Western Anesthesiology
Associates, Inc
.

 

Serving St. Louis since 1970

 

 
 
 
 
 
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 NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

 

PATIENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 In accordance with the mission, vision and values of Western Anesthesiology Associates, Inc. and, its medical staff and employees, we are committed to providing you with quality care and treatment.  In addition to receiving quality, compassionate care, as a patient you are entitled to certain benefits and protections under law.  We believe that these rights provide a fundamental foundation for the rendering of health care services and link us to the common goal of quality health care.  While not intended to be an exhaustive, comprehensive analysis of every benefit under federal or state law, we affirm and support the following patient rights.

ACCESSING CARE AND SERVICES

As a patient, you have a right:

To receive notification of your patient rights in writing and information concerning important hospital policies and a list of available supportive resources, such as an ethics committee, patient advocate and pastoral and spiritual services, in advance of furnishing or discontinuing patient care whenever possible.

To request treatment and receive considerate and respectful care from Western Anesthesiology  personnel.

To expect medically appropriate health services from Western Anesthesiology within its capabilities.  Although treatment referral or transfer may be medically appropriate, you will be informed of the risks, benefits and alternatives prior to the transfer of your care to other health care providers.  You will not be transferred from the hospital until another institution accepts to receive you for care.

 To voice any concerns that you may have concerning the care you receive and to have those concerns reviewed and resolved.  Voicing a concern whether by you or another individual on your behalf will not compromise your care or access to healthcare at the hospital.

*If you or a designated representative has a concern regarding care received, you or your representative are encouraged to contact any staff present, the manager or director of that department.

To access an internal or external grievance process for the timely review of concerns or more serious issues that may affect your care, and to receive a written notice of any decision made regarding your concern.  The telephone number and address of the available state agency that you may contact is listed in the hospital information packet provided to you.

To expect that your physician and family members or representatives will be notified promptly of your admission to the hospital, unless you request that this not be done.

To access available communications, including mail and telephones, and permitted visitors unless either are clinically contraindicated.  Any restrictions, however, will be explained by you.

To examine and receive an explanation of your anesthesiology bill.

 IN RECEIVING TREATMENT

 As a patient, you have a right:

To be involved in the development and implementation of your plan of care and to receive information from your physician to enable your informed decision and consent prior to the start of any procedure and/or treatment.  Except in emergencies, such information for informed consent should include, at a minimum, the specific procedures and/or treatment proposed, the medically significant risks involved, the benefits of the procedure and the medical alternatives, if any, available.

 To receive medically necessary and appropriate care.

To obtain understandable information concerning your diagnosis and health status, proposed treatment and prognosis and the financial implications associated with the available treatment choices.

To know the name of the physician responsible for coordinating your care, as well as the identities of other healthcare members involved in your care.

 To refuse treatment, to the extent permitted by law, including being informed of the medical consequences of the refusal of treatment.

To the appropriate assessment and management of your pain.

 To be free from restraints or seclusion that are not medically necessary or are imposed as a means or coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff, or used in a manner that is not consistent with federal or state regulations.

To consent or decline to take part in research and/or experimental procedures affecting your care.

 To have your rights protected during research, investigation, and clinical trials involving human subjects.

To be informed by the practitioner responsible for your care, of any continuing health care needs following the discharge from the hospital.

To know if Western Anesthesiology has relationships with outside individuals that may influence your treatment and care.  These relationships may be with educational institutions, other healthcare providers, or insurers.

 PERSONAL PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY

As a patient, you have a right:

To confidentiality and personal privacy concerning your medical care program.  Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment are confidential.  Those not directly involved in your care must have your permission to be present during any medical or nursing treatments or discussion of your care.

To receive care in a safe setting, free from abuse or harassment.

To expect that all communications and records pertaining to your care be treated as confidential.  Permission in writing is necessary before Western Anesthesiology will release any health care information*, except as may otherwise be required by law. 

To reasonable access and review of your medical records.

How Western Anesthesiology may use or disclose your health information:

For Treatment.  Health care providers will record information in your record related to your treatment, actions taken by them and your response to these actions.

For Payment.  Western Anesthesiology may use and disclose your health information to others for purposes of receiving payment for treatment and services that you receive, i.e., insurance company or health plan.

For Health Care Operations.  Western Anesthesiology may use and disclose health information about you for operational purposes, i.e., evaluate the performance of staff; assess the quality of care and outcomes in your cases; learn how to improve our facilities and services; and determine how to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the health care we provide.

Appointments.  Western Anesthesiology may use your information to provide appointment reminders or information treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to the individual.

