South Texas Veterans Health Care System _STVHCS_ by pengxuebo

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									South Texas Veterans
 Health Care System




Patient Information
     Handbook
South Texas Veterans Health Care System

       I would like to welcome you to the South Texas Veterans Health Care System
(STVHCS). The STVHCS is comprised of two medical centers, Audie L. Murphy
Division in San Antonio and Kerrville Division in Kerrville, satellite clinics in Corpus
Christi, Harlingen, Laredo, McAllen, Victoria and San Antonio and community based
outpatient clinics throughout South Texas.


       Our employees are dedicated to working toward one purpose – providing you the
best possible health care. We welcome the opportunity to serve you, as you are the
most important person in our medical center.


       We hope that this “Patient Information Handbook” will answer most of the
questions you may have and help you feel more comfortable with the services provided
by the STVHCS. We encourage your comments and suggestions on how we can
improve the care we provide to you. Your input will help us to continue to meet our goal
of providing quality health care.




                                                           Sincerely,


                                                          Marie L. Weldon, FACHE
                                                          Director
Mission

The mission of the South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS) is to improve
the health and quality of life of our patients providing appropriate, compassionate and
quality care, to conduct education and research activities, and to support the
Department of Defense.


Vision

The vision of the STVHCS is to be the health system of choice for all veterans and all
other eligible beneficiaries and to be recognized as a center of excellence and an
employer of choice.


Values

The values of the STVHCS are:
   Commitment
   Compassion
   Ethics
   Excellence
   Integrity
   Innovation
   Respect Innovation
   Integrity
   Trust
                                  Table of Contents

Admission to the Medical Center                          18
Advance Directives                                       16
Barber                                                   26
Benefit Counselors                                       33
Billing (Revenue OFFICE/MCCF)                            27
Chaplain Service                                         33
Clinic Appointments                                      27
Clothing                                                 22
Dedicated Acute-assessment Rapid Response Team (DARRT)   19
Dental Service                                           34
Depression                                               14
Diabetes Education                                       34
Discharge from the Medical Center                        18
End of Life Information                                  17
Escort Service for Cognitively Impaired Veterans         37
Ethics Advisory Committee                                15
What do I do if I have an Ethical Issue?                 16
Extended Care Services                                   20
Falls-Prevention of                                      42
Hand Hygiene                                             23
Identification Arm Bands                                 22
Infection Control                                        23
Laboratory Hours                                         28
Lodging                                                  28
Lost items                                               25
Medication                                               23
Medical Administration Service                           29
MyHealtheVet Website                                     31
Nutrition Service (Meals)                                29
Off-Unit Notification                                    22
Organ Donation                                 17
Pain Management                                15
Parking                                        25
Patient Advocate                               34
Patient Education Resource Center (PERC)       30
Patient Rights and Responsibilities            11
Patient Travel                                 31
Personal Items                                 22
Pharmacy                                       35
Police Notification Procedure                  41
Primary Care                                   35
Prohibited Articles                            21
Recreation                                     35
Release of Information                         32
Respiratory Therapy                            36
Restraints                                     41
Safety                                         39
Social Workers                                 36
Spinal Cord Injury Unit                        36
Staying Healthy                                42
Telecare Services                              32
Telecommunication Device for the Deaf          37
Telephones                                     25
Valuables                                      21
VA Shuttle Service                             27
Veterans Canteen Retail Store and Food Court   32
Visiting Hours                                 26
Visual Impairment Services Team (VIST)         37
Voluntary Service                              38
Weight Management                              42
Women Veterans Program                         38
    South Texas Veterans Health Care System

Audie L. Murphy Division (ALMD) Medical Center




7400 Merton Minter Blvd.         Emergency Open 24 hours
                  San Antonio, TX 78229

 Phone: (210) 617 5300            Toll free: (866) 560 6773



      Kerrville Division (KD) Medical Center




3600 Memorial Blvd.              Urgent Care open 24 hours
                 Kerrville, TX 78028

 Phone: (830) 896 2020          Toll Free: (866) 487 1653
      Frank M. Tejeda VA Outpatient Clinic




                   5788 Eckhert Rd.
 San Antonio, TX 78240          Phone: (210) 699 2100


          South Bexar Outpatient Clinic




          4610 East Southcross Blvd. Suite 100
 San Antonio, TX 78222         Phone: (210) 648-1491


       North Central Federal Health Clinic




                17440 Henderson Pass
San Antonio, TX 78232             Phone: (210) 483 2900
                         Victoria VA Outpatient Clinic




                              1502 East Airline, Suite 40
              Victoria, TX, 77901                Phone: (361) 582 7700



Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC)

Note: STVHCS Fee Services Section must assign Veterans a contract CBOC. Prior to
seeking care, please call the following: CBOC care in the San Antonio Area: Call
(210) 949 3453. All other CBOC care: Call (210) 949 3753. You can also call the
Telecare Nurse for information about CBOCs in your area at (210) 949 3994 or from
anywhere in Texas (888) 686 6350.
                  Frequently called Numbers or Extensions

                                 San Antonio                Kerrville

Main Hospital Number            (210) 617 5300             (830) 896 2020
                                Toll free (877) 469 5300

Telecare                        (210) 949 3994             Toll Free (888) 686 6350
(Health Information 24          Monday – Friday (Days)     Weekends, after hours &
hours/day)                                                 holidays

Automated Medication            (800) 209 7377             (800) 209 7377
Refill Program

Admissions                      Ext 14800                  (830) 792 2512

Agent Cashier                   Ext 15995                  (830) 792 2550

Appointments/Scheduling         Ext 15173                  (830) 792 4444

Beneficiary Travel              Ext 15999                  (830) 792 2418

Billing/Insurance Information   Ext 15269                  (830) 792 2435

CHAMPVA                         (210) 616-8130             (210) 616-8130

Chaplain                        Ext 15441                  (830) 792 2542

Dental                          (210) 949-8900             (830) 792 2461

Disabled American Veterans      Ext 15189                  (830) 792 2509

Eligibility                     Ext 15184                  (830) 792 2514

Home Health & Extended Care (210) 617 5115                 (830) 792 2645

Laboratory                      Ext 14996                  Ext 12330
                                 San Antonio         Kerrville

Medical Administration          Ext 15137        Ext 12113

Palliative Care                 (210) 617 5115   (830) 7922484

Paralyzed Veterans of America   Ext 15275        Call ALMD 15275

Patient Representative          Ext 1514         (830)792 2414

Pharmacy                        Ext 15174        (830) 792 2422

Police                          Ext 15224        (830) 792 2520

Release of Information          Ext 15610        (830) 792 2503

Respiratory Therapy             Ext 14877        Ext 12249

Shuttle                         Ext 15999        Ext 12418

Social Work                     Ext 15113        (830) 792 2462

Texas Veterans Commission       Ext 15175        (830) 792 2553

TRICARE                         (210) 616-8408   (210) 616-8408

Voluntary Service               Ext 15107        (830) 792 2580

Women Veterans Program          Ext 68181        Ask operator to page
                                                 Janeth Del Toro
Patient Rights and                                 You or someone you choose have

