Inpatient medical surgical
Rooms are assigned on the basis of a patient's admitting diagnosis and gender as well as bed availability on the day of admittance. Room transfers may be requested by your doctor for medical reasons. Be aware that medical insurance usually does not cover the full cost of a private (single bed) room. If you have problems with your room, please tell your nurse.
Room temperature is controlled in each room for optimal patient comfort. If you are too warm or too cool, please tell your nurse. Usually the nurse can correct the problem by adjusting the thermostat or by supplying or removing blankets (remember: if you share a room with another patient, his or her comfort must be considered as well). Problems that cannot be corrected so easily will be directed to our Plant Operations Department, which is on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Hospital beds are undoubtedly higher and narrower than those you have at home. What's more, they may be adjusted to many different positions. Please ask your nurse for assistance in making your bed more comfortable. Many times, for your protection, the side rails will be pulled up during the night or while you're on medication. Complete bed linen changes are no longer made every day unless needed or at a patients request. To call your nurse and you should whenever you need help simply press the call button attached to your beds side rails. You'll find a call button in all bathrooms and showers, too. Your nurse will respond to your call as quickly as possible. Telephones and televisions are provided in each room free of charge. They offer patients some diversion, not to mention a way of communicating with loved ones, without the worry of additional charges.
You may receive incoming phone calls between 6:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. Your relatives and friends may dial the number on your bedside telephone directly. To make local calls out, dial 9, wait for the dial tone, and dial your number. For long distance calls, you must call collect, on credit card, or on third-party billing. If you experience difficulties, please dial 0 for the hospital operator. Please ask your nurse for more information on these services.
Your hospital team
The physician who admits you is responsible for directing your care while you are a patient here. He or she, as the coordinator of your treatment program, should be consulted on any matters relating to your condition.
The nursing staff, a team of professional registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and nurse assistants, is on duty round the clock. Each unit in the hospital has its own nurse manager who coordinates that unit's nursing care. Please feel free to address whatever questions or concerns you may have to your nurse or the nurse manager.
A complete, full-time staff of registered dietitians work to meet your dietary needs during your stay. If you have questions about your meals or about your diet in general, please call extension 8352.
Chaplains, specially trained in hospital ministry, are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your nurse can arrange a visit, or you may call extension 8487. If you would like your own minister, priest or rabbi to visit you, please notify the nurse manager, who will call him or her for you. Your clergyperson is permitted to visit at any time. For meditation and prayer, the Maude Kelley Memorial Chapel, located on the first floor, off the main lobby, is open at all times.
Social workers are also available to help patients and family members deal with emotional, social and financial problems related to illness or hospitalization. Other staff duties include easing the burden of long-term illness and rehabilitation and assisting in the process of discharge planning.
Patient accounting representatives can answer questions about your hospital bill and help you interpret the hospital's financial policies and billing procedures. To contact the Patient Accounting Department, you may call 453-8422. The hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Housekeeping personnel are responsible for cleaning all rooms in the hospital, daily. If you have a housecleaning problem in your room, tell your nurse, and it will be taken care of as soon as possible.
Volunteers contribute many hours of service, including financial assistance, to the hospital. They supplement the services of the hospital staff in many ways and can be identified by their name tags and smocks.
The patient representative serves as a patient advocate. If you have a complaint or concern that you don't wish to discuss with a member of the nursing staff, you may contact the patient representative by calling 453-8579 or by asking your nurse to make the contact for you.
Community Howard Regional Health offers a variety of special services to make your stay as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Delivery of flowers, plants and mail is handled by volunteers, Any mail received by the hospital after your dismissal will be forwarded to your home. Arrangements can also be made to have a person skilled in sign language help a hearing impaired or deaf patient. Interpreters for a number of foreign languages can be provided if needed. Call the Case Management Department at 453-8549 for more information.
Safety and security provisions
Your safety is of utmost concern to us. Our staff will always do everything possible to ensure it. Of course, you can help prevent accidents by observing the following. Please:
- Wait for assistance to get in or out of a wheelchair.
- Ask for help getting in and out of bed.
- Call for help to raise or lower bedrails.
- Inform your nurse of any problems or unsafe conditions in your room.
- Wear pajamas or a hospital gown on the premises at all times. An exception to this is in Extended Care and Behavioral Health units where you may be encouraged to dress in regular clothing.
- Advise your nurse if you've brought any small electrical appliances such as hair dryers, shavers or curling irons. They may be used only after they've been properly checked for safety by the hospital staff.