Required by Law.  Western Anesthesiology may use and disclose information about you for the following purposes:

For judicial and administrative proceedings pursuant to legal authority;

To report information related to victims of abuse, neglect or domestic violence; and

To assist law enforcement officials in their law enforcement duties;

Public Health.  Your health information may be used or disclosed for public health or other legal authorities to prevent or control disease, injury or disability.

Decedents.  Health information may be disclosed to funeral directors or coroners.

Organ/Tissue Donation.  Your health information may be used for cadaveric organ, eye or tissue donation purposes.

Health and Safety.  Your health information may be disclosed to avert a serious threat to health or safety of your or any other person.

Government Functions.  Government functions, such as the protection of the public officials or reporting to various branches of the armed services that may require use or disclosure of your health information.

Workers Compensation.  Your health information may be disclosed in order to comply with laws and regulations related to Workers Compensation.

PATIENT RESPONSIBILITIES

Because your participation in your care is important, you, as the patient, have the following responsibilities:

To provide, to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, description of pain and pain relief, and other matters relating to your health and to report unexpected changes in your condition to your provider and hospital staff caring for you.

To ask questions or request additional information if you do not understand what you have been told about your care or treatment plan.

Once an agreed upon plan of care is determined, to follow the established treatment plan as the coordinated plan of care and the interventions for pain relief.  You are responsible for keeping appointments, and when unable to do so for any reason, to notify your practitioner or the hospital.

To be responsible for your own decisions if you refuse treatment or do not follow the practitioner’s instructions concerning the treatment plan.

To follow the hospital policies and rules affecting your care and conduct while in the hospital.

To be considerate of other patients and hospital staff.  The hospital works to provide care efficiently and fairly to all patients.

To facilitate the arrangements for the appropriate payment to Western Anesthesiology for the care and treatment provided to you, including providing accurate information of insurance or other payment information.

Your health depends not just on your hospital care, but, in the long term, on the decisions you make in your daily life and the effect of those lifestyle decisions on your personal health.

 

About your anesthesiologist:

Anesthesiologists are the physicians trained to administer and manage anesthesia given during a surgical procedure. They are also responsible for managing and treating changes in your critical life functions - breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure -
as they are affected by the surgery being performed. Further, they immediately diagnose and treat any medical problems
that might arise during and immediately
after surgery.

Prior to surgery, the anesthesiologist will evaluate the patient's medical condition and formulate an anesthetic plan which takes that patient's physical condition into account. It is vital that the anesthesiologist knows as much about your medical history, lifestyle, and medications as possible. Some particularly important information he/she needs to know includes the following:

reactions to previous anesthetics
If you have ever had a bad reaction to an anesthetic drug, you need to be able to describe exactly what the reaction was and what your specific symptoms were. Give the anesthesiologist as much detail as possible, such as you felt nauseated when you woke up or the amount of time it took you to wake up, etc.

 current herbal supplements
It has recently been learned that certain herbal products, commonly taken by millions of Americans, can cause changes in heart rate and blood pressure, and may increase bleeding in some patients. The popular herbs gingko biloba (an herb used for many conditions associated with aging, including poor circulation and memory loss), garlic (an herb often used for cardiovascular conditions and to help prevent colds, flu, and other infectious diseases), ginger, and ginseng (used as a general tonic to increase overall body tone; considered helpful in elevating energy levels and resistance to stress) may lead to excess blood loss by preventing blood clots from forming. In addition, St. John's wort (a popular herb used for mild to moderate depression) and kava kava (another popular herb used for depression and to elevate mood) may prolong the sedative effect of the anesthetic. The American Society of Anesthesiologists advises patients planning to have surgery to stop taking all herbal supplements at least two to three weeks prior to surgery to rid the body of these substances.

any known allergies
Discussing any known allergies with the anesthesiologist is very important, as some anesthetic drugs trigger cross-allergies, particularly in persons who have allergies to eggs and soy products. Allergies to both foods and drugs should be identified.

recent and/or current prescription and over-the-counter medications
It is also important to let your surgeon and anesthesiologist know about both prescription medications and over-the-counter medications you are taking, or have recently taken. Certain prescription medications, such as coumadin, a blood thinner, must be discontinued for some time prior to surgery. In addition, as many people take a daily aspirin to prevent heart attack, and certain dietary supplements, physicians need to be aware of these habits, as they can prolong bleeding and interfere with muscle relaxants used by anesthesiologists.

cigarette smoking and drinking
Cigarette smoking and alcohol can affect your body just as strongly (and sometimes more strongly) than many prescription medications you may be taking. Because of the way cigarettes and alcohol affect the lungs, heart, liver, and blood, these substances can change the way an anesthetic drug works during surgery. It is important to let your surgeon and anesthesiologist know about your past, recent, and current consumption of these substances prior to surgery.