Responsibilities                                    the right to keep and spend your
                                                    own money. You have the right to
Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
                                                    receive an accounting of VA held
is pleased you have selected us to
                                                    funds.
provide your healthcare. We want to
                                                   Treatment will respect your
improve your health and well-being.
                                                    personal freedoms. In rare cases,
We will make your visit or stay as
                                                    the use of medication and physical
pleasant for you as possible. As part
                                                    restraints may be used if all other
of our service to you, to other veterans
                                                    efforts to keep you or others free
and to the nation, we are committed to
                                                    from harm have not worked.
improving healthcare quality. We also
                                                   As an inpatient or long-term care
train future healthcare professionals,
                                                    resident you may wear your own
conduct research and support our
                                                    clothes and keep personal items.
country in times of national
                                                    This depends on your medical
emergency. In all of these activities,
                                                    condition.
our employees will respect and
                                                   As an inpatient or long-term care
support your rights as a patient.
                                                    resident, you have the right to
Respect and Nondiscrimination
                                                    social interaction, and regular
   You have the right to be free from
                                                    exercise. You will have the
    mental, physical, sexual and verbal
                                                    opportunity for religious worship
    abuse, neglect and exploitation.
                                                    and spiritual support. You may
   You will be treated with dignity,
                                                    decide whether or not to participate
    compassion and respect as an
                                                    in these activities.
    individual.
                                                   As an inpatient or long-term care
   Your privacy will be protected. You
                                                    resident, you have the right to
    will receive care in a safe
                                                    communicate freely and privately.
    environment. We will seek to honor
                                                    You may have or refuse visitors.
    your personal and religious values
                                                    You have access to public
    and beliefs.




                                           11
    telephones. You may participate in               Your medical record will be kept
    civic rights.                                    confidential. Information about you
   As a long-term care resident, you                will not be released without your
    can organize and take part in                    consent unless authorized by law
    resident groups at the facility. Your            (i.e. State public health reporting).
    family also can meet with the                    You have the right to information in
    families of other residents.                     your medical record and may
   In order to provide safe treatment               request a copy of your records.
    environment for all patients and                 This will be provided except in rare
    staff you are asked to respect other             situations where your VA physician
    patients and staff and to follow the             feels the information will be harmful
    facilities rules. Avoid unsafe acts              to you. In that situation, you have
    that place others at risk for                    the right to have this discussed
    accidents or injuries. Please                    with you by your provider.
    immediately report any condition                 You will be informed of all
    you believe to be unsafe.                        outcomes of care, including any
Information Disclosure and                           injuries caused by your medical
Confidentiality                                      care. You will be informed about
    You will be given information about              how to request compensation for
    the health benefits that you can                 injuries.
    receive. The information will be                 Informed consent is obtained.
    provided in a way you can                        Consent is obtained for recording
    understand.                                      or filming made for purposes other
    You will receive information about               than the identification, diagnosis, or
    the costs of your care, if any,                  treatment of the patients.
    before you are treated. You are              Participation in Treatment
    responsible for paying for your              Decisions
    portion of the costs associated with         •   You and any persons you choose
    your care.                                       will be involved in all decisions
                                                     about your care. You will be given



                                            12
information you can understand                (including over the counter and
about the benefits and risks of               herbals) and medical history. Also,
treatment. You will be given other            share any other information that
options. You can agree to or                  affects your health. You should
refuse treatment. Refusing                    ask questions when you don’t
treatment will not affect your rights         understand something about your
to future care but you have the               care. This will help in providing
responsibility to understand the              you the best care possible.
possible results to your health. If           You have the right to have your
you believe you cannot follow the             pain assessed and to receive
treatment plan you have a                     treatment to manage your pain.
responsibility to notify the treatment        You and your treatment team will
team.                                         develop a pain management plan
As an inpatient or long-term                  together. You are expected to help
resident, you will be provided any            the treatment team by telling them
transportation necessary for your             if you have pain and if the
treatment plan.                               treatment is working.
You will be given, in writing, the            You have the right to choose
name and professional title of the            whether or not you will participate
provider in charge of your care. As           in any research project. Any
a partner in the healthcare process,          research will be clearly identified.
you have the right to be involved in          Potential risks of the research will
choosing your provider. You will              be identified and there will be no
be educated about your role and               pressure on you to participate.
responsibilities as a patient. This           You will be included in resolving
includes your participation in                any ethical issues about your care.
decision-making and care at the               You may consult with the Medical
end of life.                                  Center’s Ethics Committee and/or
Tell your provider about your                 other staff knowledgeable about
current condition, medicines                  health care ethics.



                                         13
    If you or the Medical Center                 You will not be penalized or retaliated
    believes that you have been                  against for filing a complaint.
    neglected, abused or exploited,
    you will receive help.                       Depression
Complaint                                        The next time you visit your health
   You are encouraged and expected              care provider, before you say, “I’m
    to seek help from you treatment              fine”:
    team and/or patient advocate if you          Ask yourself if you feel:
    have problems or complaints. You                Nervous or empty
    will be given understandable                    Guilty or worthless
    information about the complaint                 Very tired and slowed down
    process available to you. You may               You don’t enjoy things the way
    complain verbally or in writing,                 your used to
    without fear of retaliation.                    Restless or irritable
 You have a right to access                        Like no one loves you
    protective and advocacy services.               Like life is not worth living
    Contact Social Services for a list of        Or if you are:
    advocacy groups available.                      Sleeping more or less than usual
If you are concerned that your privacy              Eating more or less than usual
rights have been violated, you may file             Having persistent headaches,
a complaint to VHA or to the Secretary               stomach aches or chronic pain
of the U.S. Department of Health and             These may be symptoms of
Human Services. To file a complaint              depression, a treatable medical illness.
with VHA you may contact your VA
health care facility Privacy Officer, the        Your doctor can only treat you if
VHA Privacy Officer, or VHA via                  you say how you are really feeling!
http://www.va.gov or dial 1-877-222-
8387. Complaints do not have to be in
writing, though it is recommended.




                                            14
Pain Management                                    Concerned health care providers
Pain is a very personal experience and             who are committed to pain
may be different for everyone. The                 prevention and management and
health care team (doctors, nurses,                 respond quickly to your reports of
pharmacists, therapists) wants to work             pain and who believe your reports
with you to manage your pain.                      of pain.
                                                Remember to Use the Pain Scale
Tell your healthcare provider:                  0 - no pain - 10 - worst possible pain
   How much it hurts;                           0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8                 9 10
   Where it hurts;
   How the pain feels…sharp, dull,
   burning, aching or tingling;
   When the pain started;
   What makes the pain better;
   What makes the pain worse;                   Ethics Advisory Committee
   Whether the pain is constant or              What are Ethical Issues?
   whether it comes and goes;                   Ethical issues can occur when we
   How the pain affects your daily life;        express our values or morals about
   Past treatments for pain.                    health care. People who work in the
Pain Care Bill of Rights                        health care profession notice that they
As a person with pain, you can                  occur when we make important
expect the following:                           decisions. We especially notice that
   Pain management will be part of              they occur when we make decisions
   your treatment plan;                         about:
   Information about pain;                         Informed Consent;
   Information about different                     End of Life decisions;
   methods of pain relief.                         Appropriate management of pain;
   Dedicated pain relief specialists               Decisions to withhold and/or
   who provide appropriate state of                withdraw life-sustaining treatment;
   the art pain management


