Patient Advocacy & Navigating Your Hospital Stay

At Doylestown Health, you are a valued member of our health care team. We want to answer your questions and ensure that you understand all information about your care. Our goal is for you to be able to make informed, health-related decisions.  We know that when our patients actively participate in their own healthcare, it can improve safety, outcomes, and patient satisfaction.

Nurse listens to a patient's heart | Doylestown Health

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Advocating for Yourself

Here are some ways that you can be a star player on your healthcare team:

  • Write out any questions you might have before your doctor visit or during your hospital stay. Make sure you ask: What is my main problem? What do I need to do? Why is it important for me to do this? Feel free to bring a notepad (or to ask your nurse for one) to write down the answers.
  • Use teach back. To make sure you understand information, it is okay to ask to “repeat” back what you were told to your provider or ask to “show” back what you need to do. You can say: “I want to make sure I understand what you told me so I would like to repeat it back to you” or “I would like you to watch me do this so I know I am doing it safely.”
  • Ask your doctor for printed materials
  • Research your health conditions using credible sources. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes for Health (NIH), the American Cancer Society, and American Heart Association (AHA) are some great places to start.
  • Keep a current history to bring with you to doctor’s visits or to the hospital
  • Have an up-to-date list of your medicines on-hand
  • Understand your legal Patient Rights and Responsibilities before you go into the hospital.
  • Prepare an Advanced Directive. This legal document states your healthcare treatment and care choices. You can name the people you choose to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are unable.
  • Designate a family member or friend as a support person. This person can be your advocate — not just if you’re incapacitated, but also to help you absorb information and help you make healthcare decisions. This person should also have access to your Advanced Directive, health history, and medicine list. Consider giving your support person access to your patient portal.
  • Understand your health insurance coverage. Reach out to your insurance provider or contact the Patient Financial Services Office at 215.345.2198

Advocating for a Loved One

As a patient advocate, you help a friend or family member to navigate their healthcare. You may be involved in all aspects of their care and take part in decisions about care. You can go to doctor’s visits with them, have access to their medical records and portals, and be listed as a contact in their health profile. Encourage your loved one to have an Advanced Directive. Know where they keep this document, as well as a current record of their medicines and health history.

We suggest that one support person is designated when a patient is in the hospital to relay information to the rest of family and friends. This will help streamline communication. Here are some more tips to help communicate with your loved one’s care team:

  • Keep a list of the members of the patient’s core care team.
  • Let the care team know that you have been approved by the patient to be their support person.
  • Make sure the care team has your contact information.
  • Help the team get to know the patient. Do they have a preferred nickname? Do they have dementia or other cognitive issues?
  • Tell the care team when you plan to visit. This is helpful if they need to teach you any care for when the patient goes home.
  • Ask if there is a good time to call for a routine check and what number to call.
  • If you need guidance that exceeds the care team’s and case manager’s roles, call the hospital patient advocate in the Risk Services Office at 215.345.2424, Monday-Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm. If you need assistance right away or call outside of regular business hours, please call the hospital operator at 215.345.2200.

Advocacy Services at Doylestown Hospital

We promote informed decision-making and education for all of our patients. We seek to empower families and let them know that they have the right to information and a right to be able to speak to the patient’s care team. Here are ways that we support your advocacy efforts:

  • Case Management: A case manager is available in every hospital unit to ensure that patients who are older, have a high-risk diagnosis, or a limited support system will have a care plan after they leave Doylestown Hospital. This care plan may include recovery in a suitable home environment with or without home care or recovery in a skilled nursing facility.

    Contact Case Management: 215.345.2360
  • Hospital Patient Advocate: Our Patient Advocate helps with immediate problem-solving that exceeds a case manager’s role. This person can assist if there are communication issues with the care team or if a patient or caregiver feels that they are not getting the health information they need. Our Patient Advocate provides education and resources, empowers families to problem-solve for themselves, and will help interpret Patient’s Rights, if needed.

    Contact the Hospital Patient Advocate: 215.345.2424
  • Patient and Family Education Coordinator: Our Education Coordinator drives the patient experience at the hospital through education.  This person leads our health literacy efforts to ensure that all patient education materials are clear and easy to read. Our Education Coordinator also educates the staff to support positive patient-provider communication.

