Always know who is entering your room and why. All UM CRMC employees are required to wear UM CRMC identification badges while on duty. The badge should clearly indicate the employee’s name, photo, and department. If an employee is not wearing an identification badge, or the information is not clearly visible, you may ask the employee for their name and department. All employees should identify themselves when they enter your room and indicate what service they are performing while there. In addition, physicians and clergy have identifying badges. Please feel free to ask any staff to identify themselves if a badge is not clearly visible. If at any time you are uncertain of the reason someone has entered your room, please call your nurse for assistance.

Personal Items and Valuables
Patients are asked not to bring personal items to the hospital other than those items that will help to make your stay with us more comfortable. Examples are: Reading materials, sleeping attire, eyeglasses, etc. To report a lost or found item, call Safety and Security at (301) 609-4289. We will make every effort to locate lost property, however, we are not responsible for lost or stolen property.

UM Charles Regional Medical Center encourages you to be safe with our “Speak Up” policy
At UM Charles Regional Medical Center, patient safety is our top priority. To ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect your safety, our organization is regularly surveyed by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

Receiving accreditation from JCAHO demonstrates UM CRMC’s commitment to following established guidelines for safe, quality care. Recently, JCAHO created the “Speak Up” program designed to give patients simple advice on how to best protect your health and safety in a healthcare setting.

UM CRMC encourages you to become fully informed and involved in your healthcare. Patients who take part in the decisions about their health care are more likely to have a better outcome. Along with your physicians, nurses, and your family members and friends, you are the most critical part of your healthcare team. Here’s some good advice from JCAHO and UM CRMC on how you can make your health care a good experience:

S-P-E-A-K U-P:

S: Speak up if you have any questions or concerns:

  • Don’t be embarrassed to point out something that seems wrong or that you don’t understand.
  • If you are having surgery, ask the doctor to mark the area that is to be operated on.
  • Don’t be afraid to tell the doctor or nurse if you think you are have received or are about to receive the wrong medication.
  • Tell a healthcare professional immediately if you think he or she has you confused with another patient.

P: Pay attention to the care you get:

  • Expect health care workers to introduce themselves and have their identification badges clearly displayed—every healthcare worker must wear one.
  • Know the time of day you normally get medicine—if you don’t get it, tell the nurse or doctor.
  • Make sure your nurse or doctor verifies your identification each and every time before he or she gives you medicine or treatment.

E: Educate yourself about your diagnosis, medical tests and treatment plan

  • Ask your doctor about the special training and experience that qualifies them to be able to treat your illness.
  • Look for information on your condition from places like your library, respected websites and support groups.
  • Write down important facts your doctor tells you and ask if he or she has any information you can keep.
  • Read all medical forms and make sure you understand them before you sign anything.

A: Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate:

  • Your advocate can ask questions that you may not think about when you are stressed and remember answers to questions you have asked.
  • Ask this person to stay with you, even overnight, when you are hospitalized. You will be able to rest better and they can make sure you get the right medicines and treatments.
  • Make sure this person understands the kind of care you want and how you feel about resuscitation and life support.
  • Your advocate should understand the care you need when you go home and who to call if you need help.

K: Know your medications:

  • Know what medications you are on and why you take them.
  • Ask for written instructions, all possible side effects and possible drug interactions with other medications you take including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and herbs.
  • If you do not recognize a medication, double check with your caregiver that it is for you.
  • Be sure to tell your doctor or nurse about any allergies you have or any negative reactions to other medications.
  • Make sure you can read the handwriting on the prescriptions written by your doctor.

U: Use an accredited hospital or healthcare center:

  • Use a hospital, clinic, surgery center, or health care organization that has a good reputation (i.e., Accreditation by the Joint Commission Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations).
  • Go to to find out whether your hospital or center is accredited.

P: Participate in all decisions about your treatment:

  • Realize that you are the center of your healthcare team.
  • Reach agreement with your doctor on exactly what will be done during each step of your care.
  • Never be afraid to ask for a second opinion.
  • View more information about the “Speak Up” Program.

At UM Charles Regional Medical Center, our goal is for your needs to be met fully, 100 percent of the time. If you have questions, concerns or complaints, please ask for a department manager. You may also communicate any concerns by calling our Performance Improvement Department at, or by writing to:

Performance Improvement Department
UM Charles Regional Medical Center
P O Box 1070; La Plata, MD 20646-1070