                                           15
   Decisions to accept or reject                 Audie L. Murphy (210) 617-5300
   treatment (drug therapy);                     Kerrville Division (210) 896-2020
   Chemotherapy, feeding tubes,                  Living Will
   operations;                                   A Living Will allows you to tell your
   Decisions about Organ/Tissue                  doctor what treatments you want if you
   Donation.                                     cannot talk or make decisions. For
                                                 example:
What do I do if I have an Ethical
                                                    Do you want medical staff to use
Issue?
                                                     heroic measures to bring you back
Discuss the issue with your physician
                                                     to life if you suddenly die?
or health care provider. Under most
                                                    Do you want to be fed artificially if
circumstances, your issue can be
                                                     you are unable to eat and are
resolved by talking with your health
                                                     chronically ill?
care team. If the problem is not
                                                    Do you want dialysis if your
resolved to your satisfaction you can
                                                     kidneys stop working and you are
contact a member of the Ethics team.
                                                     chronically ill?
                                                 Out of Hospital Do Not Resuscitate
Advance Directives                               Order
It is important for you to talk with your        An Out of Hospital DNR is the same
family or significant other about health         order written by you and your doctor
care treatments you want in case you             that states that you desire to die
cannot make decisions for yourself.              naturally. Veterans usually buy a
There are several VA documents that              bracelet or necklace that they wear so
you can fill out that will help your             that Emergency Medical Services staff
doctor and health care team know                 will know that they desire to die
what treatments you want if you ever             naturally and not be resuscitated. Talk
get very sick and are not able to talk or        with your VA Primary Care Provider
make sense to others.                            about a Texas Out of Hospital DNR
The On-Call Ethics Team Member can               form and how to fill it out. Note: A
be contacted through the operators at:           copy of the VHA Advance Directive


                                            16
Form is located at the back of the              Organ Donation
handbook.                                       Veterans Health
Life-Threatening Emergency Care                 Administration Policy
In Behavioral Health and Long Term              supports the Veteran’s
Care Settings emergency care, to                right to be an organ donor. Routinely
include first aid and basic life support        you will be asked if you are an organ
(cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) will           donor:
be provided within the hospital system.         Facts about organ donation:
You will be treated immediately on the             Veterans of all ages are possible
unit to which you are assigned. If you              donors. A decision to donate does
require a higher level of care, you will            not change the high quality care
be transferred to an acute                          you receive.
medical/critical care unit or the Urgent           Organs and tissues that can be
Care Department at your facility or                 donated are: heart, kidneys, bones,
another organization as appropriate.                intestines, ligaments, tendons,
                                                    heart valves, eyes, liver, pancreas
“End of Life” Information                           and skin.
For information on burial benefits                 All major religions approve of organ

such as VA cemeteries,                              and tissue donation.
                                                   Your family does not pay any cost
headstones, burial flags,
                                                    if you donate organs or tissues.
transportation & reimbursement
                                                   Donating does not interfere with a
of expenses contact the VA                          funeral, nor does it change the look
Detail Office:                                      of the body.
Audie L. Murphy                                    Organ donation gives someone

(210)617-5300 ext. 15656                            else a second chance at life.
                                                   At the time of death, the Texas
Kerrville
                                                    Organ Sharing Alliance decides if
(830) 896-2020 ext. 12113
                                                    organs or tissues can be used.




                                           17
What to do:                                    All Admissions report to the
    Talk to your family about being an        Admission/Outpatient Area (Room 112
     organ and tissue donor.                   on first floor).
    On admission to the hospital,
     patients are asked if they are an         Discharge from the Medical
     organ donor. By signing a release         Center
     of information for organ donation,
                                               Patient Discharge Planning
     you are giving permission that the
                                               We realize that one of the first things
     Texas Organ Sharing Alliance be
                                               most people think about when they’re
     contacted at the time of death.
                                               admitted is when they get to go home.
    For more information contact the
                                               Getting you well enough to leave the
    Texas Organ Sharing Alliance at
                                               hospital is our goal too. It is important
 (210) 614-7030 or the Organ Donor
                                               for you and your family to understand
    Referral Line at 1-800-275-1744.
                                               the plans for your discharge from the
                                               hospital. The information below will
Admissions to the Hospital                     help you plan for your discharge.
If you have questions or concerns              Don’t hesitate to ask if you have
anytime during your stay at the                questions.
Medical Center, ask a member of your           Preparation for Discharge
health care team. They can help you            Your doctor will tell you and your care
find just the right person to address          team a likely date for leaving the
your needs.                                    hospital. It is possible that this date
Audie L. Murphy (ALMD)                         may change depending on your
Monday - Friday 8AM - 4:30 PM                  progress, test results, etc. You will be
Go to Station 6 (first floor near the          given written discharge instructions on
Urgent Care/Triage area)                       the day of your departure. These
After-hour Admissions                          discharge instructions will include
Go to Station 1 (first floor near the          information on:
Urgent Care/Triage area)
Kerrville Division Admissions:



                                          18
   Medications that you are to                After you go home
   continue or to begin taking after             Follow the instructions you were
   you leave the hospital;                       given by your doctor and nurse.
   Special instructions on how to care           Take your medicines as you were
   for yourself when you leave the               told.
   hospital;                                     If you were given a number to call
   Follow-up care, such as doctor                to make an appointment, call as
   appointments or therapy.                      soon as you can.
It is important that you review and
understand the information on the             Dedicated Acute-assessment
discharge instructions. Please ask            Rapid Response Team
questions of your doctor or nurse if
                                              (DARRT)
there is something that you do not
                                              Communicating effectively with
understand.
                                              patients and families is very important
Day of Discharge
                                              to South Texas Veterans Health Care
   Discharge time is typically 11:00
                                              System. When families see a change
   AM. We appreciate your
                                              in the patient’s condition, for example
   assistance in respecting this time
                                              something just doesn’t seem right, the
   schedule to enable your room to be
                                              patient or family can call for the
   ready for the next patient.
                                              DARRT team. DARRT stands for
   Make sure you have all of your
                                              “Dedicated Acute-assessment Rapid
   personal belongings.
                                              Response Team.” This is what you are
   Please let your nurse know if you
                                              to do:
   need help arranging transportation.
                                                 Pick up the phone in the patient’s
   Be sure to stop at the nurse’s desk
                                                 room.
   and let the staff know that you are
                                                 Call 15555 for the operator.
   leaving at the time of discharge.
                                                 The patient or family will say… “I
   The phone number of the Telecare
                                                 am a family member of (Mr.
   nurse in case you have questions.
                                                 Jones). I need the DARRT team. I
                                                 am on the (5th) floor in room


                                         19
   number (517).” (The items in                 1. Home Health Care: If you need
   parentheses are just examples,               skilled care in the home, the doctor
   please use your family members               may write an order for the VA to
   name and floor/room number).                 arrange home health care. This is
   Hang up the phone when finished              usually needed when you have a
   speaking to the operator.                    wound that you need to learn to take
This is what you can expect to                  care of, need to be educated about a
happen:                                         new disease or have a health problem
   A Registered Nurse from the ICU              than needs to be monitored. Medicare
   and a Respiratory Therapist will             provides the best home care benefits
   respond within 10 minutes.                   for most Veterans. If you don’t have
   They will be able to help the                Medicare benefits, the VA can provide
   patient.                                     services through other funding.

