RPA Patient Info

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1                                                                   Your Room

Single Rooms
The allocation of single rooms is initially prioritised to all patients based on clinical
need with the remaining single rooms preferentially allocated to private patients.

What to bring – Bring a small bag with the necessary clothes and toiletries (such as
a toothbrush).

Please do not bring valuables with you, if you must keep valuables please ask the
nursing staff to arrange for their safekeeping and you will be given a receipt. The
hospital is not responsible for items that have not been declared and cannot reimburse
you for lost property.

The safe keeping of your valuables is a rigorous and secure process: you will be
involved as witness and you will be given a receipt which will be placed on your
medical records.

Emergency Situations
All staff are trained in emergency procedures. In the unlikely event of a fire or other
emergency situations you and your visitors should stay by your bed and wait for staff to
give instructions.

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1                                                               Your Room

Radio and Television Hire
A radio is incorporated into the bedside units and offers several radio programs.
Television sets for patients’ bedsides are available for hire from the television hire
service. Please ask the ward staff for an order form. It is recommended that patients,
where possible, use headphones to minimise noise for other patients on the ward.

You may choose meals that meet your personal preferences and medical condition.
Daily menus offer meal choices consistent with dietary guidelines. If you would like
a vegetarian, kosher or culturally specific meal, please specify this when ordering.

To use the phone, you will need to purchase a SSWAHS phone card. These phone
cards are $10 and are available from the Cashier on Level 5 of the main building and
from the Coffee Cart at the Institute of Rheumatology and Orthopaedics (IRO) (QEII
Building). Outside of the Cashier’s hours of operation, the phone cards can be
purchased from the Café on Level 5 of the main building.
2                                Discharge from Hospital

Going Home
The hospital’s check out time is 10am. Please note that all patients are responsible for
their transport home.

A Discharge Lounge is available for patients to wait for pick up.

Planning your Discharge
Upon admission, your doctor should tell you your expected date of discharge. During
your admission your doctor should inform you of any changes to this date.

• Discharge involves you, your family or carers in determining your needs on return to
  your usual life following hospitalisation.
• On admission inform nursing staff if you have community nurses or community home
  supports in place.

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) offers an extensive range of services that can
address your discharge planning needs. Some of the services that can be arranged
following your discharge include Community nursing, Meals on Wheels, Equipment
loans, Rehabilitation services, Homecare, Speciality clinics, Outpatient appointments.

If you have any concerns about managing at home or work after the discharge from the
hospital please raise these concerns with ward staff or your doctor.

Medications commenced or changed during your hospital stay that need to be
continued will be given to you on your discharge. Medications are only prescribed for
five (5) days after discharge; further prescriptions for these medications will need to be
obtained from your GP.

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2                               Discharge from Hospital

Discuss the medications with your doctors or pharmacist so you understand why, when
and how to take them.

    Please be aware that the hospital pharmacy services the entire hospital.
   Unfortunately this means that you might have to wait for medications to be
 dispensed for up to 3 hours after the prescription is written. Please keep this in
   mind when planning your discharge and be patient with the hospital's staff

Medical Certificates
Medical certificates can be obtained from the medical team involved in your care.

Discharge Letter and X-rays
A letter summarising your hospital admission will be given to you on discharge to give
to your GP.

Please obtain private Xrays and scans from ward staff on discharge.

Outpatient Appointments
On discharge, an outpatient appointment for follow up care may be made for you. When
you return to the hospital for the appointment please bring your appointment card,
Medicare Card and/or Pension Entitlement Card with you.

       Valuables should be obtained from security on leaving the hospital.
3             Your Rights and Responsibilities

Your Rights:
• Be treated with respect, dignity and consideration and receive services free from
  discrimination regardless of your age, gender, sexual preference, religion or culture.
• Free hospital services as a public patient, if you have a current Medicare card.
  Mostly community health services are free while some require copayment and
  eligibility criteria.
• Request a health care interpreter
• Be informed of any costs of services
• Treatment based on clinical need regardless of your ability to pay or your health
  insurance status
• Have a clear explanation of your condition with information that is easy to
  understand, including risks and other choices.
• Have your personal information kept private and confidential.
• Obtain a second opinion about your condition.
• Give a compliment or make a complaint (contact the Patient Representative on
  9515 5115)
• See your health record to the extent permitted within NSW Health Guidelines
  (information is available regarding accessing your medical record through the
  SSWAHS website and the Medical Record Department)
• Decide if you want to take part in medical research and clinical training
• Take part in decisions about your health care.
• Apply for a travel allowance if you need to travel more than 100km to receive
• Receive instructions to care for yourself after discharge
• Leave a health facility at any time at your own risk and liability
• Refuse care from a particular health care practitioner or facility (however, a Hospital
  or Health Service may not be able to provide an appropriate alternative).

