Managing Your Care

Managing Your Health Care

Research shows that patients who understand their medical condition and how to care for themselves following discharge from the hospital have better outcomes. As a healthcare team, we are committed to ensuring that you understand how to manage your health as you transition to the next phase of healing.

As such, we seek to support your preferences for learning as they relate to your condition and specific healthcare needs, including medications, follow-up, and what signs and symptoms to watch for after you leave the hospital. We encourage you to ask questions and request written or electronic resources regarding your health condition, medicines, or care following discharge.

Prior to your discharge, we want to ensure that you understand the following:

  • Why you were in the hospital
  • Your progress toward your healing goals
  • Including diet and activities.
  • The purpose and potential side effects of your medicines
  • The answers to any questions you or your family have
  • Your plan of care following discharge
  • What help you will need after leaving the hospital
  • What symptoms to look for in the days and weeks following discharge
  • Follow up appointments and/or testing

If you have questions, please ask your care team before discharge.

Your Health Care Team

Within McLaren, there are many departments that work together to meet your health care needs. Most patients are familiar with the responsibilities of physicians and nurses, but there are many other employees who contribute toward your care. The following descriptions identify the responsibilities of each participant in your care.

Your physician will direct the care provided to you. You may also see a consulting specialist during your stay. Not all physicians in the community care for their patients when they are in the hospital. If your regular physician does not provide hospital care, you may be admitted to a Hospitalist service.

Consulting Specialists

Advance Directives

If you are at least 18 years old and able to handle your own affairs, you can establish a durable power of attorney for healthcare. This is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone (patient advocate) to make healthcare, custody and medical treatment decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make such decisions on your own.
Your physician will honor decisions made by your patient advocate on your behalf if your physician deems such decisions to be medically appropriate. You can revoke the appointment of a patient advocate at any time, and your patient advocate cannot make any decision to withhold or withdraw medical treatment that would result in your death unless you have expressed, in a clear and convincing manner, that your patient advocate has authority to make such a decision. 
You are not required to have a durable power of attorney for healthcare or any other form of advance medical directive as a condition of providing medical treatment. Hospital employees cannot serve as witnesses when completing these forms.

Hospitalists

The Hospitalist is a board-certified physician who specializes in the care of hospitalized patients. They direct care throughout your hospital stay. The Hospitalist checks on the patient daily, oversees the in-hospital care, and coordinates care with the patient's primary care physician and other physician specialists.
We receive many compliments from our patients related to the care they receive from our Hospitalists. It is important to note that our Hospitalists only provide care at the hospital. They do not have private office practices. Our Hospitalist physicians will provide a full report to your regular physician of the care you have received during your stay. When you see your primary care doctor after your discharge, you can be sure that they have the most up-to-date information regarding your health.

Case Coordination

We review treatment plans to ensure care is being delivered in the most appropriate setting, and approval for care is obtained when required by third-party payors (insurance companies, and government programs like Medicare and Medicaid). Your care manager will coordinate care during your stay, provide referrals and assistance in arranging for home care services, durable medical equipment, and community services as needed.
Observation patients are outpatients who need additional testing in order to make clinical decisions regarding admission vs. outpatient treatment. This decision-making period is generally 24 hours. Staff will give specific information regarding your care if you are in observation status.

Social Work

Social workers are available for counseling, assistance with senior services, arranging financial assistance, and placement in rehabilitation and assisted care facilities. Social Work can provide you with information about advance directives and durable power of attorney for health care. An advance directive allows you to express your wishes about the care you want to receive if you are unable to state your wishes. The durable power of attorney for health care allows you to appoint a family member, friend, or another individual to be your advocate, and see that your wishes are carried out if you are unable to state your treatment wishes. 

Bioethics Committee

There are times when difficult choices must be made about the course of treatment. If you or a family member have questions about ethical decisions and treatment, you may request an ethics consult/

Other Health Care Team Members:

Dietitians

The medial center maintains a staff of registered dietitians to meet your dietary needs during your stay. They can assist in arranging for special diets, and for instruction in doctor-prescribed dietary counseling.

Engineering

Employees in the engineering department maintain plumbing, lighting, heating, air conditioning, and other equipment in your room and throughout the medical center. If you need someone from Engineering to correct a problem with your heat, lighting or air conditioning, let your nurse know, or call 16778.

Environmental Services

Environmental Services includes a housekeeping division and a laundry division. Housekeeping staff clean patient rooms and all other areas of the medical center. Laundry staff launders all medical center linen, including bedding, towels and patient gowns.

Laboratory

Laboratory personnel may visit your room to collect blood samples for analysis, as requested by your physician.

The Nursing Staff

Twenty-four hour nursing care is provided by a team of professional registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and nurse assistants. A nurse manager is responsible for directing and coordinating nursing care on each unit. Please contact your nurse or the nurse manager if you have questions and concerns.

Physicians

The physician who admits you is responsible for directing your care while you are a patient in the medical center. In addition to your primary physician, you may be visited by one or more consulting specialists to discuss your medical condition and treatment options.

Radiology Services

Radiologic Technologists may visit your room to use portable X-ray equipment, or you may be taken to the Radiology Department for tests, such as CT scans, arteriograms, ultrasound or nuclear medicine procedures.

Rehabilitation Services

Licensed physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, audiologists, or therapeutic recreation specialists may assist you with rehabilitation exercises.

A physical therapist assesses your functional mobility and physical status, then designs and implements exercise treatment and walking programs. An occupational therapist may help you become more independent with activities of daily living, such as dressing, toileting, and home safety.

Respiratory Care Services

Licensed respiratory therapists assess your respiratory status and provide breathing treatments and demonstrate exercises to improve your respiratory function.

Transport Staff

Escort personnel helps transport patients by wheelchair and stretcher to treatment areas in the medical center, such as physical therapy or radiology. The nursing staff will call for transportation as needed.

Volunteers

Volunteers from the community provide many services to make your stay more comfortable.  They assist patients and family members in waiting rooms, the gift shop, cafe, and with escort service for preadmission testing and other services.  Some volunteers visit patients, offering assistance as needed. Others provide clerical services to assist departments. McLaren volunteers can be identified by their nametags.