   They may transfer the patient to             2. Home Based Care: This is a
   ICU if needed or they will assist the        program that offers clinic staff to make
   patient where they are.                      visits in your home. The nurse, social
South Texas Veterans Health Care                worker, rehabilitation therapist,
System seeks and respects input from            dietitian or physician can come to your
patients and family members. Thank              home. This program is for veterans
you for your assistance providing the           who have a very difficult time getting to
best care to veterans.                          clinic. In addition, there is an Adult Day
                                                Health Care for veterans who need a
Extended Care Services                          special team to help adjust to chronic
The VA provides many services to                illness and re-integrate into community
help veterans in the community. You             care.
may be referred to one of the following         3. Nursing Home Care: Veterans who
programs to help you recover from the           are ready to be discharged whose
current hospital stay or prevent                care cannot be successfully carried
re-hospitalization.                             out at home may be referred to a
                                                nursing home. You may be referred to


                                           20
one of the VA’s nursing home care                Agent Cashier, ask a staff member to
units or to a community nursing home.            contact the Agent Cashier:
4. Palliative Care: Veterans who                 Audie L. Murphy extension 15999
have severe symptoms form chronic                Kerrville extension 12250
illness or those who have a terminal             Financial Transactions are made by
illness may be referred to our Palliative        obtaining a withdrawal slip from the
Care Program. Palliative care is a               Travel Clerk located at ALM Room
special kind of care that provides               113 and KD Room 146C.
support for people in the final phase of         The Agent Cashier may cash the
a terminal illness. Palliative Care              following:
helps patients to live their last days              U.S. government checks;
with dignity and quality at home or in a            Traveler's checks;
home-like setting.                                  Certified checks drawn in your
                                                    name;
     For more information about                     Cashier's checks;
       discharge planning call:                     Postal, telegraphic or bank money
   Audie L. Murphy (210) 617 5115                   orders;
        Kerrville (830) 792 2484
                                                    Checks and money orders must be
                                                    endorsed in the presence of the
                                                    Agent Cashier;
Valuables
                                                    Personal checks require clearance
You are advised to keep all valuables
                                                    from the bank, which usually takes
at home. The Medical Center is not
                                                    two weeks.
responsible for money or other
valuables that you might bring and
store in your room. We ask that you
                                                 Prohibited Articles
keep no more than $10 cash on hand.              Patients are prohibited

Any additional money should be                   from possessing

deposited with the Agent Cashier,                alcoholic beverages,

Monday through Friday except                     narcotics, firearms,

holidays. If you are unable to go to the         cameras, ammunition, knives, other


                                            21
weapons, lighter fluid, non-safety            Identification Arm Bands
matches, straight-edge razors and             Upon admission, you will be given an
medicine not prescribed by a health           ID wristband. Please wear your
care provider or medicine from home.          wristband at all times. Lost ID
Patients possessing any type of               wristbands should be reported to the
weapon are required to turn them over         health care team right away.
to the Medical Center Police Service
located in the main lobby. Electrical         Off-Unit Notification
appliances are not permitted except
                                              Please remain on the unit so the
under unusual circumstances and
                                              health care team can find you. You
must be inspected prior to use.
                                              may request permission to leave the
                                              unit for short periods. If you must
Clothing                                      leave, you should notify your nurse
All medical and surgical patients are         before leaving and when you return.
expected to wear VA provided
pajamas, robe and slippers or shoes.          Personal Items
Patients on the Transitional Care
                                              You will be assigned a small clothing
Units, Extended Care Treatment
                                              locker on the unit. If possible, mark
Center, and Psychiatry are permitted
                                              your possessions with your name.
and encouraged to wear their personal
                                              Items that do not fit into the locker
clothing unless otherwise indicated.
                                              should be sent home or stored in the
All patients are asked to keep one set
                                              Patients’ Clothing Room. Valuables
of clothing and footwear with them for
                                              should be turned in for safekeeping in
discharge. Have personal items with
                                              the Patients' Clothing Room or sent
you when you check in such as tooth
                                              home. The hospital cannot be
brush, shaving kit, deodorant and
                                              responsible for any valuables you
toiletries.
                                              keep with you on the unit.

    If you are unable to provide
     your own toilet articles or
     other necessities, contact
             your nurse.

                                         22
Medications                                      proper precautions, germs can easily

   Tell your doctor about any                    spread among patients, visitors and

   medications you are taking.                   staff. Your cooperation is essential
                                                 and appreciated.
   If you brought medications with
                                                 Hand Hygiene is the best way to stop
   you, the admitting clerk will give the
                                                 the spread of germs. Washing hands
   medications to a relative or
                                                 with soap and water and/or using
   significant other so that they can be
                                                 alcohol-based hand products
   taken home. All medications not
                                                 contribute to decreasing infections
   taken home will be destroyed.
                                                 among patients in clinics and in
   All medications will be ordered by
                                                 hospital settings. As a patient you
   your doctor and given to you by a
                                                 should frequently perform hand
   nurse while in the hospital.
                                                 hygiene. Family members and visitors
   It is important that you are at your
                                                 should wash their hands before
   bedside to receive medications.
                                                 entering and when leaving the patient
   During admission to the hospital,
                                                 rooms. If hands are clean (no visible
   your medications might change.
                                                 dirt, grease or saliva) you are
   After discharge you should take
                                                 encouraged to use the alcohol based
   only those medications prescribed
                                                 hand products that are placed in the
   by your doctor as part of your
                                                 hallways and patient rooms.
   discharge treatment plan. Be sure
   to read the labels carefully. Take
   the medicines as directed and do
   not stop taking the medicine
   without medical advice.


Infection Control
Preventing the spread of infections in
the health care setting is everyone’s
responsibility. This includes patients,
family members and visitors. Without


                                            23
Respiratory Etiquette Program
Stop the spread of germs that make
you and other sick! If you seek care
in the STVHCS and have a cough, the
hospital staff will ask you to do the              Clean with alcohol based hand
following:                                          cleanser.
   Cover your mouth and nose with a
    tissue when you cough or sneeze;




                                                Note: You make be asked to put on a
                                                surgical mask to protect others.


   If you don’t have a tissue, cough or
    sneeze into your upper sleeve, not
    your hands;



                                                Please let family and friends know that
                                                if they are ill they should not visit or
                                                come with you to the hospital or
   Put your used tissue in the trash           clinics. If you have any questions
    can;                                        about the spread of germs and
                                                infections that are in the hospital,
                                                please ask your nurse or ask to speak
                                                to an Infection Control Professional.


   Clean your hands after coughing or
    sneezing;
   Wash with soap and water or;



                                           24
Parking at STVHCS                                Lost items
At San Antonio (ALMD):                           If you are admitted to the medical
   Valet parking is                              center, contact your nurse if you have
   available at no charge (tipping is            lost something. He/she will provide
   not allowed). Drive your car to the           you with instructions. If you are an
   main entrance of ALMD and an                  outpatient and have lost something,
   employee will assist you.                     check with the information window in
   Also, a courtesy passenger cart is            the front lobby of ALMD or the
   available in the ALMD parking lot if          operator at the KD.
   you chose to park your own car.
   The carts pick up anyone wanting a            Telephones
   ride and deliver them to the main             You may receive calls
   entrance and the ECTC entrance.               at your bedside phone
   There is no parking space available           between 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. each
   at ALMD for your automobile while             day. Patients with disabilities or
   you are admitted to the hospital.             special needs should contact their
   Please make arrangements for                  nurse. There is no charge for local
   safekeeping and storage of your               calls.
   automobile off hospital grounds.              Audie L. Murphy Division
   If you are admitted emergently (not           Local calls: Dial 9 + number
   scheduled), the VA police will allow          Long distance:
   one night of parking. If you need             Dial 9 + 0 + area code + number
   more than one night, contact the              Kerrville Division
   police at ALMD at ext. 15168.                 Local calls: Dial 7 + number
At Kerrville (KD):                               Long Distance:
   Both short term and long term                 Dial 9 + your phone company
   parking is available at the Kerrville
   Division. Check with the VA police
   by the main elevator on first floor of
   KD or call ext. 12162 or 12210.


                                            25
Visiting Hours                                   who is caring for the safety of the
                                                 minor. The patient's physician may
                                                 make exceptions based on age, the
                                                 patient's best interest, impact on other
                                                 patients, and the safety of the minor.
                                                 Intensive Care Units (ICU) and
The South Texas Veterans Health
                                                 Medical-Surgical Units
Care System has a liberal visitation
                                                 Visiting hours allow a family member,
policy in most areas. The hospital
                                                 friend, or other individual to be present
allows for the presence of a support
                                                 with the patient for emotional support
individual of the patient's choice,
                                                 during the course of the day.
unless the individuals presence
                                                 Mental Health Units:
infringes on others rights, safety, or is
                                                 Weekdays- 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
medically or therapeutically
                                                 Weekends and Holidays- 1:00 p.m. to
contraindicated. The individual may or
                                                 8:30 p.m.
may not be the patient's surrogate
                                                 Friends may visit in the dayroom or
decision maker or legally authorized
                                                 designated areas. Exceptions are
representative. The patient's
                                                 made by the patient's physician and
physician can limit or extend the
visitation practice. Any limits or               noted in the patient's medical record.
                                                 All visitors are requested to enter and
extensions to visitation will be noted in
the patient's medical record.                    exit the hospitals through the main
                                                 entrances.
Children under the age of 18 (minors)
may visit if the patient’s nurse
determines that the visit is in the best         STVHCS Services
interest of the patient and the child has        Barber
no evidence of communicable                      Barber service is available
diseases. A responsible adult must               in the barbershop or by making an
accompany the minor at all times. A              appointment through the unit nurse for
responsible adult is defined as a                patients confined to their bed.
parent or person over the age of 18


                                            26
ALMD barber shop is located in Room           If you have any questions about VA
038 (ground level) 7:00 a.m. - 1:00           billing activity, contact the Revenue
p.m. and 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.                Office at 210-616-8100. Office Hours
Monday – Friday.                              are: 8:30 a,m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday –
KD Barber shop is located in room             Friday.
005 (ground level) Tuesday and
Thursday 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.               VA Shuttle Service
                                              A no charge VA shuttle runs between
Billing (Revenue Office/MCCF)                 Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital and the
The mission of the VA Medical Care            Kerrville VA Hospital. Others shuttles
Cost Fund (MCCF) Program is to                run between FTOPC, Villa Serena,
maximize the recovery of funds due            and the Outpatient Clinics and Audie
VA for the provision of health care           L. Murphy Hospital. The shuttle is for
services to veterans, dependents and          patients who are receiving care.
others using the VA system.                   For more information contact your
Legislation has authorized the                local VA facility.
Revenue Office to:
   Submit claims to and recover               Clinic Appointments
   payments from veterans’ third party
                                              “Don’t Be a No Show”
   health insurance carriers for              Clinic appointments
   treatment of non-service-connected
                                              are prescheduled visits.
   conditions                                 You should make every
   Recover co-payments from certain           effort to keep your
   veterans for treatment of non-             scheduled appointment.
   service-connected conditions               However, if you must
   Recover co-payments for                    reschedule your appointment, please
   medications from certain veterans          contact the appropriate clinic clerk to
   for treatment of non-service-              request a cancellation and obtain
   connected conditions.                      another appointment. When reporting
                                              for a clinic appointment we ask that


                                         27
you check in no earlier than 15                Laboratory
minutes prior to the scheduled                 Hours for
appointment time. Every effort will be
                                               Outpatients
made to see all patients at their
                                               Audie L. Murphy
scheduled time; however, in some
                                               7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
cases due to unforeseen
                                               Frank Tejeda OPC
circumstances this may not always be
                                               7:30 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. Monday - Friday
possible.
                                               Kerrville
Don’t “walk-in” to the clinic without
                                               7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday
an appointment. If you have an
emergency, go the nearest emergency
                                               Lodging
room. If you feel that you need to be
                                               Lodging is available under certain
seen before your scheduled
                                               circumstances.
appointment, you can call the Telecare
                                               1. Lodgers must:
nurse or your primary care nurse for
                                                  Medically clear through Emergency
advice. Telecare nurses are available
                                                  Department
24 hours a day at 1-888-686-6350 or
in San Antonio call 210-949-3994.                 Obtain written clearance (lodging
                                                  ticket) from ALMD
                                                  Present lodging ticket at the hotel
Interpreter Services
                                                  desk with ID upon check-in.
A list of VA staff members is available
                                               2. Only patients living outside a 50-
who are fluent in a variety of
                                               mile radius of the ALMD or KD are
languages and American Sign
                                               eligible for lodging. Exception:
Language. Please ask your health
                                               Patients scheduled for outpatient
care team if you or your family need
                                               surgical or medical procedures the
the services on an interpreter.
                                               following day may be lodged for one
                                               night when medically indicated.




                                          28
3. Lodging is only prior to scheduled           Eligibility Reform Act
appointments and is usually only for            Change of address
one night.                                      Update Next of Kin List
Exception to the one night stays for            Release of information for your
lodging                                         medical records
   Patients scheduled for outpatient         Eligibility Questions: contact a
   surgical or medical procedures            Health Benefits Advisor.
   may be lodged one night prior to          Audie L. Murphy – first floor, Station
   the procedure and one night               “7” extension 15184
   following the procedure.                  Kerrville - first floor, Room 112
   Radiation and chemotherapy                extension 12123
   patients who meet the eligibility
   requirements may lodge more than          Nutrition Service (Meals)
   one night.                                Meals in the hospital will be
4. When a patient is in need of              ordered by your doctor and
lodging contact the following:               planned by a dietitian. The
   Admitting Office on first floor,          dietitian will be available to
   station “6” at ALMD                       talk with your family about
   Admissions area at KD                     the diet ordered for you. Any friend or
                                             relative who prepares your meals will
Medical Administration                       be invited to listen to the diet

Service                                      instructions.
                                                You may request a visit with the
The Medical Administration staff is
                                                dietitian by contacting your nurse.
available to assist you with the
following:                                      The unit staff will tell you when and
                                                where meals will be served.
   Eligibility for care
                                                Do not keep food that will spoil or
   Agent Orange Registry
                                                attract insects at your bedside.
   POW Registry
                                                Store food in non-breakable
   Nuclear Testing Examination
                                                containers only.