Your responsibilities:
• Treat all people you meet in the health service (staff, volunteers, patients/client, their
  families, and aged care residents) with respect.
• Give staff accurate information as much as you can regarding your health and any
  beliefs that may affect your treatment.

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3             Your Rights and Responsibilities

• Tell staff if you are taking any medicine, recreational drugs or natural remedies.
• Tell staff if someone else is treating you for the same condition.
• Ask questions and talk to family if you want to, before making any decisions about
  your health care.
• Follow staff instructions regarding your treatment.
• Tell staff about any problems you are having because of your treatment or the
  medications you are taking.
• Be on time for appointments and let the health service know if you want to cancel.
• Talk to your local doctor if your condition changes while you are on a waiting list for
• Respect the confidentiality and privacy of others.
• Provide a safe environment in your home for health care workers that are free from
  smoke, free from violence and harassment, free from unrestrained animals.

Patient Representative
Complaints or feedback are an opportunity for the hospital to make changes where
required to improve the service that we provide for you. Complaints should be
discussed with the ward manager, medical physician or directly with the patient

     The patient representative’s role is to be objective and to assist you by
      answering questions, discussing complaints that you may have with
        members of your health care team and to resolve your concerns.

The Patient Representative is available for you, your family and friends to discuss any
problems that may affect you during your stay.

You may contact the Patient Representative for a confidential discussion by calling
9515 5115, Monday to Friday (except public holidays) or 9515 6111, after hours (after
5pm).You may also ask a nurse on your ward to contact the Patient Representative on
your behalf.

If you feel that your concern has not been resolved satisfactorily you can contact the
Professional Practice Unity on 9828 5959.
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3             Your Rights and Responsibilities

If you are still not satisfied or your complaint has not been resolved, you may wish to
contact the Healthcare Complaints Commission on 9219 7444.

Under the Health Records and Information Privacy (HRIP) Act 2002, SSWAHS is
committed to safeguarding the privacy of patient information and has implemented
measures to comply with these obligations. Our staff are bound by law, by NSW Health
Privacy Policy and by strict code of conduct to maintain confidentiality of patient
information. Further information is available from the SSWAHS Patients/Clients Privacy
Information Brochure which is available in all outpatient areas and wards.

As part of the Hospital’s quality programme you may be contacted by phone when you
return home. This is to help us find out about your experience as a patient in the
hospital and where we can make improvements.

As we are a teaching and research hospital, you may be asked to participate in
research projects or student education. You can choose not to do this, but your
participation is greatly appreciated and will help improve health services provided
in the future.
4                                                     Your Care Team

Nursing and midwifery staff provide and coordinate 24 hour care during you stay in
hospital. Nursing care is provided by a team of nurses including registered nurses,
enrolled nurses, trainee enrolled nurses. Each of these nurses have different skills
dependent on the type of training they have undertaken.You may also be seen in some
cases by a Clinical Nurse Consultant or Case manager; these nurses are senior expert
clinicians who have extensive experience in particular health care specialities. Please
ask your nurse if you are unsure of what they are able to do for you.

Each ward or unit is managed by a Nursing Unit Manager who is responsible for the
overall coordination and organisation of the ward including the nursing and support
staff. After hours one of the senior nurses are incharge and available to discuss any
issues of concern with you or your family.

All members of the nursing team liaise closely with your medical team and other health
care professionals listed below to ensure you have the best clinical care.

Medical staff
Your medical care is provided by a comprehensive team of doctors working across a
wide range of speciality services. Medical teams include registrars and resident doctors
who may be involved in the majority of your medical care. Registrars are senior
graduate doctors, usually training in a particular medical or surgical speciality.
Residents are graduate doctors, either completing general hospital training or
commencing speciality training.

