Treatment at a university hospital
At HUS, your treatment team includes several different health care professionals. There is a nurse and physician designated to be responsible for your treatment working in every shift.
HUS is a university hospital where scientific research is carried out to develop diagnostics and treatment. When a study that is appropriate for your treatment situation is found, you have the opportunity to give your voluntary consent to participate in the study. For more information on ongoing research, please contact the personnel.
HUS hospitals serve as teaching hospitals. As a patient, you can also be part of training situations. Your permission to participate must always be requested for such situations, and you also have the right to refuse both research and training situations. The same rules and responsibilities apply to students as to other medical staff. However, a health care professional is always responsible for the quality of your care.
You have the right to receive good-quality health care and medical treatment within the limits of the resources available for this purpose. Treatment must be medically justified and evidence-based.
As a patient, you are entitled by law to
- good, respectful, and appropriate treatment. Treatment must be respectful of human dignity, conviction, and privacy. Your individual needs, such as mother tongue and culture, must be taken into account where possible.
- information, self-determination, and active participation in your treatment.
- information about your state of health, different treatment options and treatments, and the effects of treatments. Information on treatment or treatment options must be provided on the professionals’ own initiative and in a comprehensible manner.
- participate in decisions on treatment and treatment measures. When treating pediatric patients, the rest of the family should also be taken into account.
The legal principles of good care and treatment of patients are stipulated in the Act on the Status and Rights of Patients.
At HUS, you have the right to receive services in Finnish and Swedish, as well as written information such as appointment letters, care instructions, documented information about you, and signs and websites. Personnel must be able to speak Finnish and Swedish from first contact until the end of treatment.
If it is difficult to attend to matters in Finnish or Swedish, HUS will arrange an interpreter for the nurse's or physician's appointment. In specialist medical care, interpretation is always performed by a professional interpreter, never by a relative or other person close to the patient.
If an adult patient, because of mental disturbance or intellectual disability, or for another reason cannot decide on the treatment given to him/her, the legal representative or a family member or other close person of the patient will be heard before making an important decision concerning treatment. This is to assess what kind of treatment would be in accordance with the patient's will. If this matter cannot be assessed, the patient has to be given a treatment that can be considered to be in his/her best interest.
It is the responsibility of the next of kin or other persons close to the patient to provide the necessary information on the patient's state of health. The patient's previously expressed will regarding treatment should be observed.
If the patient's legal representatives, close relative, or other person closely connected with the patient forbid the care or treatment of the patient, care or treatment must, as far as possible in agreement with the person who refused consent, be given in some other medically acceptable manner. If there are differences in view regarding the care or treatment to be given, the patient shall be cared for or treated in accordance with his or her best interests.
The patient's right to self-determination is regulated by the Patient Act. The participation of an incapacitated patient in scientific research is laid down by law.
Children must have the right to have their parents or persons acting in their place with them at all times while in hospital care. Children should be cared for in a location with other children in the same stage of development, and should not be placed on adult wards. Visitors of children in inpatient care must not be subject to an age limit.
Children and parents must have the right to be informed in a manner that corresponds to their age and comprehension. Children and parents must have the right – upon receipt of information – to participate in all decisions made in relation to the care of the child. This also applies to participation in scientific research.
If a minor is unable to decide on his/her treatment or participation in research, he or she must be cared for in agreement with his or her guardian or other legal representative. This is stipulated in the Patient Act.
The obligations of patients are not determined in Finnish legislation, but in order to ensure that treatment is as successful as possible, we hope that when you are in treatment, you will follow the hospital rules and care instructions. It is also important that you provide a truthful account of your health, your well-being, and any changes in your health. Please raise any questions you may have.
A visit to an outpatient clinic requires an appointment. During an outpatient visit, you will meet with your treating physician or physicians, a nurse, or another professional. You may also meet medical students at the outpatient clinic. You may also need to have various examinations conducted before you see the physician, in order to have the results available at your appointment. In the outpatient clinic, we may also perform minor procedures and examinations that do not require general anesthesia.
In the ambulatory surgery ward, we usually perform short-stay surgical and other procedures, such as insertions of ventilation tubes in ears, hemorrhoid or varicose vein surgeries, and endoscopic procedures. The procedures require general or local anesthesia, and the hospital stays are less than 24 hours. The duration of your inpatient period will be determined on the ward as your treatment progresses.
You will be treated on the inpatient ward when your examinations, treatment, or rehabilitation requires constant monitoring. The average hospital stays are three days in duration.
In the intensive care unit, we monitor, maintain and support the vital functions, such as breathing, blood flow, blood clotting, and liver and kidney function, of a patient who is severely ill or injured. Postoperative intensive care is also required as a planned procedure after some major surgeries. Mild organ dysfunction can be treated and monitored on the intermediate monitoring wards.
These instructions include advice on how you as a patient can prevent healthcare associated infections and combat the spread of microbes.
Healthcare-associated infections refer to infections that patients develop while they are receiving treatment or that are associated with a procedure performed at a hospital. Healthcare associated infections include an infected surgical wound, developing pneumonia during treatment, a urinary tract infection or diarrhoeal disease. Healthcare-associated infections are relatively common and may result in prolonged treatment. In some, thankfully rare, cases, the infections can be serious.
