Letter from Michael Sachtleben, President
Welcome to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.
MedStar Georgetown associates – whether we are direct patient caregivers or staff who support our patient care mission – recognize not only the importance of expert care, but also compassionate care. We are committed to treating patients, families, and visitors with respect. And, we pledge to do everything we can to provide you with the greatest comfort possible while you are here.
You may have read that we are a Magnet® hospital – the first one in Washington, D.C. This signifies that our nursing department has been recognized as among the top four percent in the nation. This translates directly into the best possible care and outcomes for you – our patients.
At MedStar Georgetown, we consider our patients to be part of the healthcare team. You are the most important member of this team, and we encourage you to ask your doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers questions about your care. To help ensure that your needs are met during your stay at MedStar Georgetown, this handbook is designed to inform you of the many services available to you.
After you return home, you may receive a telephone call or mail survey from Discovery Research asking you to share your experiences at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. We are very proud of our physicians and staff and rely on your comments to recognize deserving staff members. Your feedback is very important to us, so please take the time to talk to the surveyor or mail your completed survey.
Thank you for choosing to receive care at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.
With warmest wishes for your quick recovery,
Mission, vision and values statement
- To provide physical and spiritual comfort to our patients and families in the Jesuit tradition of cura personalis, caring for the whole person
- To be the trusted leader in caring for people and advancing health
- We strive to anticipate and meet the needs of our patients, physicians, and co-workers
- We strive to deliver the best to every patient every day. The patient is the first priority in everything we do
- We communicate openly and honestly, build trust, and conduct ourselves according to the highest ethical standards
- We treat each individual, those we serve and those with whom we work, with the highest professionalism and dignity
- We embrace change and work to improve all we do in a fiscally responsible manner
- System effectiveness is built on the collective strength and cultural diversity of everyone, working with open communication and mutual respect.
About MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital was founded in 1898 to promote health through education, research, and patient care. This mission reflects Georgetown’s Catholic, Jesuit identity, and heritage. With a 609-licensed-bed hospital and 1,300 physicians, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s clinical services represent one of the largest healthcare delivery networks in the area.
MedStar Georgetown is consistently ranked among the best in the nation. The hospital first received Stroke Certification from The Joint Commission in 2006. The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only facility in the Washington, D.C., area designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as a Comprehensive Cancer Center.
MedStar Georgetown’s transplant program is the only program in the nation’s capital and one of only a handful of Medicare-approved centers nationwide performing liver, kidney, intestinal, pancreas, and multi-organ transplants. The MedStar Georgetown Department of Neuroscience is the first on the East Coast to offer the CyberKnife®, the latest in stereotactic radiosurgery, to treat tumors and lesions of the brain, neck, spine, and other organs.
Settling in for your stay at MedStar Georgetown
The registration process is designed to validate past information or make changes. By checking your address, birth date, and other relevant data each time you register, we are making sure that your medical records and bills are handled smoothly and that your safety and identity are protected through accurate record identification.
The Cashier’s Office is located on the first floor of the Main Building across the hall from the concierge’s desk and is open Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Advance directives are instructions written by you, which state your choices for medical treatment or name someone to make such choices for you should you become unable to make decisions yourself. Advance Directives enable you to limit or extend the use of medical or life-sustaining procedures. MedStar Georgetown University Hospital offers a booklet called "Making Decisions about your Medical Care" that can help your family and physicians understand your desires with regard to end-of-life decisions. Each patient has the right to have an Advance Directive (e.g., living will) concerning treatment decisions and/or designating a surrogate decision-maker with the expectation that the hospital will honor the intent of that directive to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy. You have the right to timely information about hospital policy or District law that may limit the ability to implement fully a legally valid advance directive. It is imperative that you discuss your Advance Directive with your physician prior to hospitalization, during the hospital stay and after discharge. If you would like to fill out an Advance Directive, please call Pastoral Care at ext. 4-3030 or Patient Access at ext. 4-3180. This document is also available in Spanish.
If you have a concern about your insurance coverage, please discuss this with your Case Manager.
Be sure to wear your hospital identification bracelet during your entire visit. If you receive a colored safety bracelet, keep that on as well. Colors used at Georgetown include red for allergies, yellow for patient at risk to fall, grey for obstructive sleep apnea, and pink for restricted extremity for venipuncture or blood pressure.
We are committed to ensuring that you are as comfortable as possible during your stay with us. Your room assignment depends upon the type of care you require. Some services are restricted to specific locations to ensure proper care is being provided. We will make every effort to provide the type of accommodations that you request. Please be aware that we have a limited number of private rooms and they are assigned based on medical necessity and then on a first-come first-served basis, as they are available. Upon admission, the nursing staff will acquaint you with various features in your room, including your bed's electrical controls and the nurse-call system. Here are a few suggestions to make your stay as safe as possible:
Keep the top two side rails raised while in the bed to avoid rolling out while asleep or under sedation
Store eyeglasses and dentures in the drawer of your bedside table (and be sure to place dentures in the special cup for that purpose-do not wrap them in tissues)
Do not use electric appliances such as blow dryers and shavers (battery-operated razors are acceptable)
Inform the nurse of any medications you brought from home and use them only if your doctor writes the order to do so and under nursing supervision
To call your nurse, a call button is attached to your pillow or bed linen. There is also a call button in each bathroom and shower. When you press the button, the nursing station is alerted that you need assistance and a light flashes above your door. A staff member will respond to your signal as soon as possible.
