During Your Stay

Healthcare Team

During your stay at MedStar Franklin Square, you will have a team of healthcare professionals who are committed to providing you with the highest quality care. Your team may include physicians, hospitalists, physician assistants, nurses and case managers as well as lab and radiology technologists, technicians, therapists, patient transporters, social workers and dieticians. Your nurse and caregivers will write their names on the white board in your room, along with areas of focus that you feel are most important to you in your care. If there is anything any of us can do to make you more comfortable, please let your nurse know.

Infection Control

To protect our patients and visitors from infection, we follow the recommended policies of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All staff members use precautions which are designed to prevent the spread of infections.

One of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs is proper hand hygiene. Make sure those caring for you and your visitors have washed their hands. Your doctor or nurse will gladly answer questions about isolation and other precautions. Don’t be afraid to ask any staff member if they’ve washed their hands.

Isolation precautions are used for patients carrying certain infectious diseases. If you are in isolation, you may be restricted to your room and your visitors will need to check with the nursing station for instructions before entering your room. They may need to wear required proper attire such as isolation gowns, gloves and masks, before they enter your room. For everyone’s safety, we request that all patients refrain from visiting the cafeteria, which is open to the public, during their stay.

As a member of your healthcare team, you play an important role in your care. Remember to Speak Up! if you see any potentially dangerous behavior.

Internet Access

For your convenience, we offer free wireless Internet access to our patients and visitors. Ask your nurse for an Internet voucher and access code.

Meals

Good nutrition is an important part of your healing process. Special diets have been ordered for you as part of your plan of care to help you recover quickly. Please don’t share your food with others; family and friends are welcome to visit the cafeteria. Learn more about the dining facilites at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center. Your Catering Associate is your link to Food & Nutrition Services throughout your stay, and will provide you with menu selections offering several options for each meal per the diet ordered by your doctor as part of your care. If the available menu does not appeal to you, please ask your Catering Associate for additional options. If you have any questions about nutrition, diet restrictions or any other food concern or request, please call 443-777-2785 or443-777-7721.

Newspapers and Gift Cart

On weekdays, our Auxiliary gift cart circulates on patient floors from which you can purchase newspapers, magazines, toiletries, snacks, small gifts, crafts and other items. These items may also be purchased from our Auxiliary Gift Shop, located in the lobby of the Visitor’s Entrance.

Pain Management

We believe that our patients have a right to care that promotes comfort and well-being, and that pain must be managed using a “holistic” (or complete) approach to patient care. This means we will provide care and/or resources to address physical and emotional pain as well as spiritual distress. There are many ways to treat pain in addition to medications. Your doctor and nurse—and as needed, a pain management coordinator or pain specialist—will work together with you to determine the most effective plan to manage your pain.

Your nurse will ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 1-10 before and after each pain management intervention/ medication. This will assist us in better managing the effectiveness of your treatment. You can help us promote your comfort and well-being by describing the pain you experience and how your pain is responding to medications and treatments.

Partners in Care (Speak Up!)

As a member of your healthcare team, you play an important role in your care. Research shows that patients who take part in decisions about their health care are more likely to have better outcomes. The "Speak Up" program urges patients to get involved in their care by following these tips:

To help prevent health care errors, patients are urged to "Speak Up."

  • Speak up if you have questions or concerns, and if you don't understand, ask again. You have a right to know.
  • Pay attention to the care you are receiving. Make sure you're getting the right treatments and medications by the right health care professionals. Don't assume anything.
  • Educated yourself about your diagnosis, the medical tests you are undergoing, and your treatment plan.
  • Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate.
  • Know what medications you take and why you take them. Medication errors are the most common health care mistakes. Ask a nurse about your medications before taking them.
  • Use a hospital that has undergone a rigorous on-site evaluation against established, state-of-the-art quality and safety standards, such as that provided by the Joint Commission. (MedStar Franklin Square is fully accredited by the Joint Commission.
  • Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of the health care team.

Patient Care Advisory Committee

At times, difficult questions arise about a patient’s care. We strongly encourage you, your family and your physician to work together on these issues. If you need assistance in reaching an agreement, the Patient Care Advisory Committee is available to assist you. This committee consists of physicians, nurses and other staff members who can offer advice and guidance. They can be reached by notifying your nurse or calling 443-777-7649.

Patient Navigators

Learn more about patient navigators at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center.

Pressure Ulcers

A pressure ulcer is an area on your skin that breaks down when you stay in one position for too long. The constant pressure creates a wound, also known as a bed sore. While in the hospital, your caregiver will provide special care each day to prevent pressure ulcers.

Rapid Response Team

The Rapid Response Team at MedStar Franklin Square is made up of on call around-the-clock critical care specialists, who can arrive at the bedside in minutes should a non-critical patient’s condition start to decline. By bringing specialized care immediately to the patient, the team can often prevent a medical emergency, such as a heart attack, before it happens. At MedStar Franklin Square, we ask that family members and friends join us in this initiative. If you notice a loved one’s health deteriorating, notify the nurse who can then activate the Rapid Response Team if necessary.

Receiving and Donating Blood

A blood transfusion may be needed to replace blood lost during surgery or for internal bleeding. Transfusions may also be used during the treatment of severe anemias, leukemia, some forms of cancer and kidney failure. The hospital’s blood supply is obtained from volunteer donors who are extensively screened and tested for infectious diseases to minimize transfusion risks. All testing meets the requirements of the Food and Drug Administration and the American Association of Blood Banks.

Patients are billed for fees that cover the testing, handling and storage of blood and blood components. If for religious or personal reasons you choose not to receive blood transfusions, other options are available through our Bloodless Medicine and Surgery program. By using state-of-the-art medical technology, it is possible to minimize blood loss and maximize the oxygen-carrying capabilities of blood during many medical and surgical procedures. For more information on the Bloodless Medicine and Surgery program, call 443-777-8280.

Safe Patient Handling

To reduce injuries to hospital staff as well as patients, we use a Safe Patient Handling/ Minimal Lift Program. The program uses special lift equipment and tools to decrease manual lifting, transferring and repositioning of patients.

Surgical Safety

Because your safety is very important to us, we take several measures to prevent complications during surgery. This includes but is not limited to asking questions for proper identification, preventing surgical infections and marking procedure sites.

Telephone Service

Bedside telephones are now provided free of charge in patient rooms. Family and friends may call you from outside the hospital by dialing the hospital’s “443” area code followed by “777” and your extension number. Please note, your room number and telephone extension are not the same. You will be given an extension upon admission.

If you do not want us to give callers your extension number or want to restrict calls between certain hours, please call the Information Desk at 443-777-7344. Cell phone usage may be restricted in some areas of the hospital. Please check before using your cell phone.

Television Service

Television service is available at no cost to our patients. We are pleased to offer the following special programming:

  • Channel 3: Welcome Message
  • Channel 15: Pastoral Care (see “Spiritual Support” on page 7)
  • Channel 16: Newborn Channel (information for new parents, from child care basics to bathing and breastfeeding)
  • Channel 53: Patient Education (a variety of health information)

Tests

If any medical tests are required during your stay, we may ask you not to eat or drink during certain periods of time to ensure that the test results are accurate. We will give you detailed instructions before and during your tests. Please speak up at any time if you have questions or concerns. Ask why a test is needed, what the test might include and ask about when the results may be available to your doctor. If you are having surgery, make sure you and your doctor are clear about what is to be done, and ask your doctor to mark the site on which your surgery is to be performed.