Sight Impaired: Reading and writing assistance is provided as needed.
- For Non-English Speakers: A language telephone line is available at no charge. Please ask your nurse to make arrangements.
Your physician determines when you are to be discharged. Advance notice will be given when possible, so you have time to make arrangements for a ride home. Free parking is available in the lot located across from the Visitor’s Entrance for persons picking you up.
Be sure you read your prescription and ask how to take the medicine, how much, how often and for how long. If you have a prescription to fill before you go home, our Outpatient Pharmacy, located on the ground floor of the tower near the bamboo garden, is available. The hours are weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed on holidays). The pharmacy accepts cash, credit cards and several prescription plans.
Almost all hospitalizations or Emergency Department visits require follow up care with a physician. You should schedule an appointment with your doctor according to the time suggested on the discharge summary form given to you when you leave the hospital. If you do not have a regular physician, please call 443-777-7900.
At times, difficult questions arise about a patient’s care. We strongly encourage you, your family and your physician to work together on these issues. If you need assistance in reaching an agreement, the Patient Care Advisory Committee is available to assist you. This committee consists of physicians, nurses and other staff members who can offer advice and guidance. They can be reached by notifying your nurse or calling 443-777-7649.
The Case Management Department, which includes Nurse Case Managers and Social Workers, provide care coordination and discharge planning. They work closely with your doctor, nurse and your family and friends to help make your hospitalization and discharge a smooth process. They are here to advise you on your post-discharge care options such as in-home care, physical therapy, Meals on Wheels, durable medical equipment and assisted living care.
If you need to be transferred to a nursing home or rehabilitation facility, they will help you find an appropriate facility. They can also arrange for an ambulance or a wheelchair van to transport you. The Case Management Department can be reached by calling 443-777-7547.
Patients being discharged may be eligible for skilled care at home. This could include nine nursing and/or rehabilitative therapy that is important to you recovery. Should your doctor prescribe home care, the MedStar Visiting Nurse Association has nurses here at the hospital to assist the case managers in coordinating your care at home. You can contact the Home Care Office at 443-777-7098.
MedStar Franklin Square is very committed to providing the highest quality of medical care and the best customer service. We strive to improve and ask you to help us. Following your discharge, you may receive a telephone call from Discovery Research asking about your experience. We appreciate your comments and act upon your feedback to continually improve our success.
As a not-for-profit hospital, MedStar Franklin Square depends on philanthropy to fulfill its mission and guarantee quality care to all of our patients. We use donations to expand programs, improve our facilities, conduct research, support care providers and to help patients who are under or uninsured. Gifts to the hospital can be designated to support a particular area of interest or they can be directed to the area of greatest need. If you would like to learn more about how you can express your gratitude for the care you received, please contact the Foundation Office by calling 443-777-7980 or visit Ways to Give.
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