It is important to prevent the spread of bacteria resistant to antimicrobial drugs and viruses that cause respiratory infections and diarrhoea in hospitals.
The most effective way to prevent healthcare-associated infections and the spread of microbes includes using alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoiding touching not related to care, such as handshaking.
How to use hand sanitizer
Squeeze two pumps of hand sanitizer onto dry, clean hands. Spread the sanitizer all over your hands.
Remember to also apply it on your fingertips and your thumbs. Rub your hands together until they are dry.
Use hand sanitizer every time
- you enter and leave a ward, outpatient clinic or patient room
- after coughing or blowing your nose
- before eating
- after using the toilet once you have first washed your hands with soap and water and dried them
- before and after you self-treat your wounds or handle your urinary catheter or drain-age tube also known as a drain
- after you have had visitors
Other hygienic practices in addition to using hand sanitizer:
- Cough into a tissue. After coughing or blowing your nose into a tissue, place the tissue into a waste container and disinfect your hands with hand sanitizer.
- Avoid any unnecessary touching of catheters, drains or drainage tubes, cannulas and wound dressings. Put any used and dirty wound dressings into a waste container.
- Do not keep any uneaten food on your patient table as expired food can easily cause stomach flu.
- Brush your teeth and dentures twice a day, in the morning and evening.
- Avoid placing your toothbrush and/or dentures on the side of a sink in toilets and showers. If necessary, ask for a separate cup for this. Always store your toothbrush and/or dentures on the patient table or in its drawer.
- Always use running water when washing yourself.
- When the hospital staff treat you, they must sanitize their hands frequently. They do not always need to wear gloves; instead, disinfecting hands with sanitizer is enough in most situations.
We serve you appropriate meals during your stay in hospital
In connection with the interview conducted upon admission to hospital, we will also carry out a short survey of your diet and food restrictions. The more accurate and timely you are in specifying your food restrictions and preferred portion sizes, the better we can take them into account at HUS. Your illnesses or procedures can also impose restrictions on the ingredients and consistency of your food.
Patients receive food in accordance with their age and illness when on the ward. It is a good idea to inform the ward of any rare special dietary needs of the child before arrival. If necessary, meal times are flexible according to the child's rhythm and, for example, the timetables of any procedures to be done. Breastfeeding of children on breast milk can be continued according to the child's condition. Parents who are accompanying the child on the ward can have their meals in the staff restaurant. The ward will issue a certificate for purchasing meals at staff price.
You can check the menus as well as product and nutritional information at HUS hospitals even before you arrive at the hospital. The way meals are served vary somewhat from one HUS hospital to another.
Most HUS hospitals also have a cafeteria where you can visit if you are feeling well. Their opening hours vary from hospital to hospital.
In HUS hospitals, we strive to organize visits according to the patient's well-being and needs. Visiting practices vary from ward to ward. Please check the treatment unit’s instructions for visitors.
A checklist for visitors
- Only come for a visit, if you are certain that you are not ill yourself.
- It is recommended that no more than three visitors arrive at a time.
- Wash and disinfect your hands when you arrive on the ward.
- Act in a calm manner, so that you do not disturb or strain the hospital patients.
- Do not touch any equipment.
HUS is a non-smoking hospital where you and other patients can heal safely and the personnel can work in a healthy environment.
We offer our help in quitting smoking for both patients and personnel who smoke. As a patient in a HUS hospital, you have the opportunity to receive nicotine replacement therapy during your stay in hospital.
If it is difficult to stop smoking, it may help that smoking is only allowed in designated smoking areas outside. Everywhere else, smoking is prohibited, so that tobacco smoke cannot enter the respired air and respiratory equipment of patients who are ill. In closed adult psychiatric wards, smoking is possible in separate smoking areas for smoking patients who cannot smoke outside.
You can use your mobile devices in the public areas of the hospital, such as in the hallways, lobbies, and cafeterias.
- Avoid use of mobile devices
- near medical devices
- in intensive care and intermediate care rooms
- in cardiac control rooms
- in operating and delivery rooms
- in recovery rooms
- in dialysis rooms
- in procedure rooms, and
- other similar treatment or monitoring rooms.
You can connect to the wireless network, or WiFi, via the HUSguest network. The HUSguest network is freely available without a password. Due to the structures of the hospital properties, the network is not accessible in all areas. The user of the wireless network is responsible for the data security of their device.
The use of social media in a hospital environment requires particular discretion towards other patients and their loved ones. Each of us has the right to choose our online presence, so you cannot share anything on social media that could indirectly lead to an invasion of someone's privacy. Please also note that our staff has the right to privacy, as not all of us want to be photographed.
The hospital lobbies, waiting areas, and cafeterias are public spaces where it is legal to take photographs, as long as no personal or identifiable information is disseminated. Even the appearance of a person on the background of a photograph taken in a hospital can be interpreted as the dissemination of information about private life. So please publish posts with caution.
