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VA Maryland Health Care System

 

Baltimore VA Medical Center Guide to Veteran Inpatient Services

Additional Inpatient Services & Information

Chaplain Service
Chaplains visit inpatient units regularly and are available for private consultation. Patients can ask for written materials from Chaplain Service to assist them during their stay at the Baltimore VA Medical Center. The All Faiths Chapel is located on the second floor of the medical center and is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Religious services that are conducted in the All Faiths Chapel can also be viewed from your bedside television on Channel 5. To arrange a visit by a chaplain or to inquire about religious services, please call Chaplain Service at 410-605-7070.

Discharge from the Medical Center
The treatment team on your unit will be planning your discharge from the medical center with you. Our goal is to make the transition to home or another facility as smooth as possible. As soon as you are given a possible discharge or transfer date, please keep your family members informed, especially if special arrangements need to be made or transportation provided. If you have any concerns about your discharge plans, please discuss them with a member of your treatment team.

The All Faiths Chapel is located on the second floor of the medical center and is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.


Infection Control
Cleaning your hands still remains the number one way to prevent the spread of infections. Your caregivers should be cleaning their hands with alcohol hand rub or soap and water each time they provide your care. Speak up if you do not see your caregivers clean their hands. In addition, remember to clean your own hands frequently to protect yourself from infections, and ask your visitors to do the same.

If you are suspected or known to have certain infectious diseases, isolation precautions will be used. If you are on an isolation precaution, your caregivers will be wearing protective attire such as gloves, gowns and masks while in your room. Your visitors may also be asked to wear protective attire as well. If you have any questions about isolation precautions, please ask a member of your treatment team for more information.

Leaving Your Inpatient Unit
If you need to leave your inpatient unit, please notify a nursing staff member. If a nursing staff member is not immediately available, please check with your nurses station before leaving the unit to ensure that any required treatments or medications are given to you in a timely manner. Please note that some specialty care units may have different guidelines for leaving the unit due to patient safety issues, so please check with a member of your treatment team if you have any questions.

Patient Advocates
At the Baltimore VA Medical Center and throughout the VA Maryland Health Care System, we strive to provide the best care possible in the most courteous and efficient manner. If a problem does develop during your hospital stay, we encourage you to share your concern with a member of your treatment team or the Nurse Manager. Patient Advocates are also available to assist you and your family members with any problems or questions you may have during your hospital stay. To contact a Patient Advocate, please call 410-605-7099. We want to hear from you so we can help resolve any concerns to prevent them from occurring again in the future..

Patient Safety
Patient safety is a top priority at the Baltimore VA Medical Center and throughout the VA Maryland Health Care System. Weakness caused by illness, medications and an unfamiliar environment can lead to falls. If you need assistance reaching something, getting out of bed or walking to and from the bathroom, please use your call button to ask a nursing staff member for assistance.

Educate yourself about
your condition. Learn
about your tests and
treatment plans.

At the Baltimore VA Medical Center and throughout the VA Maryland Health Care System, we strive to provide the best care possible in the most courteous and efficient manner.

Prohibited Items
For the safety and protection of all patients, employees and visitors, please do not bring any prohibited items with you to the Baltimore VA Medical Center. Prohibited items include alcoholic beverages, narcotics, weapons and lighter fluid. If prohibited items are brought to the medical center, they will be confiscated and destroyed by VA Police. If you see anybody with a prohibited item in the medical center, please call the VA Police at 410-605-7300.

Smoking Policy
The Baltimore VA Medical Center is a smokefree facility. Patients and visitors may not smoke anywhere in the medical center or the parking garage. There is a designated smoking area outside the medical center on Baltimore Street under the walkway to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

VA Police
VA Police are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week for your safety and protection. If you see something suspicious while you are an inpatient, please call the VA Police at 410-605-7300.

Valuables
We recommend that you leave your personal valuables such as jewelry, credit cards, or cash at home during your hospitalization. If you have valuable items at the time of admission, please give them to your family members for safe keeping. If you are unable to send your valuables home, you can keep them in a locker in your patient room. We recommend that you keep no more than $5.00 in cash with you during your hospital stay.

Voluntary Service
Thanks to the support of dedicated community members and local organizations, Voluntary Service is able to provide a number of activities and items for your enjoyment. Greeter volunteers visit all inpatient units on a daily basis to distribute reading materials, games and puzzle books. Additionally, a variety of volunteer groups visit inpatient units on a regular basis to play music, provide healthy treats, or offer friendly conversation. To request a visit by a volunteer during your hospital stay, please call Voluntary Service at 410-605-7100.

Speak Up Program
As we strive to make your hospital stay a positive and safe experience, we also need you to be an active participant in your care. Please make sure to SPEAK UP if you have any questions during your hospital stay.

  • Speak up if you have questions or concerns. It’s your body and you have the right to know.
  • Pay attention to the care you are receiving. Make sure you are getting the right treatments and medications from the right health care professionals. Don’t assume anything.
  • Educate yourself about your condition. Learn about your tests and treatment plans.
  • Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate.
  • Know your medications and why you take them. Medication errors are the most common health care mistake.
  • Use health care organizations like the VA Maryland Health Care System that have been carefully checked out.
  • Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of your
    health care team.

Your Feedback
Providing safe, quality and compassionate health care to Veterans is our main priority. During your hospital stay, one of our staff members may ask for your feedback about your hospital stay by completing a short questionnaire. You may also be prompted to complete a short questionnaire on your TV screen. These local assessments are used to make improvements and to ensure you are receiving the best care possible. If we are not meeting your expectations or you have any concerns, please notify one of our staff members immediately.

After your visit, you may receive an official survey in the mail called the Survey of Healthcare Experiences of Patients. This confidential questionnaire is used to help us identify opportunities for improvement and to note positive trends. We hope that you will take the time to complete the survey so that we can continue to provide the best care possible.

To request a visit by a volunteer during your hospital stay, please call Voluntary Service at 410-605-7100.


Please note that some amenities may not be available on certain specialty care units due to patient safety issues.

 
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