Our Housekeeping staff seeks to provide you with very good care by keeping your room and the nursing unit clean and tidy. Your housekeeper completely cleans and disinfects your room before you are admitted into the room. Housekeepers clean patient rooms daily, between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. They will remove trash from your room at least once daily, as well as wipe off table surfaces, chairs, and heating units and dust the television and the floor. Your bathroom will also be cleaned. Any spills or other housekeeping issues should be reported to your nurse whenever they happen, so housekeeping can be notified to come to your room.
We conduct surveys during your stay to learn about your current experience here at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. You may also receive a more general patient survey in the mail after you are discharged. Please take a few minutes to complete and return the questionnaire. Your comments and suggestions will be confidentially shared with our managers and staff. Feedback from our patients provides us with valuable information that helps us improve our housekeeping services as well as recognize those employees who go above and beyond.
Your bedding will be changed on a regular basis and as necessary by a member of your clinical care team. Remember that it is very easy to misplace small personal items in your bedding. Please be careful to secure such belongings in your plastic bag or bedside table, or send them home with family or friends for safekeeping.
The International Services department provides foreign language interpreters at no charge for patients and their families. Patient Care Coordinators from this department also assist with any special needs. Interpreter Services provides on-site interpreters and access to Language Line® Dual Handset Telephones. These special phones can be installed in patient rooms to provide direct connection to a multi-lingual medical interpreter. Call International Services ext. 4-1588, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. For assistance after hours and on weekends, please speak with your nurse.
American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters are provided as a complimentary service for deaf in- and out-patients to ensure that every aspect of care can be accurately communicated. The Patient and Physician Advocacy Department at ext. 4-3040 arranges all requests for ASL interpreters, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. For assistance after-hours and on weekends, please speak with your nurse.
Amenities provided for deaf and hard-of-hearing patients include:
TTY/TDD Phones — Call the Patient and Physician Advocacy Department at ext. 4-3040
Amplified Phone Handsets — Please ask your nurse; amplified phone handsets are located on each unit
Public TTY/TDD Phone — Available at the Concierge Desk, located in the Main Lobby, 1st Floor
Mail is delivered once daily in the afternoon. Mail received after discharge will be sent to your forwarding address. Stamped outgoing mail may be left with the nursing unit for mailing.
Medications are an important part of your treatment plan. You must tell your practitioner all medications as well as the doses you are taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, diet supplements, herbals and/or vitamins. This is very important because even the most common drugs can cause complications when taken with other medications or treatments.
Some patients find it helpful to bring in their medications so that the staff can be sure of the exact drug type and dosage you have been taking. (Your personal medications will then be sent home with your family.) It is also very important to inform your healthcare team of any allergies or adverse reactions to foods, drinks, medications or sensitivity to latex. In unusual instances, the physician may wish for you to use your medications brought from home. This can only occur when the prescriber explicitly writes a complete "patient may take own medication" order in the chart. Such drugs will be kept at the nurses' station, brought to the patient at dosage times, and returned at the time of discharge.
When a healthcare member enters your room to administer your medications, he or she will need to verify your identity by looking at your identification band and asking your name and date of birth. It is a good idea to carry a wallet-size information card (such as an index card) with vital health history including medications you are currently taking as well as notation of any allergies to medications. If you would like a copy of the medications you are taking while in the hospital, please contact your nurse who will have the list printed for you.
GUH Food and Nutrition Services Department is dedicated to providing high quality, satisfying, and nutritious meals to all patients and visitors. Excellent nutritional care is essential to your speedy recovery. Your specific diet is ordered by your physician and depends on your medical condition. Our Registered and Licensed Dietitians are available to evaluate your nutritional needs and provide nutrition counseling to individual patients. Please be sure to fill out a menu every day and give it to your nurse. If you do not receive a menu, please request one from your caregiver. We offer a seven-day menu cycle with hot and cold selections for lunch and dinner. Kosher meals are available upon request. Nourishments and snacks such as graham crackers etc. are also available, just ask your nurse.
Guest Trays are available for Breakfast, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., Lunch, 12 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., and Dinner, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Guest trays may be ordered by going to the cashier's window on 1st floor Main Building (hours of operation: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). Menu selections may be made at that time. Prepayment is required. Gourmet Dinners are available to patients (dietary restrictions allowing) and their guests and visitors. They must be pre-ordered and pre-paid by 12 p.m. Dinners are served in the patient's room between 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Please ask your nursing staff for the menu and order form. Menus are also available at the cashier's window on 1st floor Main Building and prepayment is made there.