    Contact the Patient & Family Education Coordinator: 215.345.2509
  • Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC): Our advisory council is made up of community members and hospital staff. Members advise Doylestown Health on patient-centered care and advocacy. The PFAC’s goal is to provide support to those navigating healthcare for themselves or on behalf of another. 

    We extend an invitation to our former patients and their family members/caregivers to join the Doylestown Hospital PFAC. Our PFAC is a forum for the voice of the patients and family members to be heard across the continuum in many decisions made about patient care.

    The rewards of participating are many – from developing new friendships to making an impact on patient care. Please consider this opportunity to make a difference by offering your insights to us.

    Our PFAC includes former patients, family members and caregivers of former patients, Doylestown Hospital leaders and staff.

    If you have an interest in becoming a PFAC member, please contact Matthew Costello, FACHE, Senior Executive Director of Hospital Operations at mcostello@dh.org or 215.345.2389.
  • For any additional questions or concerns, submit an inquiry via Contact Us.

Core Concepts

We embrace Patient and Family-Centered Care core concepts. They help guide us to provide the best care to you and your loved ones:

Dignity and Respect. We will listen to and honor patient and family perspectives and choices. Patient and family knowledge, values, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds are incorporated into the planning and delivery of care.

Information Sharing. We will communicate and share complete and unbiased information with patients and families.  Patients and families receive timely, complete, and accurate information in order to effectively participate in care and decision-making.

Participation.  We will support and encourage patients and families in participating in care and decision-making at the level they choose.

Collaboration. Patients, families, health care practitioners, and health care leaders collaborate in policy and program development, implementation, and evaluation; in facility design; in professional education; and in research; as well as in the delivery of care.

Your Care Team

You and your loved ones are important members of the patient care team.  In addition to your nurses and patient care technicians (PCTs), your care team may include physical, occupational, speech or respiratory therapists, a dietician, social worker or case manager. You may see a medical specialist if you have heart, lung, kidney or other diseases needing complex care.

Other members of the health care team:

  • Hospitalist: A doctor who provides and oversees the care of a patient while they are in the hospital. Our hospitalists assess, diagnose, treat and manage your care while you are here. They work together with any specialists you need.
  • Intensivist: A doctor who specializes in the care of patients who are in the intensive care unit.
  • PA (Physician Assistant) or NP (Nurse Practitioner): These providers have advanced training in the medical field or nursing and work under the supervision of your doctor to manage your care.

Visiting a Patient

Parents, families, and friends are encouraged to visit patients during their stay. Visitation guidelines may vary based on the type of care. 

 

More Information

Here are some ways that you can be a star player on your healthcare team:

  • Write out any questions you might have before your doctor visit or during your hospital stay. Make sure you ask: What is my main problem? What do I need to do? Why is it important for me to do this? Feel free to bring a notepad (or to ask your nurse for one) to write down the answers.
  • Use teach back. To make sure you understand information, it is okay to ask to “repeat” back what you were told to your provider or ask to “show” back what you need to do. You can say: “I want to make sure I understand what you told me so I would like to repeat it back to you” or “I would like you to watch me do this so I know I am doing it safely.”
  • Ask your doctor for printed materials
  • Research your health conditions using credible sources. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes for Health (NIH), the American Cancer Society, and American Heart Association (AHA) are some great places to start.
  • Keep a current history to bring with you to doctor’s visits or to the hospital
  • Have an up-to-date list of your medicines on-hand
  • Understand your legal Patient Rights and Responsibilities before you go into the hospital.
  • Prepare an Advanced Directive. This legal document states your healthcare treatment and care choices. You can name the people you choose to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are unable.
  • Designate a family member or friend as a support person. This person can be your advocate — not just if you’re incapacitated, but also to help you absorb information and help you make healthcare decisions. This person should also have access to your Advanced Directive, health history, and medicine list. Consider giving your support person access to your patient portal.
  • Understand your health insurance coverage. Reach out to your insurance provider or contact the Patient Financial Services Office at 215.345.2198
As a patient advocate, you help a friend or family member to navigate their healthcare. You may be involved in all aspects of their care and take part in decisions about care. You can go to doctor’s visits with them, have access to their medical records and portals, and be listed as a contact in their health profile. Encourage your loved one to have an Advanced Directive. Know where they keep this document, as well as a current record of their medicines and health history.