                                        29
Food Preference Program                            Management, Nutrition, Alcohol
Audie- 949-FOOD (3663)                             and Smoking Cessation, etc);
                                                   Support groups for veterans and
Patient Health Education                           their families;
                                                   Closed Circuit TV at ALMD with
                                                   health care information;
                                                   Health Education Materials
                                                   available in waiting areas and from
                                                   your healthcare providers.
It is your right to get the information
                                                Patient Education Resource Center
you need to understand your health,
                                                (PERC)
health problems and health care.
                                                The PERC is a place
Please take an active part in learning
                                                where a wide variety
about your health.
                                                of health, wellness
   Tell us what you want to learn
                                                and medical
   Ask us to help you get the care you
                                                information is available for both the
   need
                                                veteran patient and their families. The
   Tell us if you need special help with
                                                entire center is dedicated to patient
   hearing, seeing or understanding
                                                health education and general
   Ask us for more information on all           resources. Our goal is to provide
   education classes and support
                                                access to current health information.
   groups available.                            Where is the PERC located?
The STVHCS offers a variety of ways
                                                The PERC is located on the 3rd Floor,
to get Health Information so you can            D304.3A. Hours of operation are
take an active role in your healthcare
                                                between 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.,
as a partner with your providers:               Monday – Friday except federal
   Patient Health Educator at                   holidays. If you cannot visit the PERC,
   extension 17090 at ALMD;                     call us at 210-949-9250 or toll free at
   Special classes for veterans and             1-877-469-5300 ext. 19250 and we
   their families (Diabetes, Weight             can mail or fax you information.



                                           30
How can the PERC help you?                    available will help veterans partner
   Staff is available to assist you in        with healthcare providers to achieve
   obtaining and answering health             their best possible health. All your
   related questions.                         personal data will be secure and
   Pamphlets are available on a wide          private in your own eVAult. And you
   variety of health topics.                  will be able to share your online
   Online access to health                    information with anyone you
   information.                               designate. Today's healthcare is

   Quick access to medication                 really a strategic partnership between
   information                                patients and providers. My HealtheVet

   Health videos                              is a powerful tool to help you better

   Current magazines                          understand and manage your health. It

   Local newspapers                           is a powerful tool for sharing

Patients or family members are                information with your family, with your

encouraged to ask the PERC staff for          caregivers, with anyone you choose.

assistance in locating health-related         My HealtheVet puts you at the center

information. Web-based medical and            of your VA care. The My HealtheVet

drug information databases are used           (MHV) web site is located at

to provide information requested by           www.myhealth.va.gov.

patients. My HealtheVet Computers
are located in the PERC.                      Patient Travel
                                              Certain veterans are eligible for travel

My HealtheVet Web Site                        cost reimbursement. If you have any
                                              questions or would like to file a claim,
                                              Beneficiary Travel is located at:
                                                 Audie L. Murphy first floor by the
                                                 Agent Cashier, Room X113, ext.
My HealtheVet is a web-based
                                                 15603
application designed specifically for
                                                 Kerrville first floor in Room 146C,
veterans and their families. The tools
                                                 extension 12418.


                                         31
Release of Information                        tell you how to treat the problem at

The Federal Privacy Act and Freedom           home. The VA TeleCare Nurse can

of Information guidelines protect             also give you advice, information,

Information contained in VA medical           counseling and referrals to the nearest

records. If you need information              VA Medical Center or Clinic. Call the

released from your VA file, you will          VA TeleCare Nurse at the first sign of

need to complete the appropriate form.        a problem. Early treatment is a key

   ALMD - Release of Information is           factor in dealing with many health care

   located on the first floor, room           problems. Please be prepared to give

   Q106, in the Medical                       the nurse the following important

   Administration Offices, extension          information:

   15610                                      1. Your full name;

   KD - Release of Information is             2. Your social security number;

   located in main building, extension        3. Your current address;

   12122.                                     4. Phone numbers and area code
                                              where you can be reached;
                                              5. Your reason for calling the
Telecare Services
                                              Tele-Care Nurse.
                                               Call Toll Free: 1(888) 686-6350 or
                                               in San Antonio 210-949-3994


                                              Veterans Canteen Retail Store
The VA now offers telephone advice            And Food Court
services to veterans 24 hours a day,          ALMD
65 days a year. Call the TeleCare             Retail Store
Nurse if you have symptoms,                   (1st Floor Lobby Area)
questions, or need advice about any           7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
health problem. If your symptoms are          Weekends & Veterans Day Hours:
not serious, you may not need an              8:00a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
appointment. The TeleCare Nurse will          Food Department


                                         32
Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.                 the third floor, room #336. Phone
Monday through Friday                         number is 830 792 2553.
Weekend Hours:
8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.                        Chaplains
Vending machines are open 24 hours            Chaplains are available
a day.                                        for spiritual visits
Kerrville                                     Monday through Friday
Retail Store (Basement)                       and for urgent needs seven days a
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.                 week, 24 hours a day. Services of
Monday - Friday                               worship are provided in the hospital
(Closed on weekends and holidays)             chapel. The times of Services are
Food Department (Basement)                    announced on the Chapel Bulletin
Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 1:45 p.m. Monday           Board. Family and friends may attend
through Friday (Closed weekends)              with you. Hospital clothing is proper
Vending machines are open 24 hours            dress for all services. Although
a day.                                        chaplains visit the units and outpatient
                                              clinics frequently, you may see any of
People who can help you at                    the chaplains in their offices or you

the STVHCS?                                   can request a chaplain by contacting
                                              any staff person.
Benefits Counselors
                                              Audie L. Murphy
Veteran’s Benefits Counselors and
                                              Sunday services are televised on
Texas State Veterans Affairs
                                              Channel 13, Protestant Worship
Counselors are available to visit with
                                              Service at 9:45 a.m. and Mass at 11
veterans and their families: At Audie
                                              a.m. Religious literature may be
L. Murphy the counselors visit the
                                              obtained in the main Chapel, located
units Monday through Friday to see
                                              on the second floor.
each new patient. You may also visit
                                              Kerrville
their offices on the first floor. At
                                              Worship services are provided in the
Kerrville, the Texas Veterans
                                              hospital chapel located on the ground
Commission is in the main building on


                                         33
level of the main building. The Chapel         1-day class from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Bulletin Board maintains a current             every Tuesday in the Patient
listing of Chaplain Service activities.        Classroom in 1G at the Audie L.
Protestant Service is at 9 a.m. and            Murphy Hospital.
Catholic Mass at 11:00 a.m. Religious          For an appointment please call
literature may be obtained in the              Barbara Walz, RN, CDE
chapel.                                        (210) 617-5300 ext. 16754
                                               Diabetes classes at the STVHCS
Dental Service                                 Outpatient Clinics

The STVHCS Dental                              Most of the outpatient clinics have

Service provides a full                        diabetes classes. Please contact the

range of dental treatment to eligible          outpatient clinics for dates and times.

veterans.
ALMD Dental Clinic                             Patient Advocate
(210) 949-8900                                 As your Patient Advocate, we want to
Frank Tejeda Outpatient Clinic                 function as a link between you and the
(210) 699 2100 ext 13104                       hospital staff. If you have a concern or
Kerrville Division                             compliment, please ask to see us. We
(830) 896 2020 ext 12194                       are here to assist you. Do not hesitate
                                               to express your concerns. By
Diabetes Education                             identifying problem areas, you a