Other Dining Options
Visitors and guests can enjoy snacks and meals from The Georgetown Cafe, The Snack Bar, The Vending Express or the Leavey Conference Center. The Georgetown Cafe is located on the ground floor of the Pasquerilla Healthcare Center (PHC). It features breakfast items, soups, hot and cold entrees, and beverages. It is open every day from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Snack Bar is located on the 2nd floor of the Concentrated Care Center (CCC). It features breakfast items, soups, pre-made sandwiches, salads, and beverages. It is open Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m., and from 12 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. It is closed Weekends and Holidays.
The Vending Express is located on the Ground Floor in the Gorman Building. A variety of hot and cold beverages, snacks and a refrigerated cold food machine with soups, sandwiches, fruit, and salads are available. It is open 24 hours per day, every day. The Leavey Conference Center* is located across the courtyard from the entrance to Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and offers several options for both cafeteria-style or restaurant meals, including a newly built full Starbucks, as well as a Cosi Restaurant featuring flatbread sandwiches and pizza and fresh salads.
Hours are as follows:
Cosi Restaurant —
Semester Hours: Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Summer Hours: Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Semester Hours: Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Summer Hours: Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Faculty Club Restaurant — Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The Food Court — Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
*Please note that hours of operation may vary during Georgetown University vacation periods and holidays.
You may use your own radio or CD player only if it is battery operated and has earphones. As these devices are very small and can be easily misplaced, please take extra care to place these devices in a secure place, such as your bedside table, when not in use. Ask your nurse to contact Volunteer Services if you are interested in reading materials or listening to books-on-tape during your stay.
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital continually holds drills and trains for all emergencies, including the unlikely scenario of fire. If you hear the fire alarm sound, please remain calm and do not leave your room. Your caregivers are well trained in fire safety procedures and will advise you in the event of an actual fire.
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is a smoke-free environment; therefore, smoking is not permitted anywhere in the hospital, garages, or satellite facilities owned or leased by the hospital. Smoking is allowed outside the hospital only in designated areas. Please check with the staff to find a designated area convenient to your location and to ask if you are permitted to leave the nursing unit unaccompanied. Tobacco products are not sold within the hospital campus. If you anticipate difficulty complying with these requirements, or would like to quit smoking, ask your doctor or nurse about educational materials for smoking cessation techniques or products and/or referral to community resources.
Patient phones: For your convenience, every bed (except in ICUs, NICU, and Mental Health Care) is equipped with a telephone. Your telephone number is noted on the large white information poster near your bed. Local calls may be made free of charge. To place a call in area code 202, dial 9, wait for a second dial tone, and then dial the desired number. To make local calls to area codes 703 or 301, dial 9, then 1, then the area code and number. To make a long-distance call, dial 9, then 0 (in some cases you must dial 00), followed by the area code and number. An operator will intercept your call to obtain your credit card or home telephone number. If Call Forwarding or Do Not Disturb features have been activated on your phone, you may cancel these features by following these instructions. Please be aware that these features can be accidentally activated, and if so, the calls will automatically forward to the Hospital operators.
To Activate CALL FORWARDING
Pick up your phone
Get a dial tone
Follow recorded instructions to forward calls to alternate number
To Cancel CALL FORWARDING
Pick up your phone
Get a dial tone
Dial # #91
Test to see if calls come to the phone
To Activate DO NOT DISTURB
Pick up your phone
Get a dial tone
To Cancel DO NOT DISTURB
Pick up your phone
Get a dial tone
Test to see if calls come to the phone
If these steps do not correct the problem, it should be reported to the Help Desk at 4-2111. As prompted, push #2 for telecommunications, and stay on the line for a technician to answer the phone.
To provide a safe patient-care environment, the use of cell phones is limited in designated patient care areas. Please obey signs. In other hospital areas, maintain a distance of at least six feet between your cellular phone and any medical equipment.
See "Deaf and Hearing-Impaired Services" Language Line® Dual Handset Telephones: See Interpreter Services (Foreign Language)
Remote control color television sets in patient rooms are available for each patient bed. The Georgetown University Chapel with sacred music is available 24 hrs/day in all patient rooms. If your TV needs repair, please ask your nurse to call Customer Service. Private televisions are not permitted in the hospital.
Listed below are the available channels
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital TV Lineup:
NOTE: Pediatrics Unit (C5-2 and C5-3) have their own cable lineup. Contact your nurse for further information.
02 MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Chapel
11 WETA (PBS)
14 Noggins Kids
15 Discovery Kids
16 PBS Kids Sprout
17 G4 Video Game TV
20 Toon Disney
21 Baby First
23 Game Show Network
35 Univision (Spanish)
36 Galavision (Spanish)
37 FOX Sports
40 FOX News
41 CNN headline
46 ABC family
48 ANIMAL PLANET
58 Travel Network
59 The Food Network
60 National Geographic
61 Telefutura (Spanish)
During your inpatient stay, you may be asked to undergo various tests. Due to the nature of certain tests, you may be asked not to eat or drink during particular time periods. For other tests, you may be asked to undergo special preparations or drink specific liquids prior to the test being performed. Some tests may even take longer than one day to complete. Following all the instructions will help to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the test results. Regardless of what tests you may have, we will fully explain each one to you and inform you of any special preparations or restrictions required.
