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Web Site Helps Patients Prepare for Hospital Stay
Date:5/9/2008

spital's own Web site if one exists, where they can find more specific information on hospital billing policies, and patient rights and responsibilities.

Another section of http://www.texashospitalsonline.info helps patients learn about the importance of making decisions about their care and putting those wishes in writing. Visitors can review helpful questions and answers, read about the four types of advance directives, and download the various forms in both English and Spanish. "Unfortunately, many people don't want to talk about life-and-death issues with their family, especially if they are young and healthy," said Stultz. "But the middle of a medical crisis is the worst time to begin thinking about these critical questions. Think through the issues, share your wishes with your family and -- most important -- put them in writing before you come to the hospital."

Local hospital Web sites also can be a rich source of information. These sites generally include details on everything from parking and the admissions process, to visiting hours and how to resolve questions about your bill. Some hospitals even offer secure, online pre-registration. But, Stultz notes, nothing takes the place of good, old-fashioned human interaction.

"If you have questions or concerns when preparing for a hospital stay, talk to your doctor or someone on his or her staff," Stultz said. "Or call the hospital directly. The admissions staff is there to help."

About the Texas Hospital Association

Founded in 1930, the Texas Hospital Association is the leadership organization and principal advocate for the state's hospitals and health care systems. Based in Austin, THA enhances its members' abilities to improve accessibility, quality and cost-effectiveness of health care for all Texans. One of the largest hospital associations in the country, THA represents more than 85 percent of the stat
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SOURCE Texas Hospital Association
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