Advocate South Suburban Hospital
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patient information

For your convenience, patient information is organized as frequently-asked questions under four headings: overnight stays, outpatient testing, day surgery, and emergency department.

Frequently asked questions about overnight stays:

Frequently asked questions about outpatient testing:

Frequently asked questions about day surgery:

Frequently asked questions about the emergency department:

What is the admitting procedure and patient guidelines?

The patient registration department at Advocate South Suburban Hospital is located to the right of the front lobby information desk on the first floor.  Patients should bring their insurance cards and proper identification. For outpatient tests, please bring the prescription for that test from your physician. Pregnant women can obtain forms for preadmission from the hospital's family birth center or the patient registration area.

Cell phone policy: The telephones located at the nursing stations and in hospital offices are for the use of hospital personnel only. A public telephone is available in the emergency department waiting room.

Use of cellular phones is permitted in designated public waiting areas only. These areas include: the lobbies, gift shop, associate lounge, surgical waiting area, outpatient waiting areas, registration waiting areas, cafeteria, and family waiting areas on nursing units.

Smoking policy: Clean air is important to good health.  The entire campus of Advocate South Suburban Hospital is now smoke-free. Smoking is not permitted anywhere inside or outside of the hospital, including parking lots. We ask your cooperation in not smoking.

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What should I bring with me?

Patients are advised to bring their insurance and identification cards and any referrals from their physician.

Clothing and valuables
It is important to bring all prescription medications that you routinely take. Basic toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, shampoo, deodorant) also should be brought from home. While gowns are provided, patients are welcome to bring their own pajamas. Patients may wish to bring a bathrobe and slippers for further comfort. A favorite pillow also can be brought from home, provided that a colored pillowcase is used so it is not lost with the hospital linens. Pediatric patients are encouraged to bring a favorite blanket or stuffed toy to make their stay more comfortable.

Patients are advised to leave all valuables at home. This includes jewelry, computers, credit cards and large sums of money. A few dollars to purchase a newspaper or an item from the hospitality cart are all patients usually need.

Advocate South Suburban Hospital cannot assume responsibility for personal property kept in patients' rooms. The hospital encourages patients to send valuables home with family members or have jewelry and currency in excess of $5 placed in the hospital safe. The public safety department will issue a signed receipt for items placed in the safe.

Dentures, glasses and hearing aids should be kept in the drawer of the bedside table when not in use. Patients should take care not to leave them on the bed or meal tray because they could be discarded. Public safety has a lost and found for missing items. The department can be reached by dialing extension 463115 from any hospital phone.

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How do I prepare for surgery?

Unless you are undergoing an emergency procedure, preparation will begin the day prior to surgery. This may include restrictions on eating or drinking after midnight. Surgery may be canceled if these restrictions are not followed. Your caregiver will explain the surgery to you and what you can expect before, during and after. You also will be asked to sign consent forms for your procedure and anesthesia. From your patient room, you will be transported by cart to the surgical holding area. This is where you will speak to an anesthesiologist and/or your doctor. One family member may remain with you in this area.

Before your procedure, you will meet with the anesthesiologist who will describe the type of anesthesia that will be used. Your anesthesia options may include:

General anesthesia—you are completely asleep.

Spinal anesthesia—numbs the area below your waist to be operated on, you may be in a light sleep.

Sedative anesthesia—makes you relaxed or provides a light sleep-you are conscious and able to respond to questions, but you will remember little if nothing of the procedure.

Local anesthesia—numbs just the area of your body the surgeon is operating on, while you are awake.

A block—numbs a specific area, such as an arm or leg and helps with pain control after the procedure.

During surgery, a waiting room will be available for your family members. Your family also will be given a pager. When your surgery is complete, they will be paged to return to the waiting room where they will speak with your surgeon and be updated on your status.

After surgery, you may be taken to the recovery room or you may return directly to your patient room. It is not uncommon to experience some discomfort or pain after a procedure. Your caregiver will work to minimize your discomfort as much as possible. Your physician may give you a prescription for pain medication at discharge.

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What are the food service options?

Patient Meal Service

Room Service dining is available to Advocate South Suburban Hospital patients. Upon admission, a staff member will explain the Room Service program and provide you with a menu. To place your meal order, please call ext. 463463. Room Service orders are accepted from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Once you place your order, your meal will arrive within the hour. If there are any questions or concerns, ask one of the hosts/hostesses deliverying your meal or call ext. 463463.

Please note that your diet has been prescribed by your physician and some foods may be restricted.

Guest trays may be purchased through the hospital cashier prior to ordering their meal. Checks or credit cards will not be accepted. Guests will receive a receipt and voucher for their guest meal and then may order through Room Service at ext. 463463.

Cafeteria Service

Our cafeteria is located on the lower level of the hospital.

Hours of Operation

6:30 am to 7 am Continental Breakfast.
7 to 10 am Hot Breakfast.
11 am to 2 pm Lunch.
3 to 5 pm Break Time Continental Meal Service Available.
5 to 7 pm Dinner.
7 pm to 6:30 am  The cafeteria is closed. There is a 24-hour vending area located on the lower level of the hospital.

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What are the amenities and conveniences such as television, phone and ATM?

Television and Radios

Advocate South Suburban Hospital provides free television services in all patient rooms. As a courtesy to other patients, please keep televisions at a low volume, if requested. All television sets should be turned off by 11 p.m. Because of safety regulations, patients may not bring their own televisions to the hospital. However, battery-operated radios are permitted.

The following channel listing includes local stations, selected cable channels and hospital information channels. Program schedules for channels not included in this viewing guide are available in local newspapers.

Channel/Station Channel/Station
 2  CBS
 3  UHF 26
 4  UHF 32
 5  NBC
 6  UHF 60
 7  ABC
 8  VHF 38
 9  WGN
 11  WTTW
 12  In house
 13  TV Guide
 14  Weather
 15  UHF 50
 16  Tip TV
 17  Bloomberg
 18  Cartoon Network
 19  CNN
 21  Fox News
 22  TBS
 23  UHF 66
 24  Newborn Network
 28  Chapel
 29  TLC
 32  Trio
 33  Newsworld Internet
 34  CSPAN2
 35  HGTV
 36  TNT
 37  USA
 38  ABC Family
 40  Animal Planet
 41  Discovery
 42  Travel
 43  Food Network
 44  BBC America
 45  Newborn channel (Spanish)

Telephone services

All patient rooms, with the exception of the intensive care unit, are equipped with telephones. To place local calls, dial "9" and the outside number. To place long-distance and credit card calls, dial "9", listen for the tone, then dial "0" and the outside operator will assist you. If you have difficulty in placing a call, please dial "0" and our operator will assist you. Patients may receive phone calls in their rooms between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. They may dial out at any time.

Patient rooms can be dialed direct with a touch-tone phone by dialing (708) 213-XXXX and the extension number that is shown on each patient's phone. For most patient rooms, the extension number represents the patient's bed number followed by the room number. For example, to reach a patient in Bed 2, Room 317, dial 788-213-2317.  All internal dialing communication is done through using a six-digit extension beginning with 46. For example, to reach the patient registration department, dial ext. 463010.

Free interpreter services are available to patients who do not speak English. To access this service, simply dial the operator for assistance. Hard of hearing phones and a TTY for the hearing impaired are available upon request. Please contact your nurse if you are in need of either of these devices. To call the hospital, persons with hearing impairments may use the TTY number, (800) 421-1220.

The telephones located at the nursing stations and in hospital offices are for the use of hospital personnel only. A public telephone is available in the emergency department waiting room.

ATM locations
There is an ATM located in the hospital's main lobby (east entrance) on the first floor.

Hospitality cart
A hospitality cart carrying gifts, candy and magazines for sale tours the patient floors each day.

Patients or visitors also may purchase local or Chicago newspapers from volunteers who circulate throughout the hospital daily.

Hair care/barber
The services of a barber or beautician can be obtained by special request. Patients should ask their nurse for more information.

Notary public
A nurse will help patients or family arrange for the complimentary services of a notary public if needed.

