Admission to the hospital can create anxiety for both you and your family. We have a team of nurses and social workers who provide a wide range of services. They help find answers to questions concerning how to pay for hospitalization, planning for care after discharge, patient education, advanced directives and linking you to other community resources for services.
The written instructions you use to state your health care preferences before becoming seriously ill are called advance directives. Before making these important decisions, we recommend that you discuss the issues and your personal wishes with your family, close friends, provider, attorney or clergy. Documents that state these wishes include a living will, written health care directive or durable power of attorney for health care decisions.
Our policy states that it is your right to make health care decisions. Our goal is to make certain your preferences are known and respected. If you have not previously documented your health care preferences, our health care team will take all reasonable steps to maintain your life.
Important points about health care directives:
- Missouri law does not allow family members to make health care decisions for adult patients unless specifically granted in a durable power of attorney.
- An advance directive has no effect if the patient is pregnant.
- If you have an advance directive from another state, it will be accepted, but may not be fully enforceable if it fails to comply with Missouri law.
- An advance directive may be revoked by you at any time by any manner in which you are able to communicate.
- In the event your condition does not allow us to verify if an advance directive is available, all reasonable steps will be taken to maintain your life.
In addition to the hospital, the following organizations provide forms for advance directives:
- Center for Practical Bioethics, 1021-1025 Jefferson St., Kansas City, MO 64105-1329; 816.221.1100; 800.344.3289
- The Missouri Bar, P.O. Box 119, Jefferson City, MO 65102; 573.635.4128
- The Missouri Hospital Association, P.O. Box 60, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0060; 573.893.3700
The Ethics Advisory Committee is a group of health care professionals and community representatives that provides education and awareness of ethics in health care. The team reviews and develops policies that involve ethical issues and provide input when ethical dilemmas come up during patient care.
Patient Advocates serve as liaisons between you, your family and the hospital. The Patient Advocate transcends departmental lines and interacts with staff at all levels of the organization. They help resolve questions and concerns when departmental staff have been unable to do so.
Patient Advocates are available from 7 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday and can be reached by calling 660.827.9588. If the Patient Advocate is not available, please ask hospital staff to contact our Patient Care Coordinator, who is available and on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.