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Patient Care Information

Advance Directives

Advance Directives are documents which state your choices about medical treatment or name someone to make decisions about your medical treatment if you are unable to make decisions or choices yourself.  You should discuss with your family and doctors what you want to do in such cases and be sure to bring a copy of your Advance Directives upon each admission to the hospital.

Advance Care Plan is a document that tells your doctor how you want to be treated if you are terminally ill, permanently-unconscious or in an end-stage condition.  You can use this document to tell your doctor you want to avoid life-prolonging interventions such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), kidney dialysis or breathing machines. You may use this document to tell your doctor you want to be pain free and comfortable at the end of life. 

Appointment of Health Care Agent Form is another type of advance directive that allows you to appoint another person to make medical decisions for you if you should become temporarily or permanently unable to make those decisions for yourself.

Organ/Tissue Donation

If you choose to become an organ donor, sign an organ donor card in the presence of two witnesses.  In the event of your death, your healthcare providers will know your decisions.  Before you become an organ donor, be sure to discuss the decision with your family.

Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center is obligated to provide you information regarding your rights to make decisions concerning your healthcare, including the right to accept or refuse medical or surgical treatment, even if that treatment may be life sustaining. The hospital will provide the necessary forms and a notary if you wish to prepare an Advance Directive.  Advance Directives should either be witnessed by two competent adults or notarized. If witnessed, neither witness should be the person appointed as the healthcare agent, and one of the witnesses should be someone not related to you or entitled to any part of your estate. Forms are located in the back of this Patient Guide or you may contact the following departments: Social Services – 331-1209; Patient Representative – 331-1611; Pastoral Services – 331-1234; Nursing Supervisor – Extension 0.

Ethics Committee

As part of our mission to provide the highest quality of personalized patient care, Fort Sanders Regional has established an Ethics Committee.  Composed of representatives from our medical and nursing staffs, as well as representatives from the local clergy and hospice, social services and the community, the Ethics Committee explores and addresses ethical issues that may arise.

As a patient, spouse or significant other of a patient, it is your right to bring an ethical concern to the attention of the Ethics Committee.  This may be done by contacting the hospital Operator and asking to speak to the Administrative Supervisor.

Examples of ethical issues in a healthcare setting might include decisions involving the withholding of life support mechanisms or the perception that a physician or other caregiver did not provide appropriate care or did not use appropriate conduct.

Grievance Process

If you have a complaint or concern about your care, the first step is to discuss it with your physician, nurse or patient representative.  Most complaints can be resolved to your satisfaction by discussing them with the appropriate hospital personnel.  However, if the concern cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, you have the right to file a grievance and have it reviewed by the hospital Grievance Committee.

To initiate the grievance process, request to speak with a patient representative (dial 11611).  You may file your grievance verbally or in writing.  The patient representative will have a form you can use if you want to write out your complaint.  The Grievance Committee will meet, review your concern, and provide you with a written response.

You also have a right to submit a grievance with the State.  If you wish to do this, contact the Tennessee Department of Health at 1-877-287-0010.

Patient Privacy

Upon admission, patients will be asked by the registration staff to select a four digit Patient Identification Number (PIN).  The PIN should be given by the patient to all family and friends to whom they desire their medical information be disclosed.  Patients can also choose to be considered a “no information” patient, which means no confirmation of presence or status will be shared with callers.


Patient Stories

  • Back in the Saddle

    After spine surgery at Fort Sanders Regional, Michelle Rose is finally free from the suffering that held her back for so long.

  • Going Beyond the Limit

    Tammy Brooks arrived by helicopter at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center at least 24 hours – maybe even several days – after suffering an acute ischemic stroke.

  • WATE-TV: East Tennessee man survives one of the deadliest types of stroke

    A local man survived the type of stroke that normally kills 80 percent of its victims. He’s doing so well, he just moved to Europe and is enjoying life to its fullest. It’s been three and a half years since Ken Harrawood suffered a stroke. It hit while he was driving to Y-12 for his first day of work with Bechtel. He now lives in Manchester, England.

  • WATE-TV: Technician who works with stroke patients becomes one himself

    Adam Hill gets the tools in place for the next life-saving surgery in the interventional radiology lab at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. As lead tech, Hill knows this place like the back of his hand. He never dreamed he’d be a patient receiving treatment here, suffering from a ruptured aneurysm, like so many patients he’s helped treat.

  • Fast Action Makes a Difference for Stroke Patient

    Since recovering from a stroke, Paul DeWitt appreciates simple pleasures that are easily taken for granted. He grasps a cup of coffee. He smiles and laughs. He even appreciates the ability to whistle.

  • Doctors Use Tiny Vacuum To Help Stroke Patients

    Jane Coleman heard her husband make an odd noise, “almost like hiccups but not exactly,” but when she turned to look at him, she knew immediately what was happening: He was having a stroke.