Flowers and mail
Flowers, packages and mail are delivered to patient rooms daily. Live flowers or plants are not permitted in the intensive care unit. Patients may give outgoing mail to any member of the nursing staff for mailing. Mail or flowers received after a patient is discharged will be forwarded to the patient's home address.

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What type of spiritual care services are available?

Clergy Visitation

Patients often wish to have a visit from their pastor, priest, imam or rabbi. When a patient, upon admission, gives the name of his or her church, temple or synagogue, the hospital's office for mission and spiritual care will notify the designated church, if requested. Visits can also be arranged for patients who did not register the church or synagogue name. To contact the office for mission and spiritual care, dial ext. 463780.

Spiritual Care

Chaplains are available to provide spiritual care for patients, families, hospital associates and visitors, especially during times of crisis, grief or loss. Services include visitation and prayer, ethical consultation, Advance Directives (Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Mental Health Treatment Preference and Declaration), and spiritual and emotional support. Chaplains are in the hospital Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 3 to 11 p.m. For spiritual care, call ext. 463780. After these hours a chaplain may be reached via long-range pager by dialing "0" for the operator.

The Elizabeth Karnes Vaughan Chapel

The Elizabeth Karnes Vaughan Chapel is located on the main floor of the hospital. The chapel in the round design was specifically chosen to give all who enter a feeling of welcome and of being embraced. The lotus petals in the ceiling reflect this theme and focus attention on the circular altar. Four corner niches in the chapel provide space to showcase symbols representing four major religions. These symbols include the Christian tabernacle, the Jewish menorah, the Hindu Lord Shiva, and the Muslim Holy Qur'an. 

The three-panel, leaded stained glass Angel window reflects a message of hope and rejoicing, of glory and praise, and of compassion and protection. 

We invite you to use our interfaith chapel as a quiet place for prayer and reflection and to read from the Holy Bible on the altar or the Holy Qur'an, located in the northeast corner niche.  

Spiritual Care Channel

The hospital TV Channel 28 allows patients and their families the ability to view live chapel services from the comfort of your hospital room. In addition, the channel broadcasts spiritual programs and music to enhance your comfort and provide spiritual support.

Meditation Room

A non-denominational room for prayer and meditation is located off the hospital's main lobby, and is open to patients, visitors and hospital associates all hours of the day and evening.

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What services are available for people with special needs?

Advocate South Suburban Hospital is committed to serving patients who have disabilities. To ensure that patients with impaired vision or hearing, or who are non-English speaking, have an equal opportunity to benefit from hospital services, a variety of specialized services are available at no cost to patients.

Advocate South Suburban Hospital will provide sign language or foreign language interpreter services and additional assistive devices to patients and their representatives who are deaf, hard of hearing or need language assistance upon request. Signs posted in the admissions department, emergency department and outpatient waiting area refer you to whom you should direct your questions, comments, or complaints. Your nurse can provide more information about specific aids that are available or help to arrange for auxiliary aid or interpreter services.

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What are advance directives such as a living will or do not resuscitate order?

Statement of Illinois Law on Advance Directives and LET Orders

You have the right to make decisions about the health care you receive now and in the future. An advance directive is a written statement you prepare about how you want your medical decisions to be made in the future, if you are no longer able to make them for yourself. A do not resuscitate order (LET order) is a medical treatment order that says cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) will not be used if your heart or breathing stops.

Federal law requires that you be told of your right to make an advance directive when you are admitted to a health care facility. Illinois law allows for the following three types of advance directives: (1) health care power of attorney; (2) living will; and (3) mental health treatment preference declaration. In addition, you can ask your physician to work with you to prepare a LET order. You may choose to discuss with your doctor different types of advance directives and LET orders.  After reviewing information regarding advance directives and LET orders, you may decide to make more than one. For example, you could make a health care power of attorney and a living will.

If you make one or more advance directives and/or a LET order, tell your doctor and other health care providers and provide them with a copy. You may also want to provide a copy to family members, and to those you appoint to make these decisions for you. State law provides copies of sample advance directives forms and LET order forms.

Health Care Power of Attorney

The health care power of attorney lets you choose someone to make health care decisions for you in the future, if you are no longer able to make these decisions for yourself. You are called the "principal" in the power of attorney form and the person you choose to make decisions is called your "agent." Your agent would make health care decisions for you if you were no longer able to makes these decisions for yourself. So long as you are able to make these decisions, you will have the power to do so. You may use a standard health care power of attorney form or write your own. You may give your agent specific directions about the health care you do or do not want.

The agent you choose cannot be your doctor or other health care provider. You should have someone who is not your agent witness your signing of the power of attorney.

The power of your agent to make health care decisions on your behalf is broad. Your agent would be required to follow any specific instructions you give regarding care you want provided or withheld. For example, you can say whether you want all life-sustaining treatments provided in all events; whether and when you want life-sustaining treatment ended; instructions regarding refusal of certain types of treatments on religious or other personal grounds; and instructions regarding anatomical gifts and disposal of remains. Unless you include time limits, the health care power of attorney will continue in effect from the time it is signed until your death. You can cancel your power of attorney at any time, either by telling someone or by canceling it in writing. You can name a backup agent to act if the first one cannot or will not take action. If you want to change your power of attorney, you must do so in writing.

Living Will

A living will tells your doctor whether you want death-delaying procedures used if you have a terminal condition and are unable to state your wishes.  A living will, unlike a health care power of attorney, only applies if you have a terminal condition. A terminal condition means an incurable and irreversible condition such that death is imminent and the application of any death delaying procedures serves only to prolong the dying process.

Even if you sign a living will, food and water cannot be withdrawn if it would be the only cause of death. Also, if you are pregnant and doctors think you could have a live birth, your living will cannot go into effect.

You can use a standard living will form or write your own. You may write specific directions about the death-delaying procedures you do or do not want.

Two people must witness your signing of the living will. Your doctor cannot be a witness. It is your responsibility to tell your doctor if you have a living will if you are able to do so. You can cancel your living will at any time, either by telling someone or by canceling it in writing. If you have both a health care power of attorney and a living will, the agent you name in your power of attorney will make your health care decisions unless he or she is unavailable.

Mental Health Treatment Preference Declaration

A mental health treatment preference declaration allows you to say if you want to receive electro convulsive treatment (ECT) or psychotropic medicine when you have a mental illness and are unable to make these decisions for yourself.  It also allows you to say whether you wish to be admitted to a mental health facility for up to 17 days of treatment.

You can write your wishes and/or choose someone to make your mental health decisions for you. In the declaration, you are called the "principal" and the person you choose is called an "attorney-in-fact." Neither your doctor nor any employee of a health care facility in which you reside may be your attorney-in-fact. Your attorney-in-fact must accept the appointment in writing before he or she can start making decisions regarding your mental health treatment. The attorney-in-fact must make decisions consistent with any desires you express in your declaration unless a court orders differently or an emergency threatens your life or health.

Your mental health treatment preference declaration expires three years from the date you sign it. Two people must witness you signing the declaration. The following people may not witness your signing of the declaration: your doctor; an employee of a health care facility in which you reside; or a family member related by blood, marriage or adoption. You may cancel your declaration in writing prior to its expiration as long as you are not receiving mental health treatment at the time of cancellation. If you are receiving mental health treatment, your declaration will not expire and you may not cancel it until the treatment is successfully completed.

Limitations of Emergency Treatment (LET)
It is important for health care workers within the hospital to know if you have an advance directive.  If your advance directive states no CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and your doctor writes an order in the medical record that no CPR is to be done, an additional form will be completed.  The form is called, "Limitations of Emergency Treatment" (LET).  The form allows health care workers within the hospital to know what type of emergency treatment you desire in an emergent situation.  Your doctor will discuss this form with you and indicate if you should receive any of the following emergent treatments:

If your breathing is labored or stops, a tube may be inserted in your airway and you may be placed on a ventilator (respirator).

Electrical cardioversion
If your heart goes into an abnormal and life-threatening rhythm, it will be shocked in an attempt to bring it back to a normal rhythm.