Undergoing surgery can be a good motivator to quitting smoking. Most hospitals are smoke-free and physicians, nurses, and other health professionals will be there to give you support. In addition, you will heal and recover faster, especially in the incision area, or if your operation involves any bones. Quitting smoking also reduces your risk of heart disease and cancer.

use of street drugs (such as marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, etc.)
Patients are often reluctant to discuss matters of illegal drug consumption, but you should remember that all conversations between you and your surgeon and anesthesiologist are confidential. It is crucial that he/she know about your past, recent, and current consumption of these substances. It is important to keep in mind that the only interest your physician has in this information is learning enough about your physical condition to provide you with the safest anesthesia possible.

Meeting the anesthesiologist before the surgery:

Because anesthesia and surgery affect every system in the body, the anesthesiologist will conduct a preoperative interview. Sometimes this is done in person; in other cases, the anesthesiologist will interview you over the telephone. During this interview, the anesthesiologist will review your medical history, as well as discuss the information mentioned above. He/she will also inform you about what to expect during your surgery and discuss anesthetic choices with you.

If you have not personally met during the preoperative interview, the anesthesiologist will meet with you immediately before your surgery to review your entire medical history as well as results of any medical tests previously conducted. By this time, he/she will have a clear understanding of your anesthetic needs.

How are other existing pre-existing medical conditions handled during surgery?

If you have a pre-existing medical condition such as diabetes, asthma, heart problems, arthritis, etc., your anesthesiologist will have been alerted to this and will be well prepared to treat these conditions during your surgery, as well as immediately afterward. Anesthesiologists are trained to handle sudden medical problems related to the surgery, as well as any chronic conditions that may need attention during the procedure.

How is the patient's condition monitored during surgery?

Monitoring is one of the most important roles the anesthesiologist handles during surgery. Second-by-second observation of even the slightest changes in a wide range of body functions gives the anesthesiologist a tremendous amount of information about the patient's well-being. In addition to directing your anesthesia, the anesthesiologist will manage vital functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, heart rhythm, body temperature, and breathing. He/she will also be responsible for fluid and blood replacement, when necessary. Sophisticated technology is used to monitor every organ system and its functioning during surgery.

Types of anesthesia:

During surgery, you will be given some form of anesthesia - medicine administered for the relief of pain and sensation during surgery. The type and dosage of anesthesia is administered by the anesthesiologist. When a patient faces surgery, he/she will meet with the anesthesiologist before the procedure. The anesthesiologist will review the patient's medical condition and history to plan the appropriate anesthetic for surgery.

There are various forms of anesthesia. The type of anesthesia you will receive will depend on the type of surgery and your medical condition. Usually, an anesthesiologist will administer a sedative in addition to the anesthetic. The different types of anesthesia are as follows:

local anesthesia - local anesthesia is medicine given to temporarily stop the sense of pain in a particular area of the body. A patient remains conscious during a local anesthetic. For minor surgery, a local anesthetic can be administered via injection to the site. However, when a large area needs to be numbed, or if a local anesthetic injection will not penetrate deep enough, physicians may resort to regional anesthetics.

regional anesthesia - regional anesthesia means numbing only the portion of the body which will be operated on. Usually an injection of local anesthetic is given in the area of nerves that provide feeling to that part of the body. There are several forms of regional anesthetics, two of which are described below:

spinal anesthetic - often used for lower abdominal, pelvic, rectal, or lower extremity surgery. This type of anesthetic involves injecting a single dose of the anesthetic agent directly into the spinal cord in the lower back, causing numbness in the lower body.

epidural anesthetic - this anesthetic is similar to a spinal anesthetic and also is commonly used for surgery of the lower limbs and during labor and childbirth. This type of anesthesia involves continually infusing drugs through a thin catheter that has been placed into the space that surrounds the spinal cord in the lower back, causing numbness in the lower body.

general anesthesia - general anesthesia causes a patient to be unconscious during surgery. The medicine is either inhaled through a breathing mask or tube, or administered through an intravenous line - a thin plastic tube inserted into a vein (usually in the patient's forearm). A breathing tube may be inserted into the windpipe to maintain proper breathing during surgery. Once the surgery is complete, the anesthesiologist ceases the anesthetic and the patient wakes up in the recovery room.

Information from Mercy Hospitals website. Click to view their Online Resources page

 

 

 

339 Consort
St. Louis, MO 63011 

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