Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Explanation of Papers Signed by Patients

As Behavioral Health Workers (a.k.a. Mental Health Workers), when a patient is being admitted to the psych unit, we are tasked to have the patients sign admission papers. The forms listed below are those papers and I’m going to provide a brief explanation of what the patients are signing in the simplest language I can that they can understand, which may not necessarily be what is exactly written on the forms. This is how I’ve simplified the process:
Conditions of Service – This is basically a consent for treatment form. I tell the patients to sign this paper so the doctors and nurses can treat them while they are in the hospital. The form itself is more elaborate and is in very fine print.
Message to Medicare – This form explains Medicare rights for patients who have Medicare, however most of our patients don’t. So to simplify it, I just tell the patient that we are going to check if they are covered with Medicare insurance.
Patient’s Rights – This is self explanatory. It lists the rights of patients in a psychiatric unit.
Privacy Notification – What I tell patients about this form is that – we respect their privacy and will not release information unless they give permission to do so. It also asks if the patient has and Advance Medical Directive.
Consent to Photograph – We ask the patients’ permission to take their photograph so they can be identified correctly by the staff (in addition to their ID wristbands).
Release of Siderails – In case a patient does not want to use the siderails on the bed, they have to sign this form, but since most of the beds on the psych unit don’t have siderails, I just tell them to please be careful to not fall off the bed.
Notification of Patient Admission – Contrary to what some workers tell the patient, this form is not to get the name of the person to contact in case of an emergency. This form asks whom the patient wants us to notify of his or her admission to the hospital. It also asks if they want to notify anyone in case he or she is placed in locked seclusion or restraints. The third part of this form is in case the patient doesn’t want anyone notified. And the fourth part is a list of people the patient gives consent for us to release information to about their well being.
Hospital Ownership Disclosure – This form is fairly recent and it just to disclose that our hospital is owned by a group of doctors. I’m surmising that this is required by law.
Property List – This form is where we list all of the belongings the patient brings into the hospital. Some workers also list the items being sent to the safe with the security guard. However, the security guard also makes a list of those items that we don’t keep on the unit, so it’s a waste of time to double list them. In fact, our previous department manager said so and most people have forgotten that.
Well, that’s about it. I don’t know how else I could simplify the explanations and in my experience this hastens the admission process which the patient has too many papers to sign. Heck, in the emergency room, they only have to sign 2 or 3 forms!

Public comments below, private comments: E-mail Me!

No comments: