or. 410.476.3771, ext. 5828
Welcome to The Patient/Family Advocate Program
Today's patient can be overwhelmed by when and how to obtain medical services, financial issues, and what rights they have as a patient. Shore Health System's hospitals and affiliates have a Patient/Family Advocacy Program that assists patients with organizing their needs by facilitating the use of system and community resources.
The Patient/Family Advocate will help patients and families be informed to make decisions that are appropriate to them. The Advocate helps patients obtain medical services, deal with financial issues, understand their rights and helps with transfers to another healthcare facility.
Patients may access the Shore Health System Patient/Family Advocate several ways. Call extension 410/822-1000, extension 5828, or 410/476-3771, extension 5828. All customers (patients, families, the community, employees and physicians) can speak personally with the Patient/Family Advocate. For verbal concerns, an initial response by call or interview will be made within 24 hours. Written concerns will be addressed within 10 days of receipt.
Advocating for Patients in a Changing Healthcare Environment By Ruth Sullivan, Patient/Family Advocate
Change has been the watchword these past few years at Shore Health System. The two major hospitals, once competitors, now are allies in a single affiliation. Home health care, once a scattered mission of local healthcare agencies, is now a single effort with vastly wider resources and a broader array of services. We have, to put it bluntly, rebuilt this area's entire health care infrastructure.
The result is focused, responsive and sound health care infrastructures - hundreds of people, your neighbors, working together to keep a community well. We have crossed many bridges in this journey to a vibrant health care system for the Mid-Shore. Some of the changes have been subject to headlines; others have been more subdued. All of these changes have been focused toward a seamless continuum of care for our community.
We are in the midst of one of those subtle changes now, a quiet yet crucial step in our evolution which will ensure our success for generations to come. And though it is a slow, unobtrusive switch, it is one our patients will probably appreciate most, above all others. We can sum it up in two words: better service. It is what customers want. It is what customers deserve. At Shore Health System, our objective is to meet those needs and exceed those expectations, thus "service excellence."
Shore Health System has some of the most considerate and empathetic people in the hospital business. They know how to treat you with the respect and kindness you deserve. They are neighbor helping neighbor. We strive to provide "Exceptional Care, Every Day". Our mission is to excel in quality care and patient satisfaction. We value every interaction with another as an opportunity to care. These values are reviewed annually with every Shore Health System employee. If care committments are not met, an opportunity for improvement is identified.
Service speaks to the human element of health care. As part of our service, we poll patients about their stays. We calculate waiting times in the emergency room, and we track frequency of return visits for outpatient care. We evaluate how we perform surgery, change the linens, and check a blood pressure. We know from our high marks on accreditation surveys that we are good at making people well in an efficient and highly competent manner - and we know we will improve even on the good work we are now doing. By identifying trends, we can always find opportunities to improve our service. With your help, we will be continually evaluating our care by one-on-one interviews, phone calls, letters and by patient satisfaction surveys.
To help all of us at Shore Health System direct our focus toward service excellence, a Patient/Family Advocacy Program has begun at Shore Health System's hospitals and affiliates. As the patient/family advocate and as an experienced Registered Nurse, I am available to help patients and their families deal with the many issues of modern healthcare. Today's patient can be overwhelmed by when and how to obtain medical services, insurance reimbursement issues, and what rights they have as a patient. Thus, there can be a feeling of powerlessness. An advocacy program assists a patient with organizing his needs and it facilitates the use of system and community resources. I can be reached at 410-822-1000, ext. 5828.
With your help, we already identified improvements to our patient phone service, which is now free to patients for local calls. All patient rooms now have phones at the bedside indicating the extension number, which families may now phone directly, and all public phones now have phone books for our families to use. TV service is now also free to our patients. We are also currently identifying ways we can provide easier access to our facilities, including providing parking for handicapped patients and visitors. Maps of our services and directions to other hospitals and facilities are now available at the Information Desks.
With this directive we will begin to see the next step in Shore Health System's evolution. As a community organization, we take pride in our neighbor's lives. We love treating grandparents who were born here, and helping old friends as well as new ones through anxious times. Good community hospitals find their strength in the bonds they form with their communities. No matter what bureaucratic barriers our organization encounters in the outside world of government, insurance and regulation, we never want paperwork or bureaucracy to intrude on our ability to be a safe, warm, welcoming place.