It is difficult to care for a loved one who is terminally ill, but what can be worse is that the hospital they are admitted to isn’t the one they need. A nerve-wracking experience can occur when you or someone you love is being treated in a hospital you don’t trust, and the hospital refuses to let you transfer to a hospital you prefer. You can’t push a “Transfer Now” button to set things in motion as a patient. Moreover, what’s worse is that there is no centralized authority or authority that can intervene and facilitate a transfer.

However, don’t fret; we will help you out in this regard. We have gathered some information on patients’ rights that easily enable you to change hospitals if the services are not satisfactory at the hospital you’re already admitted in. So, read on and know all about it!

The option of leaving

One thing that different medical experts and healthcare professionals believe is that most patients aren’t even aware of their basic rights. For instance, patients often do not know that they can change the hospitals they want or are often told by the staff that they cannot.

In situations when a patient is kept in a hospital against their will, the friends, family, or medical representative can ask a social worker or patient relations specialist to serve as a mediator. These professionals usually hold a masters in healthcare leadership, so they’re well equipped to handle such matters effectively and will be able to provide you with a solution easily. In most cases, when families want to switch hospitals, there has been some type of problem with communication.

Transferring to a different hospital is absolutely within the rights of patients. Determined families, however, must take the initiative in seeing that a second hospital will accept the patient.

A patient who leaves a hospital against medical advice will get in trouble with their insurer, and the billing department is an urban myth. Exaggerating the effects of AMA shouldn’t be done to deter patients from leaving.

Admission is not permitted

Admission to a hospital is a basic right of medical staff members. It is the responsibility of both the admitting doctor and the hospital administrative staff to decide whether the patient should be admitted to the hospital (in this case, the decision is usually made by an admissions officer). Quality control programs in medicine must take into account the interaction of these two decision-makers.

Because of this, it is always good to check in advance with the hospital about the availability of a bed where you intend to move your patient. It’s not guaranteed that the hospital you prefer will have a bed or be willing to accept you as a patient even if a patient chooses to leave. Checking yourself in is not an option; after all, it’s a hospital, not a hotel where anyone can check-in.

Therefore, to save yourself and your patient from any trouble, experts always recommend that you should talk about the availability of beds prior to the other hospital. Ultimately, you’ll need to be admitted by someone who has admitting privileges. 

Moreover, when a transfer is needed, the chain of events includes the patient, family, the patient’s doctor of record, the patient’s current physician, and the proposed admitting physician from the new facility. A medical discussion is conducted to determine whether a transfer is medically necessary or justified, taking into account related scientific evidence and the patient’s diagnosis and medical condition. Hospital managers use this medical advice to guide their decision, which is then passed on to patients.

Additionally, if the physician categorizes the admission as urgent, the hospital must admit the patient. A delay could harm a patient; turning down an emergency admission could expose you to liability. The administrator becomes liable if the administrator exercises medical judgment without the physician’s consent or when the doctor accepts the patient and the situation is urgent.

Keeping this option in mind, it is always best to discuss your patient’s condition with the new physician you’re going to start seeing so that they can help you during the admission procedure too.

Transfer Considerations

Transferring hospitals is your right as a patient, but it’s also true that the entire process of changing hospitals isn’t an easy one. Therefore, before making the final call, you should consider different factors and the outcome of your decision. Caring for a patient is no easy feat. Thus, you should also be prepared for the worst-case scenarios when you’re determined to change hospitals.

Switching hospitals isn’t always motivated by concerns over the quality of care. A change in hospital might be beneficial for a variety of reasons, from geographical convenience to the need to consult with a specialist not associated with the hospital where the patient is currently staying.

Depending on why you’re considering a transfer, your strategies may differ. A hospital transfer is often requested by patients who are in need of a specialist or procedure that is not available in their current setting. In most cases, the transfer must be cleared with the physicians, hospitals, and the patient’s insurance company.

If, however, there are concerns about the quality of care, you may find it difficult to transfer. As a result, the first and most important thing to decide when considering a transfer is where you wish to go. In order to ensure your safety, your care team must first find a physician who will accept you at the new hospital.

If you’re considering transferring to a new hospital, consider quality and whether it can offer any better care than the one you’re currently receiving. The quality of care should be the first priority for any patient, and only the patient and family can determine if the current approach will work or not.

Final Words

In all, caring for a patient is not an easy task. Your loved one may be taken to a facility where they are not properly cared for; then, you have an even bigger task ahead of you. The best way to ensure the proper and timely care of your loved one is to seek out a facility that offers the care they need. But if you can’t find it in your current setting, you can always consider a transfer. We hope that this blog will come in handy in case you need to transfer hospitals.