The Delta County Memorial Hospital emergency department is instituting additional procedural changes to enhance patient safety and efficiencies within the department, according to chief clinical officer Jody Roeber, RN, MSN, who supervises the department.
New procedures now being implemented include:
1) ER patients will now have their photos taken during the admission process in order to protect patient identification and for patient safety reasons. In accordance with federal patient privacy regulations (HIPPA) and to protect patient health information these photos will be scanned and placed in the patient case file.
2) A medication bar coding scanning system is also being implemented.
Co-pays will now need to be paid by ER patients following a medical screening exam during the admissions process. Co-pays, typically required as part of commercial insurance carriers (such as Blue Cross Blue Shield), will be paid by ER patients by cash or credit card through the hospital website on-line bill pay process. Emergency department patients who are self pay patients will be required to pay a $100 flat co-pay amount during the admissions process, with the same payment options, cash, credit card using the hospital website on-line bill pay feature. This $100 co-pay does not constitute full payment for services rendered; it is only good faith payment toward the balance of the invoice which will be determined following treatment. Receipts for co-pays will be provided to the ER patient and a copy will be kept in the ER patient file.
Routine emergency department procedures will continue to be followed:
• A copy of patient's legal identification will be scanned every time a patient presents in the emergency department.
• A copy of the patient's insurance card will be scanned each time a patient presents in the emergency department.
• Each patient must provide a valid phone number and will be requested to provide a valid email address so the patient can be contacted for feedback on the quality of their medical care and to provide discharge instructions via email.
• If a patient who is a minor presents and is not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, then a parent, legal guardian or state ward will need to be contacted by phone to obtain verbal permission to treat the minor.
• Each emergency department patient will receive an identification bracelet as part of the admissions process.