- Do not leave your nursing unit without advising the nursing staff.
- Leave all valuables at home, e.g., jewelry, money, etc.
You should take only those prescriptions ordered for you during your hospitalization. If you were already taking medication when you were admitted, that medication must be sent home with relatives or held for you in our pharmacy. Any medication held here by us will be returned to you upon your release from the hospital.
Lost and found
Items lost or left in the hospital are sent to the Security Department, where they are kept for 30 days. If you think you may have lost something while here, contact a nurse or call security at 317-453-8535. The hospital cannot be responsible for the loss of personal items.
Community Howard Regional Health is a smoke-free facility. Since studies have concluded that second-hand smoke is a health hazard, there is no provision for smoking anywhere within the buildings. There is, however, a designated smoking area outside. Only in special cases or highly unusual circumstances, which are reviewed by a Compassionate Care Committee, will an exception to this policy be made.
All jewelry, large sums of money, and other valuable personal items should be sent home with relatives. The hospital does not assume responsibility for lost or stolen items. You may want to keep some small change or bills to purchase newspapers or items from the gift shop, but we recommend that you do not keep more than $5 in your room at any one time. When not in use, dentures, glasses and hairpieces should be placed in protective containers. Again, the hospital does not assume responsibility for the breakage or loss of such articles.
Since infections may be spread through contact with body fluids such as blood, secretions from the nose and mouth, or contact with urine, stool or drainage from open sores, the hospital follows what are known as Universal Precautions. In other words, the staff will frequently wear gloves while caring for you. Sometimes they may also wear masks, gowns, aprons or goggles. All people should wash their hands upon entering or leaving your room. You too should wash your hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom and before you eat. Hand washing is the most important means of preventing the spread of infection. If you have any bandages, dressings or open sores, avoid touching them. Want additional information? Your nurse will be happy to supply it.
Food and nutrition services
Each morning, on your breakfast tray, you'll find a selective menu for your next day's meals. You'll be able to choose your main and side dishes, beverages and condiments from the diet (regular, calorie-restricted, low-salt) ordered by your physician. Please mark your choices early in the morning. Someone from the Food Services Department will collect it.
If you have any questions about your diet, ask your nurse to arrange a visit by one of our dietitians. Your nurse can also see to it that you get nutritional snacks and beverages between meals, at your request. Occasionally, your meal may be delayed because of X-ray, laboratory or other tests you must undergo. When this occurs, your meal will be served when the tests are completed.
Under special circumstances, it is possible to arrange for a guest tray to be sent to your room so that a visitor may share mealtime with you. Please notify your nurse well in advance, and he or she will inform you of the cost and procedure.
Cafeteria service for guests
The cafeteria is located in the southeast corner of the hospital basement. Service hours are:
- Monday - Friday Breakfast 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
- Monday - Friday lunch/dinner 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- Weekend/Holiday Hours 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
These hours are subject to change.
For those on a restricted diet, the cafeteria offers what we call "Treat Yourself Right" foods. These items, which are low in fat and sodium, are marked on the menu with an asterisk (*). If you have any questions regarding what to choose, please ask the cafeteria server for assistance. Vending machines filled with snacks, sandwiches, drinks, and fruit are accessible in the cafeteria 24 hours a day. A microwave oven is available to heat food as desired.
Visiting hours at Community Howard Regional Health begin at 11 a.m. and end at 8 p.m. All patients admitted for surgery may have visitors with them from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the day surgery is performed.
Visitation guidelines are as follows:
- No more than two visitors may be present at one time.
- Visiting privileges are restricted when the patient's condition warrants it, or when the attending physician or the patient so instructs.
- Conditional open visitation for patients in the Intensive Care Unit. Visitors are limited to two persons .
- Visitors under the age of 14 are restricted to the hospital lobbies and unit lounges. In order to visit a nursing unit they must be free of the following symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Visitors under the age of 14 must deny exposure to chicken pox, whooping cough, and measles in the past 22 days. All underage visitors must be accompanied by an adult.
Facilities and accommodations for guests
Public restroom facilities are provided for hospital guests in the patient lounges. On the first floor, these facilities are located just off the lobbies. Handicapped facilities are located on the first floor near the lobbies and just off the Emergency Room lounge.
The Cheer Guild Gift Shop offers gifts, cards, magazines, and sundries for all guests and patients. It's located in the hospital's main lobby. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturdays.