Aboriginal Liaison Officers
Aboriginal Liaison Officers are available to assist indigenous patients and their families
to access RPA inpatient and outpatient services and link with services in SSWAHS
such as the Aboriginal Medical Service. A male or female Aboriginal Liaison Officer is
available through this service.

Good nutrition is essential for healing and recovery. Dietitians assess the nutritional
status of patients and ensure that their nutritional needs are met.Your dietitian will also

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4                                                    Your Care Team

discuss with you any dietary modifications you may require during your stay in hospital
and provide follow up after discharge, if required. A diet technician who works for the
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics will take your menu selections each day.

Discharge Liaison Nurse
The discharge liaison nurse organises ongoing nursing care for patients who need this
service at home after discharge.

Healthcare Interpreter Service
The hospital has a free and confidential interpreter service for patients who have
difficulty understanding or communicating medical or other information in English. If
you and / or your family would like to use this service, please let the ward staff know so
an appointment can be arranged.

Occupational Therapists
Occupational Therapists can help you regain your independence by providing practical
support and assistance with everyday needs such as showering, dressing or cooking.
This may take the form of education regarding alternative ways of performing the task
or advice on items of equipment or minor home modifications that may assist you and /
or your carer to manage more safely and independently at home.

Medication is an important part of your treatment. If you are unsure of what medication
you should be taking, how to take it, how it works or if you have problems remembering
what to take, your ward pharmacist will be happy to advise you.

Treat patients with a wide variety of medical and post operative conditions. They
provide assessment, treatment and education of patients and their families.
Physiotherapy aims to assist patients with their timely rehabilitation and ensure a safe
return home. If further management of your condition is required on discharge, followup
services are arranged by your physiotherapist during your stay.

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4                                                     Your Care Team

The hospital’s clinical psychologists provide confidential counselling for patients
requiring support.

Social Workers
A hospital visit can be very stressful and may raise practical and emotional concerns.
Social workers can provide counselling and support services, assistance with
discharge planning, give advice about using welfare services and refer you to a range
of community support agencies such as Housing and Meals on Wheels.

Speech Pathologists
Communication or swallowing difficulties can occur as part of certain medical
conditions. Speech Pathologists can help you regain your independence in
communicating with friends and family. They can also assist with difficulties in
swallowing. Treatment is offered on both an inpatient and outpatient basis.
5                                                  Welcome to RPA

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital is a teaching hospital and provides a wide range of
services. It is well known for its standards of excellence in patient care, teaching and
research and is accredited by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards.
It is one of NSW’s largest public teaching hospitals, caring for the local community and
patients who are referred from throughout NSW, interstate and oversees for specialist

This guide aims to provide you with information to make your stay with us more
comfortable and to help you feel more informed about what happens in the hospital.
Members of our staff are here to help you and are committed to providing the best
possible care during your stay. Please do not hesitate to ask the staff if you have
questions about the hospital routine, your illness or other matters.

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5                                                   Welcome to RPA

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA)
Since opening in 1882, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s dedicated staff have established
a national and international reputation for leadership in quality patient care.You are the
most important reason why RPA exists. Everything undertaken at the Hospital is
intended toward providing the best possible care and treatment for you.
RPA is a principal provider of specialist healthcare and one of the leading medical
teaching hospitals in Australia. The wide range of services we provide include the
National Liver Transplant Unit, Renal Dialysis and Transplant Services, Women’s and
Children’s Health, the Institute of Rheumatology and Orthopaedics, Emergency,
Trauma and Intensive Care Services, Medical Imaging, Cardiology and Cardiothoracic
Surgery, Respiratory Medicine, the Sydney National Cancer Centre, the Melanoma
Unit and Breast Cancer Institute.

This patient information kit explains the various hospital services that you may come
across during your stay with us. If you are worried about the hospital routine or your
illness, please talk to our staff, they will be happy to help you.

The Executive Management Team at RPA
The Executive Team that is responsible for the delivery of health care at RPA is lead by
the Executive Director, the Director of Nursing and Midwifery Services, the Director of
Medical Administration and the Director Corporate Services and Finance. The Hospital
Executive is committed to the provision of excellence in healthcare and welcome your
feedback on our organisation at any time.
6                                         General Information

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital is located at Missenden Road, Camperdown. The nearest
major cross road is Parramatta Road. To contact the Hospital, phone (02) 9515 6111.

Only general information about your condition is given to phone inquiries unless
instructed otherwise by you.

