6 Questions Every Iowa Hospital Patient Should Ask

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Posted by Farl Greene

Image of woman in the hospital

If you have ever been severely injured or ill, you may have had to spend time at an Iowa hospital – like the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, or St. Luke’s Hospital or Mercy Hospital in Cedar Rapids.  As a patient, there’s a lot going on around you – new or changing medications, procedures you don’t understand or are uncomfortable with, and hospital staff giving you instructions that may be confusing or complicated.  It’s not surprising that most people feel overwhelmed in this situation.

The list of questions below can be used to prepare you both for your time at the hospital and recovery at home.

  1. What are my doctors’ and nurses’ names? You may have more than one doctor, and will likely have multiple nurses.  Write down all of their names so that you have them on hand.
  2. What is my diagnosis and how will you treat it? Don’t be afraid to express your opinions or any concerns you have.  Ask about side effects from any treatment.
  3. What does my insurance cover? If you’re not sure, ask to speak with a hospital social worker or someone from the financial department.  They can tell you how the billing process works and what is (and is not) covered by your insurance.
  4. What tasks am I allowed to do once I leave the hospital? What am I not allowed to do?  Ask if you are allowed to bathe, exercise, or drive without any restrictions.  If there are restrictions, get details on how long the restrictions should last.
  5. What are some warning signs that I need to see a doctor? It’s always possible that your condition could get worse once you’ve left the hospital.  Ask what signs and symptoms you or a loved one should look out for.
  6. Do I need any follow-up appointments? Find out if there are any follow-up appointments you need and which doctor you’ll need to see.  Determine if you need to set up the appointment yourself or if it has already been set up for you.

Write down the answers to these questions and keep these notes in a safe place for reference.

If you or a loved one have suffered a serious injury because of a medical error, you may need an experienced medical malpractice attorney to help you.  Call RSH Legal today at 1-319-774-1783.

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