We suggest that one support person is designated when a patient is in the hospital to relay information to the rest of family and friends. This will help streamline communication. Here are some more tips to help communicate with your loved one’s care team:

  • Keep a list of the members of the patient’s core care team.
  • Let the care team know that you have been approved by the patient to be their support person.
  • Make sure the care team has your contact information.
  • Help the team get to know the patient. Do they have a preferred nickname? Do they have dementia or other cognitive issues?
  • Tell the care team when you plan to visit. This is helpful if they need to teach you any care for when the patient goes home.
  • Ask if there is a good time to call for a routine check and what number to call.
  • If you need guidance that exceeds the care team’s and case manager’s roles, call the hospital patient advocate in the Risk Services Office at 215.345.2424, Monday-Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm. If you need assistance right away or call outside of regular business hours, please call the hospital operator at 215.345.2200.

We promote informed decision-making and education for all of our patients. We seek to empower families and let them know that they have the right to information and a right to be able to speak to the patient’s care team. Here are ways that we support your advocacy efforts:

  • Case Management: A case manager is available in every hospital unit to ensure that patients who are older, have a high-risk diagnosis, or a limited support system will have a care plan after they leave Doylestown Hospital. This care plan may include recovery in a suitable home environment with or without home care or recovery in a skilled nursing facility.

    Contact Case Management: 215.345.2360
  • Hospital Patient Advocate: Our Patient Advocate helps with immediate problem-solving that exceeds a case manager’s role. This person can assist if there are communication issues with the care team or if a patient or caregiver feels that they are not getting the health information they need. Our Patient Advocate provides education and resources, empowers families to problem-solve for themselves, and will help interpret Patient’s Rights, if needed.

    Contact the Hospital Patient Advocate: 215.345.2424
  • Patient and Family Education Coordinator: Our Education Coordinator drives the patient experience at the hospital through education.  This person leads our health literacy efforts to ensure that all patient education materials are clear and easy to read. Our Education Coordinator also educates the staff to support positive patient-provider communication.

    Contact the Patient & Family Education Coordinator: 215.345.2509
  • Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC): Our advisory council is made up of community members and hospital staff. Members advise Doylestown Health on patient-centered care and advocacy. The PFAC’s goal is to provide support to those navigating healthcare for themselves or on behalf of another. 

    We extend an invitation to our former patients and their family members/caregivers to join the Doylestown Hospital PFAC. Our PFAC is a forum for the voice of the patients and family members to be heard across the continuum in many decisions made about patient care.

    The rewards of participating are many – from developing new friendships to making an impact on patient care. Please consider this opportunity to make a difference by offering your insights to us.

    Our PFAC includes former patients, family members and caregivers of former patients, Doylestown Hospital leaders and staff.

    If you have an interest in becoming a PFAC member, please contact Matthew Costello, FACHE, Senior Executive Director of Hospital Operations at mcostello@dh.org or 215.345.2389.
  • For any additional questions or concerns, submit an inquiry via Contact Us.

We embrace Patient and Family-Centered Care core concepts. They help guide us to provide the best care to you and your loved ones:

Dignity and Respect. We will listen to and honor patient and family perspectives and choices. Patient and family knowledge, values, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds are incorporated into the planning and delivery of care.

Information Sharing. We will communicate and share complete and unbiased information with patients and families.  Patients and families receive timely, complete, and accurate information in order to effectively participate in care and decision-making.

Participation.  We will support and encourage patients and families in participating in care and decision-making at the level they choose.

Collaboration. Patients, families, health care practitioners, and health care leaders collaborate in policy and program development, implementation, and evaluation; in facility design; in professional education; and in research; as well as in the delivery of care.

You and your loved ones are important members of the patient care team.  In addition to your nurses and patient care technicians (PCTs), your care team may include physical, occupational, speech or respiratory therapists, a dietician, social worker or case manager. You may see a medical specialist if you have heart, lung, kidney or other diseases needing complex care.

Other members of the health care team:

  • Hospitalist: A doctor who provides and oversees the care of a patient while they are in the hospital. Our hospitalists assess, diagnose, treat and manage your care while you are here. They work together with any specialists you need.
  • Intensivist: A doctor who specializes in the care of patients who are in the intensive care unit.
  • PA (Physician Assistant) or NP (Nurse Practitioner): These providers have advanced training in the medical field or nursing and work under the supervision of your doctor to manage your care.

Parents, families, and friends are encouraged to visit patients during their stay. Visitation guidelines may vary based on the type of care.