Sydney South West Area Health Service: http://www.sswahs.nsw.gov.au

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital: http://www.sswahs.nsw.gov.au/rpa

Mobile Phones
Private mobile phones are not to be used within the hospital as they can interfere with
medical equipment. It is recommended that you have a relative or friend take your
mobile phone home for safekeeping.

 We ask that you and your visitors please observe signs and staff instructions.

Public Phones
Public phones are located throughout the hospital. In addition, you can hire a bedside
phone through the cashier’s office inside the main entrance of the hospital. The cashier
accepts credit cards and eftpos.

Public Transport
Train: The nearest station is Newtown. The hospital is approximately a 20minute walk
along King Street from Newtown station.

Bus: No 412 from Town Hall (Sydney) to Belmore station passes the hospital,
operating regularly.
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6                                          General Information

➢ The bus passes Central Station, stopping on Georges St, Stand D. When travelling
  from Central station, the bus stops at RPA directly outside the main entrance.

➢ No 438 and 440 run from Circular Quay along Parramatta Road. Alight at the corner
  of Missenden Road and walk 5-10 minutes to the hospital. Nos. 422, 423, 426, 428
  run from Circular Quay via King Street Newtown. Alight from the bus at the corner
  of Missenden Road and walk 5-10 minutes to the hospital.

➢ Phone 131500 for more information on public transport or visit the following

➢ Trains: http://www.cityrail.info Buses: http://www.sydneybuses.info

➢ For more information: http://www.131500.info

➢ Taxi: A taxi rank is outside the main building on Missenden Road.

Car Parking
Limited parking is available in the King George V car park at a small cost per entry.
Visitors can enter the car park via Missenden Road.

There are council operated parking meters in the surrounding streets. Compliance is
recommended to avoid council imposed infringement notices.

Subsidised parking is available for visitors of longterm patients. Please contact the
ward staff or social workers for details.

For simpler parking the cashier sells weekly parking tickets at a cost of $15 dollars.
The cashier also sells a $20 dollar parking keycard. This keycard can be used instead
of money, but it is only worth $20 dollars. Both the $15 ticket and $20 keycard are only
valid in hospital operated car parks (King George V) and depend on the availability of
car spaces.
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6                                         General Information

Bike stands are provided outside the main building of RPA.

Visiting Hours
Visiting hours can vary from ward to ward so it is best to check with each individual
ward as to what the hours are. In general, visitors are welcome between 10am and
8pm excluding a rest period in the middle of the day. The intensive care service allows
visitors 24 hours of the day unless otherwise advised.

Visitors may be requested to leave the ward for short periods during patient treatment
or in an emergency situation in your ward area.

Children are very welcome to visit provided they are supervised. Elderly visitors can
access a free wheelchair service to transport them around the hospital, however this
depends on availability of the wheelchairs. Please ask at the admissions desk.
We recommend that you have no more than three visitors at your bedside at any one
time for your own comfort and the comfort of other patients.

    If you wish to limit your visitors in any way, please let the ward staff know.

The Hospital is a smoke free environment, All the buildings and outdoor areas of the
hospital grounds are SMOKE FREE. This includes the areas immediately outside ALL
entrances to the hospital. Smoking is NOT permitted anywhere inside the hospital

If you are a smoker and you are in hospital for more than 24 hours you can ask for
Nicotine Replacement Therapy such as gum, patches or lozenges as part of your care
to make your hospital stay as comfortable as possible. Support and advice about giving
up smoking are also available for patients.
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6                                          General Information

Alcohol and Drugs
Alcohol or illicit drugs must not be brought into the hospital. This includes the
possession and / or smoking of marijuana (cannabis) as these substances can react
with medication causing harmful side effects.

There is an ANZ ATM inside the hospital. The National Australia Bank (NAB) has an
ATM machine on Missenden Road. Westpac, Commonwealth Bank and ANZ have
branches on King St, Newtown.

Internet access
Is available in the café on level four and in the main foyer past the Inquiries Counter.
7                                                 Hospital Services

Volunteer Services
The volunteers of RPA generously give their time to assist hospital staff providing for
the comfort and welfare of patients. The volunteers undertake various nonclinical duties
such as:
➢ provide tea and coffee to patients in clinic areas
➢ guide people around the hospital
➢ provide patients with books to read
➢ perform special tasks for patients, e.g. post letters
➢ wash clothes for patients who have no one to perform this task
➢ arrange and water patient’s flowers
➢ visit patients
➢ provide practical and emotional support

             If you require assistance from the RPA Volunteer Services,
                              let the nursing staff know.

