No long distance for patients?

  1. 0
    My hospital gets about a quarter of our patients from areas that are considered long distance calls from the hospital. My hospital does not allow patients to use their bedside phones to call long distance. I've worked at one other hospital where long distance was free to patients (except overseas calls), so this seems a bit ridiculous to me, but maybe it's more common than I think. Is this the norm?
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  3. 27 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Our hospital blocked long distance calls as well, which in a large metro area, can sometimes mean they can't call south of the city :/
    anotherone likes this.
  5. 0
    Ours are blocked as well. We have this superlong code we have to put in whenever we want to call long distance...total pain.
  6. 0
    Yep - If pts want to call long distance they must call collect or on a calling card. Only certain phones on the unit will dial long distance too.
  7. 2
    Our patients can't call long distance either but depending on the situation we might let them use our portable phones that we carry. But really it hardly ever comes up, most people bring their cell phones.
    Pangea Reunited and KelRN215 like this.
  8. 0
    Same policy at our hospital. They can use a phone card if they want to use the phone to call "long distance" but I usually suggest a prepaid cell phone. We sometimes make the call from the nurses desk and transfer it into the room, depending on the situation.
  9. 0
    I know I can call long distance from the cordless phone that I carry for the shift (provided by the hospital)...it would not make any sense for them not to. I'm not sure if they can call long distance from the phones in the pt rooms in the ED (I can always give them "my" phone for a long distance call. I guess I will have to try to make a long distance call from a pt room phone tomorrow.
  10. 0
    Yep, no long distance. They use their cell.
  11. 0
    When I worked in the hospital it was the same. You could only dial the area code of the hospital. Anything outside of that (which might actually be only twenty minutes outside of the city) was "long distance" and could not be dialed on the phones in the patients' rooms. Staff had to use a code (like 8 digits long) to dial long distance. In the rare instance when someone had to dial long distance and did not have a cell phone, we let them call on our phones.
  12. 0
    I think in the case of elective surgery patients it's reasonable to assume that they'll probably have a cell phone and charger. But most of my patients weren't even conscious when they left the house and came to hospital, much less were with it enough to pack their cell phone and charger. And that assumes they have one which you can't really assume with the typical 90 year old.

    What really perplexes me is that the land line provider in town doesn't charge for long distance, even their cheapest plan considers all calls to the US, Canada, and Mexico to be "local".

    Mainly, I would think the ability to contact immediate family would be a pretty basic patient right.


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