DC FEMS Abulance from Daquela manera on flickrJust saw this on Facebook and I'm sure the blogosphere will jump all over this in the coming weeks but I wanted to do some editing of my own first.  My additions are in BOLD.

This was downloaded from the DCFEMS website and is in the public domain.  And like most "Bill of Rights" they clearly come from a long history of trouble situations.


As our patient, you have the right to expect competent and compassionate service from us. This is kind of a given, isn't it?  That the people I call for help will know what they're doing and care?  But, I guess we do need to start on a high note, so good job there.

If you have any questions, comments, compliments, or complaints about our service you are encouraged
to call the Office of the Fire & EMS Chief at 202-673-3320, or email us at director.fems@dc.gov.  Nice

You may expect: You may also expect the clerk at the store to know how to use the cash register I'd prefer somethign along the lines of "We will do our best :"

1. To receive timely and appropriate medical services without regard to age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or any other protected class. No brainer

2. To be transported in a clean and properly maintained ambulance to an appropriate medical facility. We may not be able to take you to the hospital of your choice. GOLD! Get that out there now! Well Done!

3. That we will never refuse to transport you and we will never use any method to discourage you from receiving medical treatment or transportation. You forgot "when appropriate."  Is #4 to add taxi strips to the vans?

4. To have your vital signs checked and documented whether or not you are transported to a hospital. No brainer

5. To have your past medical history, medications and your current complaint of illness or injury, along with the assessment, interventions and treatment performed by our emergency personnel, thoroughly and truthfully documented on your patient care report. No brainer

6. That your patient care report and protected health information will be securely retained and stored, remain confidential and be available for your review, as required by law. This is already on the HIPAA form we're required to have them sign, right?

7. That you can refuse drugs, treatment, procedures or transportation offered to the extent permitted by law, and to be informed of the potential consequences of the refusal of any drugs, treatment, procedures or transportation. OK, but this reads as if they can order MONA ala cart, then blame us later.

8. That all of our personnel who come to help you will be clean, neat, dressed in the appropriate uniforms, and looking professional. Now I have to comb my hair and chew gum at 3AM?  This is more of a Department rule, rather than a patient "right."

9. That our personnel will explain to you or your family what is being done to assist you, and we will answer any questions you may have about your treatment. If you speak another language, assistance will be provided so you can make informed health care decisions.  No brainer

10. That all of our personnel will be polite, compassionate, considerate, empathetic, respectful and wellmannered.
Any employee will furnish their unit number and Fire/EMS Department ID number upon request. I like this one actually.

11. That your privacy, modesty and comfort will be our concern.  No brainer

12. To receive, upon request, a reasonable explanation of any charges for emergency medical care provided by us.  WHOA! Hang on there a minute! Are we going to carry billing sheets with different charges?  Perhaps in menu form?  "I'd like a BLS transport with bandaging…but…Ooooh! Is that a special on splinting?!?!"

You have the responsibility:
1. To cooperate with our personnel so we can provide the best and correct type of care for you.  That's it? Really?  This is the end of the document, so I guess the patient responsibilities need to be filled in by me.


Continued as ammended by yours truly:

2. To not lie, coerse, misinform or make false claims to the persons caring for you.

3. To make every effort to have non-emergent conditions addressed during normal business hours and within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms.

4.  To, when appropriate, make child care arrangements prior to transport rather than suddenly realizing our rescuers have no car seats.

5.  To remove all weapons, elicit medications and evidence of crimes before calling for a non-related issue.

6.  To understand you are responsible for payment for services rendered, regardless of insurance status or government program status.

7.  That those who respond to help you are not your employees, nor are they required to follow your every request, especially those involving moving furniture, shopping for groceries or picking up friends enroute to the hospital.

8.  To remain at the destination facility until evaluated by a physician.

9.  To act on the recommendations of said physician so as to not endanger your clearly fragile health condition and demanding transport 12 hours from now.

10.  To stop smoking.

11. To exercise more.

12.  To eat healthier.

I think that about covers it.  More in depth analysis of the pros and cons no doubt to come online today, but I am, more or less, in favor of what it says, but like mandatory seatbelt policies, it should not be necessary.


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