The diabetes education                         assisting in improving patient care.

program will teach you                         Your suggestions for improved care

how to balance food                            and service are welcome.

with activity, how to                          Patient Advocates

check your blood sugar, use a blood            Audie L. Murphy

glucose meter and help you with your           Mary C. Scott, Room L126

medications.                                   210 617-5235

Patients are scheduled for individual          David Q. Ramirez, Room L127

appointments. In addition, there is a          210 617-5214



                                          34
David Caudill. Room L129                       Primary Care
210 617-9419                                   Primary Care
Kerrville                                      means
Diane McIntosh                                 having one provider
830-792-2414                                   (doctor or nurse
                                               practitioner) who
Pharmacy                                       takes care of most of your health care
Pharmacy Service                               needs. Sometimes you need a
is part of your                                specialist for complex problems. Your
treatment team                                 Primary Care provider will arrange for
and is available to                            a specialist appointment and continue
all patients. Pharmacists are available        to oversee your care.
to provide medication counseling to
you and your family. Pharmacists will          Recreation
provide medication information such            A variety of activities are available in
as dosage and possible side effects.           the Recreation Center (first floor at the
Audie L. Murphy Outpatient                     ALMD, ground level at the KD) for
Pharmacy is open from 8:00 a.m. to             inpatients, outpatients, and families in
8:00 p.m. Monday – Friday.                     an effort to maintain/increase leisure
Kerrville Outpatient Pharmacy is open          interests. Activities may include
from 8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.                     parties, shows, competitive games and
Monday - Friday.                               movies. Check bulletin boards for
For Prescription refills use the               times of activities. Your doctor may
Automated Refill Line:                         prescribe Recreation Therapy as part
1 (800) 209-7377 and follow the                of your overall treatment while
directions. You will need:                     hospitalized. Recreation Therapy is
   Your complete Social Security               the treatment of illnesses and
   Number                                      disabling conditions through the use of
   Your Prescription numbers in order          therapeutic recreation activities,
   to refill your medications.                 leisure education and leisure


                                          35
participation. These programs are              Social Workers
designed to increase function,                 Social workers are assigned to each
enhance development and prevent                inpatient unit, to each medical team
disability. Recreation Therapy is given        within the hospital and to each
under the supervision of a Recreation          outpatient clinic and primary care
Therapist.                                     team. Social workers are highly trained
                                               to help with the following:
Respiratory Therapy                               social, emotional, and family
Respiratory Therapy                                problems
provides services to                              obtaining community resources
patients in the hospital,                          such as meals and shelter
in clinics, as well as in                         obtaining home services such a
the home. Respiratory                              home health aides
Therapy provides a wide range of                  planning your care after discharge
pulmonary and respiratory testing as           If you need to contact a social worker,
well as providing oxygen and                   call the Social Work office at:
breathing equipment used in the                Audie L. Murphy (210) 617-5113
home. Respiratory Therapy personnel            Kerrville (830) 792-2462
educate patients, family members and
caregivers in the most current, up-to-         Spinal Cord Injury Center
date treatments available.                     The Spinal Cord Injury Center (SCIC)
For more information call:                     in the Audie Murphy Division of the
ALMD Respiratory Therapy                       South Texas Veterans Healthcare
(210) 617-5300 ext 14877                       System is proud to serve the needs of
KD Respiratory Therapy                         veterans with spinal cord injuries and
(830) 896-2020 ext 12249                       dysfunction. In addition, we accept
                                               under an established sharing
                                               agreement, active duty members of
                                               the armed services who suffer or
                                               develop a spinal cord injury or


                                          36
dysfunction. To access our Spinal                   VIST is a program that works to help in
Cord Injury program, a referral or                  the adjustment to sight loss. Some
consult is needed. After verification of            training is provided locally and some at
eligibility, and exchange of needed                 a Regional Blind Rehab Center. The
medical documentation, we will                      VIST office is located at 8410
arrange for transfer to our facility. We            Datapoint, Suite 200. For more
encourage family and friends to                     information contact :
arrange for a visit to the facility prior to        Larry Belote at (210) 949-8927.
the transfer. This visit will include a
tour of the Center. At the tour,                    Telecommunication Device for
educational materials will be given to              the Deaf (TDD)
help all involved understand the issues
                                                    A telecommunications device for the
facing spinal cord injured veterans.
                                                    deaf (TDD) is an electronic device for
The SCIC provides a vast array of
                                                    text communication via a telephone
services to the veteran using an
                                                    line. A TDD is used when one or more
interdisciplinary approach to care both
                                                    of the parties have hearing or speech
in inpatient and outpatient treatment
                                                    difficulties. TDD phones are available
settings. Our staff is very dedicated to
                                                    at both the Audie L. Murphy and
serving the needs of the SCI patient
                                                    Kerrville Hospital Divisions. Please
on a continuum of care appropriate to
                                                    contact Social Work Service during
the individual’s needs. To Contact the
                                                    normal business hours or Nursing
Spinal Cord Injury Center call: (210)
                                                    Service after hours for inpatient TDD
617 5300 ext 16838.
                                                    use or for business related to inpatient
                                                    care.
Visual Impairment Services                          Escort Service for Cognitively
Team (VIST)                                         Impaired Veterans
VIST provides unique
                                                    Escort service is available
rehabilitation and
                                                    for cognitively impaired
equipment to veterans who are legally
                                                    veterans at both the Audie
blind or significantly visually impaired.


                                               37
L. Murphy and Kerrville Hospital                 in the hospitals, clinics, Vet Centers,
Division. Inpatients are routinely               Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery,
escorted to and from appointments by             Transportation Network and
staff and or volunteers. Escort service          community-based programs to
is also available for the outpatient             enhance the services offered to
veteran who needs assistance for                 veterans. To contact voluntary
scheduled appointments. Contact                  service:
Voluntary Service at Audie extension             Audie L. Murphy: (210) 617-5107 or
15107 or Kerrville at 12183 in advance           stop by the office in Building #4 (in
of the need.                                     front of the main hospital entrance).
                                                 Kerrville: (830) 896-2020 ext 12183
Voluntary Service                                Room 021A (Basement).


                                                 Women’s Veterans Programs




Voluntary Service manages a                      Women Veterans Coordinators (WVC)
Volunteer Program that consists of               are located at ALMD and KD. They
volunteers and voluntarily sponsored             can provide you with information about
patient activities. Through the support          the with information about the Women
of volunteers and donations, Voluntary           Veterans Health program and assist
Service provides direct services to              with arrangements for Pap smears,
veterans. Most of the patient                    mammograms, women's health
recreation activities are sponsored by           examinations, or for counseling related
an organization. Patients also benefit           to sexual trauma that occurred on
from donations of books, clothes,                active duty. At each Satellite Clinic
toiletries, stamps, cards and other              division, there is a representative for
table games. In addition, monies                 the Women’s Veteran Health Program.
contributed assist with crisis situations        Audie L. Murphy
and special needs. Volunteers serve              Barbara Hector at ext. 68181


                                            38
Kerrville                                        Know what the treatment will
Janeth Del Toro at (830) 896-2020                include and how long the treatment
and ask the operator to page her.                should last.
                                               2. Know all your medicines.