At HUS, we offer you the opportunity to get more information and support for any questions that arise during your hospital stay.
The patient ombudsman will advise you on your rights as a patient and on legal remedies when you are, for example, dissatisfied with the care or treatment you have received, or if you suspect a treatment error.
A social worker will guide you if you have any questions about economic issues or social and health services.
The hospital chaplain acts as the mental and spiritual support for you and your loved ones when you need someone to listen and talk to.
The volunteer OLKA support persons and support groups are there to listen to you, talk with you, or play with you. The OLKA support persons will also provide you with information about peer support. Read more about the OLKA activities.
Patient organizations will provide you and your loved ones information, support, training, rehabilitation, events, peer support, and advocacy related to your illness.
Keep your health information up to date
Please make sure that the treatment personnel has your latest health information and inform them of any changes in them. Pay attention to the fact that the personnel should ask for your name and verify your identity in a variety of treatment situations. In inpatient care on a ward, patients always have an identification bracelet.
Take care of your hygiene in accordance with hospital instructions.
- Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer.
- Do not touch catheters, wound dressings, or other care equipment unnecessarily.
- Cough in a disposable handkerchief or lift your sleeve at the upper arm in front of your mouth and nose.
- Also remind your visitors of good hygiene.
Take your medication as instructed and notify the staff if you are concerned about anything regarding your medical treatment.
- It is important that your medication list in the hospital patient information system is up to date. If you have a medication card or a list of the medicines you are taking, bring it with you.
- Describe which prescription drugs and over-the-counter medication, vitamin, and dietary supplements you are taking.
- Let the staff know if you have deviated from the instructions prescribed by your physician or are having difficulty with your medication.
- Tell your care provider if you have brought your own medication with you to the hospital.
- Also inform the staff of any drug allergies and sensitivities.
- Ask that you be explained to what purpose the medication has been prescribed and how to take it.
- Take the medication as instructed.
- Tell the staff if you feel that your medication has helped you or if you have experienced any harmful effects.
- Let the treatment personnel know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Participation and influence in your treatment
At HUS, our staff will treat you in agreement with you and you have the right to participate in your treatment and in the planning of your treatment. However, this does not mean that you have the right to receive any treatment you want.
If you are of legal age, you have the right to refuse treatment, part of the treatment, or a procedure. In this case, you should be treated in any other medically acceptable manner, as far as possible. If no agreement can be reached with regard to the treatment, the decisions on the treatment will be made by the physician on medical grounds and on the basis of his or her expertise. You also have the right to decide who the staff is allowed to disclose information to about your state of health and treatment.
Bring it up if you are wondering about something or having difficulty with something. Please provide feedback on the treatment you receive.
The main task of the hospital and our staff is to provide you with safe and high-quality care. Your condition, treatment, and recovery must under no circumstances be compromised.
Open and prohibited spaces
The hospital and the hospital area are not public spaces, so persons who are not patients or part of the personnel can only walk about in the hospital’s lobby areas and parking facilities.
The personnel on the ward have the right to limit the number of visitors and visiting hours. It is prohibited to bring intoxicating substances, medicines or items or substances suitable for harming others to the hospital.
There is a video surveillance system operational in the indoor spaces of the hospital and on the hospital area.
You will recognize our HUS employees from the HUS ID cards. Every partner, service provider, and contractor who moves about the HUS premises also has a photo ID card of their own organization visible. Every visitor moving in the HUS premises who is not a relative of a patient staying in the hospital must have a host or hostess at HUS who is responsible for the visitor.
Additional information related to safety: Patient Insurance Centre
Before going home, our nurses and physicians will have a discussion with you on your treatment and its effects, any future examinations, and different options for further treatment. In addition, you will receive instructions for home care.
You should bring up any issues causing you concern when having a discussion with your nurse or physician. Ensure with the personnel that you will receive a discharge summary of your treatment when going home. Also make the necessary arrangements for your journey home.
You have the option to refuse or discontinue treatment, to refuse resuscitation and life-sustaining treatments. These matters are recorded in your living will which is a document where you indicate your view on future treatments.
A living will is topical in a situation where the patient is no longer eligible or capable of expressing his or her will regarding treatment to the physician in charge of the treatment due to a severe illness, injury, or other reason.
You can store your living will or organ donation consent in the My Kanta service or register them by writing them down as a free-form text. A living will needs to be signed by witnesses. You can change your living will at any time.
Your right to receive or refuse treatment has been stipulated in the Patient Act
All organ transplantations in Finland have been concentrated in the HUS hospitals, where we carry out kidney, liver, heart, lung, combined heart-lung, and corneal transplantations.
In Finland, you have the right to prohibit the donation of organs after death for the purpose of treating another person. If organ donation has not been prohibited, it will be assumed under the current law, that the deceased who is suitable for transplantation has consented to the donation of his or her organs. However, the physician must, as far as possible, find out what the will of the deceased person was, for example, by asking his next of kin or loved ones. If the time available does not provide certainty, the organ transplantation can be performed.
You can store your organ donation consent in the My Kanta service or register it by writing it down as a free-form text.