A florist is located on level 5 (ground level) inside the main entrance to the hospital.
The florist operates from 8am – 8pm Monday to Sunday.

Phone number: 1300 florist
Website:      http://www.florist.com.au

Places to eat, meet friends and relax can be found on the fourth and fifth floor of the
Clinical Services Building.

A newsagency operates on level 5 in the main foyer of RPA from 8.30am – 6pm
weekdays and 9am – 5pm on weekends.

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7                                                 Hospital Services

A pharmacy operates on level 5 in the main foyer of RPA from 8.30am – 5:30pm

Post Office
Postal services are also available on the ground floor in King George V building.

You will need to ask a friend or relative to do your personal laundry while you are in
hospital. If you do not have anyone to do your laundry, please let the ward staff know.

Justice of the Peace
There are many Justices of the Peace (JPs) on the staff of the hospital. If you need the
service of a JP, please ask one of the ward staf

The Hospital has a Chapel for your spiritual needs. All patients, visitors and staff are

A visit to you on the ward by a Chaplain can also be arranged. Please ask a member
of staff if your require this.

Quiet Rooms
There are a number of Quiet Rooms available throughout the hospital on most levels.
These rooms may be used for quiet meditation, prayer or a place to escape in times of
stress to gather your thoughts. Ward staff are able to direct you to the nearest Quiet
Room and ensure that the room is available.
8                                                          Your Account

Medicare Patients
If you do not have private health insurance you are entitled to treatment within the
public health care system. As a Medicare patient the hospital decides which doctor
(doctors) will treat you. You do not have to pay for your treatment or hospital

Privately Insured Patients
All patients who use their insurance directly help RPA and in return receive some
additional benefits during their stay. One of the benefits of entering hospital as a
privatively insured patient is that you have direct access to your own specialist.

Benefits of being admitted as a privately insured patient include:

➢ You may request a single room and you will be given preferential access to single
  rooms (If not being used by another patient due to clinical priority).
➢ If you utilise your private health insurance hospital cover, we guarantee you will have
  no out of pocket expenses for accommodation, laboratory, diagnostic, prostheses,
  physiotherapy or other Allied Health service charges. This includes blood tests, xrays
  and scans.
➢ You will help the hospital and the state government by saving them money. That
  means more money is available to help other people.
➢ As a privately insured patient you have direct access to your own specialist.

Your health fund and Medicare will cover the costs associated with your hospital
accommodation and our Simplified Billing means there are no claim forms, no
queues and no fuss.

If you do not have private health insurance you are still entitled to be admitted as a
private patient and pay a competitive rate for your hospital accommodation.

Simplified Billing
Don’t want the hassle of all those separate bills? Tired of all the running around
between Medicare and your health fund? Ask RPA admissions staff about Simplified
Billing then sign just one form, and the hospital will do all the “running around” for
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8                                                          Your Account

Simplified Billing is Part of RPA’s Customer Service
➢ Simplified Billing is a free service.
➢ With Simplified Billing, RPA will act on your behalf and make all claims to Medicare
  and your health fund for you.
➢ You will receive just one statement – which includes any outstanding amounts not
  covered by Medicare or your health fund.
➢ Your statement will have an itemised list of all the claims made to Medicare and your
  health fund on your behalf.
➢ We guarantee to respect your privacy and confidentially throughout the entire
  claiming process.
➢ If you are treated by a visiting medical officer (a doctor who is not directly employed
  by the hospital) or an anaesthetist, you may receive a bill directly from his or her
➢ Ask staff at the admissions desk to organise Simplified Billing for you and save time.

Overseas Patients
If you are an overseas visitor and you are not eligible for Medicare cover, you will be
asked to prepay hospital charges, unless you have private health insurance.

Worker’s Compensation, Third Party or
Common Law Claims
If you are in hospital on a compensation claim, it is important that you tell the
Admission Office which insurance company is handling your case, otherwise all
accounts will be sent to you. If you have any questions about your fees, please discuss
them with your doctor or staff.

For general account enquiries phone 9515 3468.