Antiarrythmic medication
Medication may be given in an attempt to reverse an abnormal and life-threatening heart rhythm.

Vasopressor medications
Medications would be given to increase or maintain a normal blood pressure.

What happens if you don't have an advance directive?

Under Illinois law, a health care "surrogate" may be chosen for you if you cannot make health care decisions for your-self and do not have an advance directive. A health care surrogate will be one of the following persons (in order of priority): guardian of the person, spouse, any adult child(ren), either parent, any adult brother or sister, any adult grandchild(ren), a close friend, or guardian of the estate.

The surrogate can make all health care decisions for you, with certain exceptions. A health care surrogate cannot tell your doctor to withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment unless you have a "qualifying condition," which is a terminal condition, permanent unconsciousness, or an incurable or irreversible condition. A "terminal condition" is an illness or injury for which there is no reasonable prospect of cure or recovery, death is imminent and life-sustaining treatment will only prolong the dying process. "Permanent unconsciousness" means a condition that, to a high degree of medical certainty, will last permanently, without improvement; there is no thought, purposeful social interaction or sensory awareness present; and providing life-sustaining treatment will only have minimal medical benefit. An "incurable or irreversible condition" means an illness or injury for which there is no reasonable prospect for cure or recovery that ultimately will cause the patient's death, that imposes severe pain or an inhumane burden on the patient, and for which life-sustaining treatment will have minimal medical benefit.

Two doctors must certify that you cannot make decisions and have a qualifying condition in order to withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment. If your health care surrogate decision maker decides to withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment, this decision must be witnessed by a person who is 18 years or older. A health care surrogate may consent to a LET order, however, this consent must be witnessed by two individuals 18 years or older.

A health care surrogate, other than a court-appointed guardian, cannot consent to certain mental health treatments, including treatment by electro convulsive therapy (ECT), psychotropic medication or admission to a mental health facility. A health care surrogate can petition a court to allow these mental health services.

Final Notes

You should talk to your family, your physician or any agent or attorney-in-fact that you appoint about your decision to make an advance directive. If they know what health care you want, they will find it easier to follow your wishes. If you change your mind and cancel your advance directive, tell your family, your doctor, or any agent or attorney-in-fact you appoint.

No facility, doctor, or insurer can make you execute an advance directive. It is entirely your decision. If a facility, doctor or insurer objects to following your advance directive, they must tell you and offer you assistance in finding alternative care.

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What are my rights and responsibilities as a patient?

Charity Care

Consistent with Advocate Health Care's values of compassion and stewardship, it is the policy of Advocate Health Care to provide charity care to patients in need. This policy identifies circumstances under which Advocate Health Care hospitals will extend services free-of-charge, or at a reduced amount, to an individual who is willing to pay for health care services, but whose financial status makes it impossible or impractical to pay fully for the services. Given the sensitive nature of these requests, all communications with the patient or family members will be handled in strict confidence and in a compassionate manner.

The provision of financial assistance is subject to various restrictions, including the timely completion and submission of a charity care application and supporting documentation and the availability of sufficient financial resources to provide such assistance. This policy is intended to benefit Advocate's community consistent with its values of compassion and stewardship, and therefore, this policy does not guarantee any third party or person any rights, claims, benefits or privileges. This policy may be changed at any time without notice.

For more information on charity, contact the patient financial services representative at ext. 463375.

Statement of Patient Billing Rights and Responsibilities

Hospital bills and insurance claims can be confusing, therefore, Advocate Health Care is committed to making the billing process as straightforward as possible. Our goal is to help you understand the billing system to ensure that the process works as smoothly as possible. The following information provides details about billing policies and procedures.