We strongly encourage family members to take patient valuables home. When this is not possible, valuables can be secured in the hospital safe in the Protective Services Office. A nurse can arrange this for you. Please immediately inform your nurse of any possessions brought into the hospital after admission so he/she can add them to your clothing list. When not in use, your eyeglasses, hearing aids, and dentures should be safely stored in your bedside table. Please ask your nurse for a storage bag if needed. Remember that patients are responsible for valuables left in their rooms.
Visiting hours vary with patient care areas. Listed below are general visiting hours, HOWEVER, these hours may change depending on a number of variables. Please confirm with your nurse. Children under 12 years of age are not permitted in adult patient care areas.
Medical Surgical Units
Visitors are welcome from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on most general medical or surgical units. However, hours vary based on the level of care, the type of unit and physician's instructions. Ask your nurse for information about your unit. Due to the limited amount of space in the patient rooms and waiting areas, we ask that you limit your visitors to two people at a time. Please be courteous and considerate of other patients.
Intensive Care Units
Other than during situations involving patient emergencies, visiting hours for the intensive care units are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (The exception is between 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. when nurses change shift and make rounds on each patient.) Visitors are generally limited to members of the immediate family and are allowed at the discretion of the nursing staff. Flowers and plants are not permitted in intensive care units. Policy prohibits visitation overnight in patient rooms.
There are no restrictions on hours in Labor and Delivery, but the number of visitors is limited to two other than the primary support person. (husband or partner). The visiting hours for 2 North are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Small children, including siblings of the newborn, are permitted on the unit if accompanied by an adult. One primary support person is allowed to stay overnight.
In NICU, PICU, and Pediatrics, parents can visit at any time. In NICU no children under the age of 16 are permitted except siblings, and a parent must accompany all visitors. In pediatrics, arrangements may be made through the nurse for sibling visits.
Psychiatry visiting hours are as follows:
Monday-Friday, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Monday-Thursday, 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Holidays, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Family members and visitors may wait in the Surgical Waiting Room on 2nd floor, Concentrated Care Center (CCC) if you are going to be admitted to the hospital following surgery. If you are going home after your surgical procedure, family members may wait in the Pediatric Surgery Center waiting room on ground floor, CCC Building. Visitors are not permitted in the operating rooms at any time. In some circumstances, family members may visit patients in the PACU following surgery for brief periods. The Surgical Liaison will be on the 2nd floor waiting room between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. The liaison is there to answer your family's questions and provide information as it becomes available. During the hours when the liaison is not there, your family may receive information from the Operating Rooms via the waiting room telephone and the perioperative nurses.
The MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Infection Prevention and Control Program is committed to patient safety by doing everything possible to prevent the spread of infections among patients, healthcare workers, and visitors. Frequent contact is made between people who have an infection or can spread one, and people who can easily become infected. Some types of procedures can increase a patient's risk of infection. Preventing infections is important to help patients recover quickly and stay as healthy as possible.
Cleanliness is the key to infection prevention and control. The best way to prevent the spread of infection is through good hand washing with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand foam using the following simple guidelines:
Hand Wash Procedure
Wet hands with warm water
Rub together fronts/backs for 15 seconds
Rinse thoroughly & dry completely
Use paper towel to turn off water
Alcohol-based Hand Foam Procedure
Dispense 5 grams (a palmful) of hand foam into one hand
Spread thoroughly over fronts/back hands
Rub until dry
When should you wash your hands?
After using the toilet, blowing your nose, or sneezing
After handling dirty items
Before and after eating, drinking, or handling food
When your hands look dirty
Everyone should wash his/her hands before and after entering your room. There is easily accessible alcohol-based hand foam at the entrance to your room for this purpose. Feel free to ask anyone entering your room to wash their hands if you have not seen them do so.
Other ways to prevent infections include, but are not limited to:
Always use good personal hygiene
Don't share patient care items such as creams, glassware, or towels with your roommate
Take an active part in your care
If you have an illness that could be dangerous to others, don't visit the hospital while you are infectious
If you have questions about certain situations, ask a doctor or nurse
Be aware of infection possibilities and early signs of infection (coughs, fever, rashes, redness, swelling)
If you have questions, contact the Infection Control Department at ext. 4-3686 or ext. 4-3711.
Automated teller machines (ATMs) are located in the Main Building on the first floor, near the Café Espresso, and in the Pasquerilla Healthcare Center (PHC) on the ground floor by Cafe Georgetown.
The gift shop, operated by Lori's Gifts, is located in the Main Building, 1st floor, and stocks a large assortment of gifts, flowers, mylar balloons and cards as well as plush animals, personal care items, snacks and drinks, magazines, and paperback books. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can call the gift shop directly at 202-444-4181 to place an order during business hours or visit the online gift shop at any time to order items for same-day delivery.
