Apple Health Expansion for Immigrants:
You may be eligible to sign up for Apple Health Expansion insurance if you live in the state of Washington, even if you immigrated to the United States and/or are undocumented. Learn more.

 

Puede que usted sea elegible para inscribirse en Apple Health Expansion seguro médico si vive en el estado de Washington, incluso si usted inmigró a los Estados Unidos y/o es indocumentado. Aprende más.

Quality, Safety & Patient Rights

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Quality & Safety

The concept of "quality" isn't new in healthcare, but it is vitally important and something we strive to achieve every single day. Regulatory agencies and programs such as the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare ServicesMedicare Star Ratings, the Washington State Department of HealthThe Joint Commission (TJC) and others have monitored and surveyed healthcare quality activities with the goal of continually improving the reliability and safety of care provided.

Over the past decade, the focus on quality has been sharpened by the call to accountability through TJC's Agenda for Change, the Institute of Medicine's report on medical errors, the National Quality Forum's endorsed safe practices, the demand for value by healthcare purchasers, and the increasing understanding of the public we serve. Performance measures for healthcare have also expanded to include outcome measures such as patient satisfaction and cost as well as key clinical measures.

It is no surprise that the public's demand for quality in healthcare services (that which is safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable) matches our mission, vision, and values. At Valley, we are working hard to improve clinical, service and financial outcomes by collecting, trending and responding to performance measures and implementing/refining evidence-based practices. Initiatives include:

  • TJC Core Measures (acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, pneumonia and pregnancy indicators)
  • Washington statewide initiatives (Clinical Outcomes Assessment Program for PCI [percutaneous coronary interventions], Diabetes Collaborative)
  • Leapfrog Initiatives (National Patient Safety Goals, intensivists in critical care units, preoperative prophylactic antibiotic administration and beta-blocker prophylaxis for at-risk patients, deep venous thrombosis [DVT] prophylaxis)
  • Patient care services performance improvement (PCS PI) initiatives (patient safety, medication management, pain management, and discharge planning)
  • Patient satisfaction surveys
  • Staff and provider engagement surveys

At Valley, safety is a core value and providing quality care allows us to deliver the best possible outcomes and customer service for our community. Like our mission statement declares, we are committed to "caring for our community like family." We take this challenge very seriously.

Patient Rights

We consider you a partner in your hospital care. When you are well informed, participate in treatment decisions and communicate openly with your doctor and other health professionals, you help make your care as effective as possible. Valley Medical Center encourages respect for the personal preferences and values of each individual. It is our goal to assure that your rights as a patient are observed.

  • All patients and family have the right to access an interpreter if you are deaf or do not speak or understand English.
  • All patients have a right to refuse a recommended treatment, to the extent permitted by law, and to be informed of the medical consequences of this action. All patients are responsible for their own actions if they refuse treatment or do not follow the doctor's recommendations.
  • All patients have the right to every consideration of privacy. Patients are responsible for being considerate of the privacy of other patients. Telephones, televisions, radios and lights should be used in a manner agreeable to others.
  • All patients have the right to expect that all communications and records pertaining to their care will be treated as confidential, except in cases such as suspected abuse and public health hazards, when reporting is permitted or required by law.
  • All patients have the right to receive considerate care that respects their personal values and belief systems. We ask our patients to be considerate and respectful of medical center personnel.
  • All patients have the right to examine and receive an explanation of their bill, regardless of the source of payment. Patients have the responsibility to provide information necessary for claim processing and to be prompt in payment of their bills.
  • All patients have the right to know the rules and regulations that apply to patient care and conduct and are responsible for following those rules and regulations.
  • All patients have a right to receive an explanation of their treatment program and to ask for further clarification if the course of treatment is not understood. Patients have the responsibility to cooperate in their treatment program.

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Read our complete policies here.

Your right to privacy

At Valley Medical Center, we respect our patients' right to privacy.  