Patient Safety- STVHCS Cares                     Bring all your medicines you are
                                                 taking with you including all
About Your Safety
                                                 prescribed medicines, over the
South Texas Veterans Health Care
                                                 counter medicines, vitamins, food
System is committed to providing safe
                                                 supplements, and herbal remedies.
health care for our patients and their
                                                 Tell your doctor and nurses if you
families. We believe that everyone
                                                 have any drug allergies.
plays an important role in your safety,
                                                 Your prescriptions are written by
including you. Taking an active role in
                                                 computer. Whenever a new
your health care is important in
                                                 medicine is ordered you will be
keeping you safe.
                                                 given an updated list of all your
These are steps you can take to help
                                                 medicines.
you keep safe and improve your care.
                                                 It is important to bring your VA card
1. Ask questions if you have any
                                                 with you when you pick up your
doubts or concerns.
                                                 medicines. Proof of identification is
   Remember, it is okay to ask
                                                 needed to make sure you receive
   questions. Your health is too
                                                 the right medicine.
   important to worry about being
                                                 Ask the pharmacist:
   embarrassed if you don’t
                                                  What is the medicine for?
   understand something you are told.
                                                  How am I suppose to take it
   Write down your questions you
                                                     and for how long?
   have for your doctor so that you do
                                                  What are the common side
   not forget them.
                                                     effects and what do I do if they
   If you think something is wrong,
                                                     occur?
   speak up. You have the right to
   ask about your health care.



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    Is this medicine safe to take                If you are place in isolation while in
      with over the counter medicines             the hospital, please ask your family
      or dietary supplements?                     or friends to follow all instructions
    What food, drink, or other                   posted on the room isolation sign.
      activities should I stay away            4. Get results of any test or
      from while taking these                     treatments.
      medicines?                                  Ask when and how you will get
    About any directions on the                  results of any test or treatments.
      medicine bottles you do not                 Do not think that no news is good
      understand.                                 news. Ask your doctor or nurse for
    For medicine information                     your results.
      sheets, pill cutters, pill boxes,           Ask what the results mean for your
      and or medicine cups.                       care.
   Before you receive medicines, be            5. Understand what will happen if
   sure the nurse asks your name and              you need surgery.
   checks your arm band.                          Ask your surgeon:
3. Help prevent the spread of                      What exactly will he be doing to
   infection.                                        you?
   Remind health care givers, family               About how long it will take?
   and friends to wash their hands or              What will happen after surgery?
   use an alcohol based hand product               And, how can I expect to feel
   before coming into contact with                   after my surgery?
   you. Hand washing is the most                  Make sure the surgeon explains
   important way to prevent the                   and you understand any possible
   spread of infection.                           problems.
   Ask providers if they washed their             Tell all the doctors and nurses any
   hands before examining you.                    bad reactions you had to
   Discourage family or friends with              anesthesia medicines.
   an active cough from visiting you.             Before receiving any medicines or
                                                  have test done, make sure the


                                          40
   nurse or technician asks your              Police Notification Procedures
   name and checks your name band.            Everyone is encouraged
   Make sure that your doctor has             to notify the VA Police as
   clearly marked the body part to be         soon as possible when they
   operated on you.                           are aware of an actual or
6. Know what to do after you are              suspected criminal activity, suspicious
   discharged from the hospital.              activity or emergency condition (i.e.
   Make sure you understand all               theft, assault, disturbance, threat, etc.)
   discharge instructions and any             Audie L. Murphy the police station is
   follow up appointments given to            located in the main lobby (ext. 15911)
   your by your doctor and nurses.            Kerrville the police station is adjacent
   Get a written copy of the                  to main lobby (ext 12911).
   instructions to take home with you.
   Review all medicines you are given         Restraints
   with the nurse or pharmacist               It is the policy of the South Texas
   including:                                 Veterans Health Care System that
    The name of the medicines;               patients receive care free from the use
    How much to take;                        of restraint devices except when
    The reason you are taking it;            necessary to protect the patient.
    And how often to take them.              What are restraints?
   Ask your doctor or nurse to provide        Restraints are things that prevent or
   a phone number to call if you have         limit movement of any part of the body.
   any questions following your               Why restraints are used?
   discharge.                                 Some medications or illnesses can
Remember, you are an important part           cause patients to be confused.
of your health care team. Patient             Restraints are used to help keep
safety is everyone’s job. Speak up            patients from hurting themselves.
about any questions or concerns you           We use restraints to help prevent:
may have about your health care.




                                         41
   Behavior that posses immediate                Eat a healthy diet;
   risk to patient’s own safety or to            Get regular check-ups and
   others                                          screenings;
   Removal of needed medical                     Control your weight;
   equipment                                     Prevent accidents and injuries;
   Harm to wounds or bandages                    Get immunizations.
                                                Immunizations
Preventing Falls                                Keeping your immunizations up-to-
The STVHCS wants to tell you some               date is important to your health. We
ways to help you remain safe while              recommend:
you are a patient. The risk for falls is           a yearly flu shot;
highest in your first few days in the              a pneumococcal vaccine at age 65
hospital. Remember,                                (or sooner if you have chronic
Call Don’t Fall.                                   health problems);
                                                   Tetanus shot every 10 years.
Weight Management                               Screening Exams
                                                Screening exams are done to find out
                                                if you are at risk for specific health
                                                problems. It is important to have the

If your weight keeps you from doing             following screenings:

what you want or feeling your best              Blood Pressure Management

please ask a about our weight                       All Adults
reduction programs– we can help!                    Every visit
                                                Cholesterol Screening

Staying Healthy                                    Men older than 35

There are steps you                                Women older than 45

can take to stay healthy.                          Anyone with a history of heart

 Avoid drinking alcohol and                       disease or diabetes or anyone that

   smoking;                                        smokes
                                                   Yearly


                                           42
Mammogram                                       Depression Screening
   All women                                       All adults
   40-80 years                                     At least yearly
   Screening exam at age 35 and                 Pain Assessment
   annual mammogram every year                     All adults
   after 40                                        At every visit
Pap Smear (to detect cervical                   Hepatitis C Screening
cancer)                                            All adults
   Women up to age 75                              Yearly
   Yearly with history of STDs or
   multiple sex partners
   Every 3 years after 2 normal
   annual exams
   Stop after age 75 if other exams
   are normal
Colorectal Cancer Screenings
   Everyone over age 50
   Colonoscopy every 10 years or
   FOBT (fecal occult blood test)
   yearly.
Prostate Exam
   Men between 50 -75 should
   discuss this test with their provider
   As recommended
Tobacco Screening
   Anyone who has used tobacco
   At every visit
Alcohol Screening
   Everyone who has used alcohol
   At every visit


                                           43
Notice:
The South Texas Veterans Health Care System and all of its programs and facilities
in San Antonio, Kerrville and South Texas, are pleased to announce that the quality
of services provided are of the highest caliber, as expressed by the 3-year
accreditation decision of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare
Organizations (JCAHO), for the period 2005-2008. “Patients and their families,
patient advocates and advocacy groups, members of the community for whom
services are provided and staff members are able to communicate with JCAHO by
writing or calling. The public may contact the Joint Commission’s Office of Quality
Monitoring to report any concerns or register complaints about a Joint Commission–
accredited health care organization by either calling (800) 994-6610 or emailing
complaint@jcaho.org.




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