Discounted accommodations for patients and family members are available at nearby hotels. All rates are subject to change and are based on availability. Options for hotel stays include:
- The Georgetown Hotel and Conference Center is located on the university campus across from the hospital. Reservations should be made as early in advance as possible as discounted rates are limited. Contact the hotel directly at 202-687-3200 and ask for the Georgetown patient rate
- Nearby hotels located in Washington, D.C., and Virginia also offer MedStar Georgetown University Hospital discounted rates and should be contacted directly. For a listing of hotels, visit the MedStar Georgetown website under Visitor Information and select Local Hotels
The Protective Service office operates the Lost and Found service. If you find or misplace an item, call ext. 4-2890.
USA Today is delivered Monday through Friday to our patients with their breakfasts. The exceptions are in our pediatric and intensive care units. These and other daily newspapers are available in machines in the Vending Express (Gorman Building), the Lombardi entrance, and in the CCC Building near the elevators. All are located on the ground floor.
Notary services for patients and their families are arranged through the office of Patient and Physician Advocacy at ext. 4-3040. Requests for a notary should be made in advance, and are provided by appointment between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. There is no charge for notary services to patients and families but donations for notary services provided are accepted for the Patient Sharing Fund.
Patients, Families and Visitors may park in the following areas:
Garage 1 (Enter the campus from Entrance 2 on Reservoir Road)
Lot A (Enter the campus from Entrance 1 on Reservoir Road)
Leavey Conference Center Garage (Enter the campus from Entrance 1 on Reservoir Road)
We are pleased to offer discounted parking for our patients and visitors. Please pick up discounted parking stickers Monday through Friday until 9 p.m. at one of the following locations:
Concierge desks, ground floor PHC Building, or first floor, Main Building
Outpatient registration areas
After 9 p.m. and all day Saturday and Sunday, discount stickers may be obtained from the security officer in the Emergency Department, on the ground floor of the CCC Building.
For your convenience, a direct line to a local taxicab service is located at our Concierge Desk in the main lobby, and at the PHC and Emergency Department entrances. Additionally, there is a taxi stand in front of the Leavey Conference Center, directly across the courtyard from the entrance to the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Valet parking is available to all patients and visitors at the entrance to the Emergency Room and to the PHC Building. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is no additional charge for valet service. However, patients and visitors are reminded to pick up discount parking stickers before claiming a vehicle. After hours, pick up keys from the parking attendant at the parking booth in Lot A.
The Protective Services Department offers escorts to your vehicle after hours, upon request. Please call Protective Services at ext. 4-3800 when you are ready to leave and a security officer will assist you.
Your doctor will tell you when you will likely be discharged. The actual time of departure is often contingent on final "morning of" laboratory or radiology tests and a last assessment of your physical status by your doctors. We are very sensitive to the inconvenience that this may cause, and we will make every effort to keep you informed on the progress of your hospital discharge.
After your physician has written your discharge orders, the nurse will review your discharge instructions with you and provide any prescriptions ordered by your physician. Be sure you understand these instructions and have contact names and phone numbers in the event you have questions or need to make follow up appointments.
Valuables secured in the Protective Services office may be reclaimed by stopping by the Protective Services office on your way out, or by sending a family member to the office prior to departure. Please remember to bring the receipt in either case. Unit personnel will escort you to the Main Lobby. Your bill will not have been fully itemized at the time of your discharge, so it will be mailed to your home once it has been completed.
The Out-Patient Pharmacy is located on the ground floor of the Pasquerilla Healthcare Center (PHC). Prescriptions and selected over-the-counter medications may be conveniently purchased there on your way home. You may receive a phone call from one of our nurses in the days after you go home. We are very interested in how you are progressing in your recovery. Feel free to ask about questions which may arise after your discharge.
After your stay at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, you may need additional follow-up care to help you reach your full potential for recovery and independence. Many patients benefit from medical rehabilitation, especially individuals with spinal cord injury, stroke, brain injury, cardiac conditions, or a variety of orthopedic conditions.
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital provides excellent rehabilitation services on an outpatient basis if you are able to regularly come back to the hospital for therapy. If you need additional inpatient rehab, MedStar National Rehabilitation Network, a member of MedStar Health and rated as one of "American's Best Hospitals" by U.S. News & World Report, offers a complete range of medical rehabilitation services both at its inpatient hospital and at more than 35 MedStar NRN Regional Rehab outpatient locations throughout the area.
MedStar National Rehabilitation Network offers physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, psychology services, prosthetics and assistive technologies, a team of doctors and nurses who specialize in medical rehabilitation and many other services. As a patient you are at the center of this team as they work with you to reach goals that are individualized to meet your life and goals. For more information, call (202) 877-4NRH or ask your Case Manager for additional information.
Hospital stays are very short today. You might go home before you fully understand your diagnosis; before you can handle your wound care by yourself; before you can get out of bed unassisted; or while you are still weak and unable to go to the doctor's office for follow-up care. In such situations home care can provide a continuation of the care you received in the hospital from nursing, therapy, or aide services. Home care can bring the services, technologies, therapies and equipment of a hospital into the comfort and privacy of your home.
