Suggestions for greater comfort and healing during your stay

Participate in your care

During your stay our promise to you is simple: every day we will work to provide a safe environment for your care, provide information and answer your questions and help you achieve your personalized healthcare goals. We want you to be as comfortable as possible during your stay, physically and emotionally.

Please participate in your care by:
  • Asking questions about procedures, treatments and medications that are part of your care
  • Notifying your nurse if you have pain or discomfort so that we can help you with pain management
  • Reminding our staff and visitors to clean their hands each time they enter the room
  • Participating in conversations about your care with doctors, nurses and other staff
  • Partnering with us as we teach you how to care for yourself
  • Using your call button before you get out of bed or if you need anything
  • Telling us all the medicines you take (including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, mineral supplements and herbs). For your safety, do not take any medicines you brought from home and do not keep any medicines in your hospital room
  • Telling us about any allergies you have to medicines or food

Promote hand hygiene

The single most important thing you can do to help prevent infections is to clean your hands and make sure that everyone who touches the patient – including doctors and nurses – clean their hands, too. Everyone should clean their hands:
  • When entering the room
  • After touching objects or surfaces in the hospital room
  • Before and after eating
  • After using the restroom

It is also important that healthcare providers clean their hands with soap/water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner every time, both before and after they touch the patient.

Remain on your unit

It is best for you to remain on your unit while in the hospital. Due to your care needs, there may be times that you should not leave the unit because of medicines, tests, procedures or consultations about your care. By staying close, your care team can follow your course of treatment without delay or interruption in a safe manner. Please speak to your nurse or a member of your care team before leaving the unit.

Call, don’t fall

Your safety is important to us. Nurses and PCAs will check on you frequently, help you safely get out of bed and ensure that the equipment and items you need are within reach. Before getting out of bed, please call using the call button on your bed. Our staff can help you to move safely in your room with your medical equipment.

Prevent pressure ulcers

Pressure ulcers, sometimes called “bed sores,” happen when the skin and tissue under it are damaged by pressure. These can happen anywhere on the body and are most common on bony/firm areas such tailbone, hips, elbows, ears, heels and ankles. Your nurse will work with you to help prevent pressure ulcers. Here are ways to help prevent pressure ulcers:
  • Change your position every two to four hours to keep pressure off any one spot
  • Check your skin often for redness during the day. If you need help, ask your nurse to help you
  • Keep your skin clean and dry
  • Put moisturizing lotion on your skin often
  • If you are in a chair or wheelchair, use a special cushion to help reduce pressure

Wear your ID bracelet

Members of your care team will check your ID bracelet or often ask the same questions of you. We do this to double check your identity and to ensure your safety, especially before giving you medicine or starting a procedure.

Support our tobacco-free environment

All of the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center locations – inside and out – are tobacco-free. Patients and visitors should talk with their physicians about smoking cessation and nicotine replacement therapy prior to a visit or coming to the hospital.

Patient Experience offers assistance

The Patient Experience Department is dedicated to making your stay as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Our team is available to assist with any non-medical question or concerns related to your stay. All interactions between patients, or their representative, and our staff are confidential. If you would like to speak with a patient relations coordinator, please call Patient Experience.
  • Patient Experience Main Campus - 614-293-8944 or 3-8944
  • Patient Experience University Hospital East - 614-257-2310 or 7-2310 

Your privacy is protected

The confidentiality of your medical information is important to us. We want you to know that we are taking many actions to protect your privacy. Under federal privacy regulations (HIPAA), patients have rights regarding their medical information. You have the right to:
  • Inspect and receive a copy of your medical information
  • Request an amendment or change of incorrect information about you
  • Request a restriction on how we use or share your information
  • File a complaint about our privacy practices. The Notice of Privacy Practices describes important information about your rights and our obligations to protect and appropriately use and share patient health information. These rights do have special limitations

If you wish to receive a copy of this notice, please contact Patient Experience at 614-293-8944 or 3-8944 or the Privacy Office at 614-293-4477 or 3-4477.

Keep others informed about you with Caring Bridge 

Caring Bridge enables patients to stay connected with family, friends and colleagues before, during and after your hospital stay. This free website allows patients to update everyone all at once, collect supporting messages and share photos.

Service Animals

The university has a general no-pets policy in all buildings. Service animals are generally allowed to accompany their handlers in any building or public space where their handlers are permitted. Emotional support and visiting therapy animals may be allowed in specified areas of the university with advance approval. If you have questions, would like assistance planning for a service animal at The Ohio State University, need to arrange local veterinary care or have a concerns about your treatment and access when accompanied by your service animal, contact Disability Services at 614-292-3307.

Rights and Responsibilities and Advance Directives

Patient Rights and Responsibilities 

As a patient you have these rights and responsibilities that can help to ensure your care and safety.

Advance Directives

Advance directives are the legal documents that allow you to give direction to medical personnel, family and friends concerning your future care when you cannot speak for yourself. This may happen if you become unconscious, are terminally ill or confused and cannot make informed choices. You do not need a lawyer in order to complete advance directives. In the State of Ohio, there are three forms of advance directives:
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care lets you choose someone as your agent to make all healthcare decisions for you when you are unable to speak for yourself
  • Living Will lets you give written directions about your care when you are terminally ill or in a permanently unconscious state and unable to speak for yourself
  • Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order says you do not want to have CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) performed if your heart should stop beating

You can download an Advance Directives packet. If you want more information or help with your advance directives while in the hospital, please call Social Work.
  • Social Work Main Campus - 614-293-8427 or 3-8427
  • Social Work University Hospital East - 614-257-3257 or 7-3257

Preparing for your discharge

When your doctor feels you are ready to leave the hospital, he or she will authorize a hospital discharge. Please speak with your nurse about leaving the hospital. Here are few tips to make the discharge process run smoothly:
  • Be sure you or your caregiver has spoken with a discharge planner and that you understand what services you may need after leaving the hospital
  • Verify your discharge date and time with your nurse or doctor
  • Have someone available to pick you up
  • Check your room, bathroom and bedside table carefully for any personal items
  • Make sure you or your caregiver has all needed paperwork and information for billing, referrals, prescriptions, medical equipment, schedule for therapy or follow up appointments
  • Make sure you or your caregiver is aware of home care needs such as food, medicine, activity, future testing, therapy and doctor visits
  • Review the medicines you are to take at home with your doctor or nurse before you leave the hospital
  • Make sure you or your caregiver knows who to call if you have a problem or concern about your care

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