Making decisions regarding your healthcare

You have the right to make your own healthcare decisions. However, it is wise to prepare for situations when you may not be able to communicate your wishes—such as when you are rendered unconscious during surgery or following an unexpected accident. Recommended preparations include completing a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and a Health Care Directive (a.k.a. Living Will). Learn more  

In March 2008, the State of Washington approved Initiative 1000, also known as the Death with Dignity Act. Valley Medical Center respects the right of patients to make choices, while also recognizing the right of healthcare providers to participate in activities specific to I-1000. Learn more

What is the Ethics Committee and what do they do? 
The Ethics Committee is a multi-disciplinary team that includes physicians, nurses, hospital leadership, legal experts, spiritual care providers, and members of the community. The Ethics Committee advises staff and patients on questions about moral or ethical questions that may arise as part of a patient’s care. They also help to educate clinical staff about ethical issues, and create policies related to patient care.

How can I get the Ethics Committee involved in my care? 
Any member of a patient’s care team can request an Ethics Consultation from the Ethics Committee. Patients, loved ones, and legal surrogate decision makers for patients who are unable to make their own decisions can request an Ethics Consult as well. Patients, loved ones, and legal surrogate decision makers can email the Ethics Committee at ethics@valleymed.org or call the Ethics Hotline at 425-690-4380.

Ethics Consultation is available Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm, except for Valley Medical Center holidays. The Ethics consultants will respond to requests within one business day.

When is Ethics Consultation requested?
Some examples of when an Ethics Consult might be requested in a patient’s care are:

  • If there are concerns that a legal surrogate decision maker for a patient is not making decisions for a patient based on what the patient had previously wanted for their healthcare.
  • If a patient is refusing medical treatments that are required to survive, but their healthcare provider and/or the patient’s loved ones are concerned that the patient does not understand the decision that they are making.


What happens during an ethics consult? 
During an ethics consult, an Ethics Consultant gathers more information about the situation. They may talk to:

  • The patient, if able
  • The patient’s loved ones or legal surrogate decision makers
  • Members of the patient’s care team
  • Other people who know the patient, as appropriate


At completion of the ethics consultation the following take place:

  • A note documenting the gathered information and Ethics Committee guidance is placed in the patient’s electronic medical record.
  • The patient, their loved ones, and/or legal surrogate decision makers are notified of the guidance provided by the Ethics Committee
  • Members of the patient’s care team are notified of the guidance provided by the Ethics Committee

What is the goal of an ethics consult?
The goal of ethics consultation is to support informed, deliberative decision making on the part of patients, families, physicians, and the health care team. By helping to clarify ethical issues and values, facilitating discussion, and providing expertise and educational resources, ethics consultants promote respect for the values, needs, and interests of all participants, especially when there is disagreement or uncertainty about treatment decisions. (AMA Principles of Medical Ethics: IV,V)

 

Resolving Issues 

We encourage you to report any concerns to the staff or manager at the point of care or service so that the issue can be resolved as quickly as possible.
 
If you have a comment or concern about the quality of your care here at Valley Medical Center, patients, their family members, domestic partners, or legally authorized surrogate decision makers may contact a department directly, or submit your comments through our online Contact Us which will be routed to the appropriate department(s) for follow-up. If you wish to speak with our Patient Relations Manager directly, please call 425.690.3403 and leave your contact information. Your call will be returned as quickly as possible, and no later than two business days.
 

You may also submit compliments or concerns to the following:

The Joint Commission
Office of Quality Monitoring
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Phone: (800) 994-6610
Fax: (630) 792-5636
Email

Washington State Department of Health
PO Box 47857
Olympia WA 98504-7857
Phone: 1-800-633-6828
Email 

Accountable Care Organization: Anonymous Reporting of Compliance Concerns
If you have any compliance concerns regarding Valley Medical Group-Renton or Accountable Care Organization (ACO) activities, submit an anonymous online reporting form here