Several lobbies and waiting areas are provided by the hospital for the comfort and convenience of patients and visitors. In addition to the main lobby and the east lobby, there are waiting areas at most outpatient service departments. A lounge is located across the hall from the Intensive Care Unit. And the Ambulatory Surgery Center lobby accommodates relatives and friends of all surgery patients, whether ambulatory or inpatient. Here, a volunteer surgery host or hostess will keep those waiting informed of the patient's progress.
Valet parking is provided at the south entrance of the hospital from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. The east entrance from 8:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. The service is free of charge. Those wishing to use it need only bring their car to the entrance, and a valet will take it to the parking lot. When visitors are ready to leave, the valet will retrieve their car and bring it back.
Financial information: Hospital bills and insurance
Daily room charges include fees for the following, which are provided 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week for your comfort and protection:
- Your room
- 24-hour-a-day nursing care
- Linen service
- Central services and others
Extra charges may appear on your bill for services such as the following, if ordered by your physician:
- Respiratory therapy
- Physical therapy
- Laboratory tests
- Operating rooms
- Other procedures
You may receive more than one bill for a single hospitalization: Community Howard Regional Health issues a bill only for the services it provides. This bill does not include the fees of your attending physician, surgeon, anesthesiologist, pathologist, radiologist, or consulting physicians. Each of their offices will bill you separately.
We will bill your insurance company, if you provide us with the necessary information. Patients with no insurance or with limited coverage must make payment arrangements prior to dismissal.
If you have questions about your bill or our billing procedures, or if you need help making financial arrangements, we're at your service. Please contact one of our patient account representatives at 453-8422.
Regarding your length of stay: How long you remain hospitalized is determined by your physician, working within guidelines set by your insurance company, Medicare or Medicaid.
It is important for you to understand that federal programs cannot and many other insurance plans will not pay your hospital expense if your doctor cannot justify continued hospitalization. If it is determined, through the process of what's called a utilization review, that your stay is no longer medically necessary, Community Howard Regional Health is required to provide you and your doctor written notice that services being rendered are no longer covered. If you or your family believe further hospitalization is best for you, then you must accept full financial responsibility for additional care.
Filing concerns or compliments
Although we know no one wants to be hospitalized, we hope you are pleased with the quality of care and the facilities here at Community Howard Regional Health. If, however, you have a problem or concern, we want to know about it. You are important to us, and we value what you have to say. To register a concern or comment, please call or have your nurse call our Patient Representative, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The number is 453-8579. In the evening, or on weekends or holidays, ask your nurse to contact the House Supervisor. We assure you that any comment or concern you express will not jeopardize your current or future access to care at Community Howard Regional Health. We strive continually to improve and upgrade our services. And the best way for us to do that is to graciously accept feedback from you.
At Community Howard Regional Health, we make every effort to hire the best employees in the marketplace. Everyone here strives for excellence and works hard to make your stay as comfortable as possible. We know, too, that some among us provide exceptional service, going above and beyond what's expected of them regarding your care. If you would like to recognize an employee for his or her extra attentiveness, please ask your nurse for a Service Gram. Once you've filled it out and given it back to your nurse, it will be sent to the appropriate department to ensure proper recognition for that employee.
Advance directives are written instructions defining what procedures and measures a person does or does not want taken in the event that he or she becomes terminally ill, incompetent, and unable to make further medical choices. Such directives include Living Wills, Life-Prolonging Procedures Declarations, and Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care. For an explanation of these options, please ask your nurse to let you see either a representative from Medical Social Services or a chaplain.
It is the policy of Community Howard Regional Health to respect and honor your advance directives whenever possible. Our commitment to high- quality, compassionate care will not change, regardless of your decision about advance directives.
Your physician decides when you may be dismissed from the hospital. Once he or she has done so, you should be notified in enough time to make arrangements for someone to pick you up. Please check all closets and drawers for personal items as you pack. When you're ready to leave, a volunteer or staff member will take you by wheelchair to the hospital entrance. Questions? Your nurse will outline dismissal steps for you.
Arranging follow-up care
The Medical Social Services Department coordinates our hospital-wide discharge planning process, helping patients and their families arrange for proper post-hospitalization care. If your doctor suggests that a skilled nursing facility, rehabilitation or home health care would be wise for you, ask your nurse to contact Medical Social Services for assistance. This department maintains a current listing of providers for any of the above services, including durable medical equipment.
An agreement between Community Howard Regional Health and Community Home Health provides access to home care services. The Case Managment/ Medical Social Services Department can provide you with a list of available home care providers. Learn more >>