MedStar Visiting Nurse Association has been providing home care since 1900. They can ease your transition from hospital to home because they have answers to many of your questions and concerns. The first step is knowing that you, a family member, or your doctor can call 1-800-862-2166 to arrange for home care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
MedStar VNA works with your doctor and you to develop an individualized care plan. We then put together a home care team of skilled professionals who work with you and your family to understand your condition, determine how many visits are needed, and what types of services you can expect to receive. The home care team may include a nurse, therapist, home health aide, social worker or nutritionist depending on your needs. The team may also include IV therapy to provide chemotherapy, antibiotic therapy, and pain control therapy or total parenteral nutrition.
If you need home care and live in Maryland, Washington, D.C., or Northern Virginia, MedStar VNA would like to provide your care. Your safety, recovery and independence at home are MedStar VNA's primary goals. Please call 1-800-862-2166.
Because your medical records are confidential, the Hospital has safeguards in place to protect the privacy of your records. Your written permission is required for the release of information from your records except in those situations specified by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). (You should have received a pamphlet, "Notice of Privacy Practices" when you first came to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. This document outlines all of our procedures and practices related to protecting your health information.)
While the information in your medical record is about you and is your information, the actual physical record is the property of MedStar Georgetown. Your physician will usually arrange to send information from your record to those who will be seeing you for follow-up care. However, there may also be other circumstances that require you to obtain copies of your records. If this is the case, please contact our Health Information Management Department at (202) 444-3392 to make arrangements for any record-related information pertaining to your stay here.
Please note, requests for records related to outpatient doctor's office appointments must be separately requested directly through your doctor's office. There is a charge for patients who wish to obtain copies of their medical records for personal use.
Patients frequently ask how they can best express their gratitude for the compassionate care they receive at our hospital. Staff members are not permitted to accept tips or gratuities, and gifts are discouraged. However, if you feel that staff members have excelled in caring for you, we urge you to mention them by name in a letter to our hospital president (c/o Main Administration, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, 3800 Reservoir Road, Washington, D.C., 20007). They will be recognized as a "Georgetown Star."
You may also receive a Patient Satisfaction survey (see below). This is another opportunity for you to highlight any service or employees that you wish to recognize.
Donations to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
For those patients who wish to express their gratitude by making a tax-deductible contribution to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, please contact the hospital development staff at (202) 444-3000 and ask to speak with a member of our hospital development team. Gifts can be made in support of a department, division or program that is most special to you. Gifts can also be made in honor of or in memory of a family member or friend, or a physician/healthcare provider.
Checks should be made out to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and any special notation regarding the gift designation should be noted in the memo portion of the check. Gifts can be sent to the following address:
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
c/o Medical Center Development
PO Box 571404
Washington, D.C., 20057
Donations to the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Patient Sharing Fund
The MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Patient Sharing Fund gratefully accepts donations to support its effort to provide emergency and temporary non-medical assistance for MedStar Georgetown patients. The fund receives donations from area churches, individual donors, patients and employees. Donations to the Sharing Fund are tax-deductible.
To make a donation to the Sharing Fund, please contact Pastoral Care at ext. 4-3030, or send your check to:
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
Patient Sharing Fund
c/o Department of Mission and Pastoral Care
3800 Reservoir Rd, NW
Washington, D.C., 20007
Our Magnet nurses and award-winning physicians and staff are extremely proud of the quality of our healthcare. We are pleased to give you an opportunity to comment on individuals and services that you feel were particularly noteworthy. Your observations form the basis in part for our employee reward system and your suggestions about your visit at MedStar Georgetown are highly valued by those who cared for you. The survey may be delivered in the form of a phone call or a mailed questionnaire and will take about 15 minutes to complete. Patients are selected randomly to participate and you may elect to answer or not answer any specific question. We want to provide very good care and we urge you to respond to this survey if you receive one. If you have questions about participating in this effort, please contact hospital administration at (202) 444-3000.
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No pain Worst pain
It is important that you report uncontrolled pain.
Don't worry about being a bother
Pain can be a sign of problems
The nurses and doctors want and need to know about it
Don't automatically assume you need less pain medication because your pain is under control
Help keep your pain under control. Being prepared helps put you in control. You may want to write down your questions before you meet with your doctor or nurse.
Be sure to:
Talk with your nurses and doctors about pain control methods that have worked well or not so well for you in the past
Talk with your nurses and doctors about any concerns you may have about pain medication
Tell your nurses and doctors about any allergies or reactions to medications you have had in the past
Take your pain medication or ask the nurse for pain medication when the pain starts. This is key to proper pain control
Take pain medication prior to getting out of bed, walking, or doing breathing exercises. It is harder to ease pain once it has taken hold
Let your doctors and nurses know if you are experiencing any problems such as itching, sickness to your stomach, constipation, or that you just don't feel right.
