If you’re being admitted to Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, please bring your insurance cards and photo ID (such as a drivers license, college or tribal ID). To protect your identity, we will scan your ID cards into our secure system to verify your information.
Please leave all personal belongings at home. If there are items you must use during your hospital stay, make sure they have an escort home so they aren’t left behind and lost.
Patient safety is a priority at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center. While you’re in the hospital – either as a patient or visitor – please follow all posted safety precautions. Become an active, involved and informed member of your health care team by reviewing your rights as a patient.
It is your right to make decisions regarding your health care. Under this right, you may accept or refuse any recommended medical treatment. If you are well and can speak for yourself, exercising this right is relatively easy.
However, during a severe illness, it’s possible you’ll be unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate your wishes – at the very time critical decisions need to be made. An advance directive communicates your wishes to those charged with your care. An advance directive is effective only if you’re unable to make decisions and express your wishes – and you can change it at any time until then.
An advance directive allows you to make important decisions before a serious illness arises.
Types of Advance Directives
Living Will: A Living Will – or Health Care Directive – covers care intended to sustain life if you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious. It provides a road map to doctors and family members in areas such as artificial feeding and hydration. It doesn’t allow you to appoint a proxy to make decisions on your behalf.
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care: A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care covers more medical situations than a Living Will. The document allows you to state your wishes and appoint a proxy to make sure those wishes are honored. It goes into effect if you are unable to speak for yourself or under other circumstances you identify. It also allows your proxy to work with your physician to make health care decisions.
You need to have a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care witnessed and notarized.
Please note: a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is different than a durable power of attorney for financial matters, although they are often drafted at the same time.
Mental Health Advance Directive: A Mental Health Advance Directive describes your choices about mental health treatment. While you have the capacity to make choices for yourself, you can create a directive to tell a doctor, institution or judge which types of treatment or confinement you do or don’t want. You can also appoint a proxy to make mental health care decisions for you if you become unable to.
Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST): The Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) is a “portable” physician order form that gives directions regarding emergency life-sustaining treatment. It is called “portable” because it is intended travel with you from one care setting to another (for example, from the hospital to a transitional care facility). If you have an emergency at home, the form serves as the physician’s orders to the emergency response team for your care.
To discuss advance directives and ask questions in person, ask to speak to a chaplain or medical social worker during admissions.
End-of-Life-Registry (formerly Choices Bank)
PO Box 201410
Helena MT 59620-1410
Phone 1-866-675-3314 (toll free) or 406-444-0660