As a Catholic and Jesuit hospital, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is committed to compassionate care of the whole person. To help meet the spiritual and pastoral needs of our patients:
Chaplains are available to all patients, family members, and other loved ones regardless of religious affiliation for prayers, spiritual counseling, or support
The Chaplains represent a variety of denominations. The Department of Mission and Pastoral Care can help to arrange visits from ministers of other religions and denominations. Patients are also welcome to invite ministers or clergy from their own denominations
A chaplain and/or a Catholic priest are always available on an on-call basis
Communion and the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick are available for patients upon request
The Hospital Chapel is available for personal prayer or meditation twenty-four hours a day. The chapel is located on the first floor of the Main Building near the front entrance facing Reservoir Road
Catholic Mass is offered each weekday at 7:30 a.m. and 12:05 p.m.; Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. (Sunday Vigil) and Sundays at 12:00N and 4:00 p.m.
An Ecumenical Prayer Service is held at 12:40 p.m. on Fridays; all are welcome to any of the services
All services are broadcast on closed-circuit TV throughout the hospital on Channel 2. At other times of day, scenes from the Chapel are broadcast with inspirational music
To contact Pastoral Care, call ext. 4-3030 or contact the page operator and ask for the on-call Chaplain
The hospital has 24-hour security service to assist patients, visitors, and employees. Protective Services officers will also assist with minor vehicle problems such as lockouts, etc. If you need to get in touch with Protective Services, dial ext. 4-3840. (See also "Vehicle Safety Services.")
GUH Volunteers are a unique group of individuals who provide extra care and support for our patients, families, and visitors. During your stay you may meet one of our dedicated volunteers throughout the hospital at concierge desks, waiting rooms, and units. Interested in volunteering? If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming part of our volunteer community, please learn more about our volunteer opportunities, or call us at 202-444-5545.
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is a world-renowned academic medical center, committed to providing the best, most up-to-date patient care available. To do this, we use the skills and expertise of a large health care team, and at the same time, educate the next generation of professionals. You may see students from many of the disciplines listed below. These students are under the direct supervision of a licensed professional. If you have additional questions about the role of students at Georgetown, please ask your nurse or doctor. We encourage and depend on our patients and families to actively contribute to the process of planning and delivering care. Working together, we can offer excellent customized patient care. Here are some of the members of your team:
Our doctors, residents, advanced medical students are dedicated to working together to ensure world-class diagnostic and treatment care.
Your personal doctor diagnoses and treats your medical condition in addition to communicating daily with the rest of the staff to carefully monitor your optimal plan of treatment. Your doctor may call in other highly experienced medical specialists to help diagnose and treat your condition. Ask your physicians any questions you have concerning your care or condition. Some patients find it useful to write down their questions as they occur and there is space at the end of this book for this purpose.
Resident Physicians/Fellow Physicians
These physicians are licensed medical doctors who are continuing their advanced training under the supervision of our attending doctors. These outstanding young doctors are selected through a competitive process from top medical centers throughout the country and the world. They are, in turn, responsible for the medical students.
Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physicians Assistants (PAs)
There are a significant number of medical, surgical, and specialty NPs or PAs in both the outpatient and inpatient areas. They assist the attending physicians with patient care and are often readily available to monitor and update orders. They follow their patients' progress during the hospital stay and work to coordinate care with post-hospitalization treatment. You often meet your surgical NPs or PAs during preadmission testing.
Registered Nurses (RNs)
A Georgetown Magnet nurse will be assigned to you each shift and is directly responsible for your care. Your RN will oversee your immediate team of nursing care providers, help to monitor your recovery, and teach you and your family the steps to care for yourself. Your nurse will direct the other members of the nursing team that includes clinical technicians, nursing assistants, and unit secretaries. Nurse experts, such as enterostomal/wound nurses, are also available to assist in your care. Each nursing unit has a nursing coordinator who is responsible for the overall management of operations on the unit. If you have a concern or question about your care, feel free to speak to the nursing coordinator or the assistant nursing coordinator. You may have noticed that your RN wears a large gold triangular pin designating that he/she is a "Magnet nurse." Georgetown was awarded Magnet Status in 2004 for proven excellence in nursing care and patient care outcomes. Only 2% of the nation's hospitals can boast this award and it communicates to patients and their families that they can expect the very best in nursing care. Magnet facilities consistently outperform non-Magnet hospitals, delivering better patient outcomes, short lengths of stay and increased patient satisfaction rates. Georgetown is the first hospital in Washington to have this distinction.
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)
An LPN works in a team relationship with the RN to provide direct patient care, including treatments, medications, and other direct care.
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) or Clinical Techs
Under the direct supervision of nurses, CNAs or Clin Techs provide basic nursing care to patients.
Our registered and licensed dieticians are available to provide extensive assessment and education to all patients who require medical nutrition therapy. The dieticians are an integral part of the multidisciplinary team and strive to ensure each patient's nutritional health. Your health care team may ask the dietician to visit you, or you may ask your nurse to arrange for a dietician to talk to you.
Clinical pharmacists are assigned to make rounds with the physician teams on patient care units to provide input into your medication therapy. They assure that your drug regimen is customized to provide maximum benefit. You may ask to speak to a pharmacist if you have questions about your medications.
Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech Language
These therapists compose the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. At the request of your physician, these professionals provide quality therapy to adult and pediatric patients with physical dysfunction related to trauma, disease/illness, and /or congenital problems. Such dysfunction may be related among other causes to neurological, orthopaedic, neuromuscular, or oncology diagnosis. They also offer services on an outpatient basis.
These professionals carry out diagnostic imaging procedures on you at the request of your physician. Examples of these include routine X-rays; CT, MRI, or Nuclear Medicine scans; Ultrasound, or more invasive interventional procedures. The results are then interpreted by radiologists, who are physicians specialized in radiology, and reported to your doctor.
Respiratory Therapists work with physicians to monitor patients' breathing in all phases of care, and assist in treatment/diagnosis of lung disease in all age groups. Sometimes they help people stop smoking, work one-on-one with patients to improve lung function or treat asthma sufferers. Some therapists are "first responders" who provide emergency care for those requiring rapid response.
Case Managers and Social Workers
Case Managers are available to help you make arrangements for your posthospital care. The staff can help you arrange for a nursing or rehabilitation facility; suggest physical, financial, or emotional support services; arrange for visiting nurse or home care services; refer you to community resources for counseling about personal or family problems; and help you and your family face terminal illness. Case managers maintain a current list of home care agencies and will help you arrange services that are covered by your insurance. Call ext. 4-3750. Our social workers can provide counseling to help you deal with any personal, social, emotional, and/or financial stresses that may result from an injury or illness. In addition, the Case Management department will monitor your hospital stay to assure that you are not hospitalized longer than necessary to minimize out-of-pocket costs.
A Word about Private Duty Nurses
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital does not advocate the use of private duty nurses. However, if you wish to have a private nurse at your bedside, the Nursing Office, 1st floor Main, will provide you with a list of agencies for you to contact. Please be advised that these nurses are not authorized to provide professional nursing care such as the administration of treatments or medications. They may, however, assist you with personal hygiene and comfort care measures.
The Ethics Consult Service is a free, confidential advisory service available at any time to assist MedStar Georgetown University Hospital patients, families and health care professionals in identifying, analyzing, and resolving ethical issues. A Clinical Ethicist reviews each consult request. A full consult will generally involve a meeting of several ethicists, the health care team, you, and/or your family as appropriate. The ethicists facilitate discussions and clarify ethical issues in making important decisions. To request a consult, call the Page Operator ext. 4-PAGE (ext. 4-7243) and request the "Ethics Consult Service."
Information for parents of hospitalized children
The staff of the Pediatric ICU and Pediatrics Unit takes great pride in offering your child excellent care. We are committed to the principles of family-centered care that encourage close collaboration and cooperation between the healthcare team, patient, and parent.
We realize that as parents, you want your child to feel comfortable and secure while in the hospital. We encourage you to bring items from home that are familiar and reassuring to your child such as a favorite toy and book; small blanket and pillow; pajama, slippers, and daytime outfit; DVD and VHS movies; and photos of family, friends, and pets.
Parents or primary adult caregivers are welcome to visit their child 24 hours a day and while overnight arrangements differ depending on the acuity of your child, for general pediatric patients, a parent may spend the night in a sleeper cot in the child's room. Guests should visit during hospital hours 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Siblings are welcome to visit but due to space limitations, no more than three people at a time, including parents, are allowed in a child's room.
Talk with your child about the hospital and what he/she might expect during the stay. There are many members of their healthcare team who will meet with them throughout the day, such as doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and others. They will visit and talk with the child and family in the room.
The healthcare team will need to examine your child and provide clinical care such as medications, checking temperature, and blood pressure. They will sometimes wear gloves, masks, and gowns. To learn more about preparing your child, please visit our webpage, www.georgetownuniversityhospital.org and type "Child Life" under "Search." Click on "Preparing Your Child for Hospitalization."
Many services, geared specifically towards hospitalized children, their families and their needs are available to our patients and their families. These services include:
Licensed Clinical Social Workers — devoted to pediatrics, offering counseling and support in collaboration with the members of the healthcare team
Child Life Specialist — specially trained to meet the emotional and developmental needs of your child throughout the hospital experience. The Child Life Specialist can provide you and your child positive coping strategies to diminish the stress and fear that can occur during unexpected or planned hospital admission, through therapeutic play and recreational activities such as arts and crafts, toys, games, and seasonal celebrations. The Child Life Program offers your child and family opportunities for diversion activity and socialization. Please contact the Child Life Specialist at ext. 4-3037
Pastoral Care — offering spiritual counseling and use of the chapel to all families
Family lounge — for the use of patients, siblings, and their families are located on the pediatric floor
Patient Advocates — that support families and help them to navigate all aspects of hospitalization and care
More information related specifically to the care of our hospitalized children is available upon admittance to the Pediatric Floor, including information regarding the medical team, hospital routines, patient updates, visiting hours, international services, donor-directed blood, discharge, and the Pediatric Parent Advisory Board.