At Advocate Health Care, We Recognize Your Billing Rights:

  • To be treated with dignity and respect: At Advocate Health Care, all patients will be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of your ability to pay.
  • To speak with a financial counselor: Counselors are available to answer billing questions or assist you with a billing issue. A counselor can meet with you and your family to discuss your insurance benefits, hospital charges, plans for payment of your balance and payment options that may be available to you, including charity care consideration.
  • To speak in your language: Advocate Health Care serves a broad range of different cultures and ethnic groups throughout the Chicago area. If we cannot provide a financial counselor who speaks your language, we will be happy to arrange for translation assistance to discuss any questions you may have about your bill.
  • To insurance billing services: On your behalf, Advocate Health Care will bill your insurance plan, Medicare or Medicaid directly for payment of hospital services. If you have more than one insurance plan, Advocate Health Care will bill additional carriers.
  • To information about your hospital account: You will receive regular statements showing the current balance owed by your insurance or due from you. Advocate will send you a statement when your insurance has been paid and will notify you of any remaining balance due. Access to account information is also available 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week through an automated telephone system, which can be reached at (708) 206-6406.

Your Billing Responsibilities:

  • To provide insurance and financial information: To obtain payment from your health plan, you must provide us with information about your coverage. Please present your driver's license, insurance card and referral or authorization forms at the time of registration. Tell us if your personal information or insurance has changed since your last visit. We will ask you to authorize an appropriate release of information and assign insurance benefits to the hospital.
  • Medicare: If you are Medicare-eligible and scheduled for outpatient services, please bring your physician's order with you, or be sure that your physician has faxed it to the hospital prior to your arrival. If Medicare does not cover the services ordered, you may be asked to sign a Medicare Advance Beneficiary Notice (ABN) to signify that you have been informed of your payment responsibility.
  • To comply with insurance plan requirements: To minimize payment delays, we ask that you comply with all of your health plan requirements. This may include obtaining prior authorization for services, submitting referral or claim forms, or completing a coordination of benefits form. Please call your health plan prior to a scheduled visit or admission for their requirements.
  • To let us know if you anticipate problems paying your bill: Please call a financial counselor at 708.213.3375 to discuss payment alternatives that may be available to you, including extended payments, government programs or charity care consideration.
  • To communicate with your insurance plan if necessary: Advocate Health Care will make every effort to provide all information requested by your plan, but your health plan may need a response from you to resolve certain issues related to your account or insurance coverage. We ask that you respond promptly to any requests for information from your health plan.
  • If your health plan has not made payment within a reasonable period of time, (usually 60 days after billing), and has not responded to attempts to resolve payment matters on your behalf, the balance may become your responsibility.
  • To make timely payment: If you have a deductible, co-payment or other self-pay amount due, or do not have insurance coverage for your hospital services, you may be asked to pay at the time of service or prior to discharge.

Although Advocate bills your insurance plan directly, payment for the hospital bill is ultimately your responsibility, with the exception of approved Medicare, Medicaid and HMO services. Advocate Health Care accepts:

1) Cash, personal check, debit card or money order
2) Credit Cards: Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express
3) Extended payment options

  • To let us know if you have questions or need assistance: Please call us at the telephone number on your bill if you become aware of issues or have concerns about your bill. There may be tests or services your insurance plan does not cover even though ordered by your physician. Check your insurance policy benefits handbook or call the telephone number on your insurance card for more information.
  • To cooperate with necessary applications: To apply for governmental or hospital financial assistance programs, certain personal and financial information is required. We ask that you respond promptly to any requests for information needed to complete your application.

To reach a patient financial counselor, please call 708.213.3375

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What do I need to know when I leave the hospital?

Discharge planning
Generally, when your vital signs are stable and you have met the criteria for discharge you will return home. Before doing so, your nurse will review the discharge instructions carefully with you. When a patient is ready to leave the hospital, the physician will write a discharge order on the chart and discuss the release with the patient and appropriate relatives or guardian.

Case management
Advocate South Suburban Hospital's case management program helps coordinate patient care and identifies potential discharge planning needs. This process is carried out by the case manager who is a registered nurse with specialized training to monitor care and assess a patient's needs at discharge.

There is a case manager assigned to each nursing unit who follows each patient from admission to discharge. If you have questions about your care or feel that you may need assistance after discharge, request to see the case manager assigned to your care.

Social services
Illness is stressful and often brings about changes that affect both patients and their families. The hospital's professionally trained, licensed social workers are here to listen to patients and their families with compassion and confidentiality. They can help in dealing with the emotional effects of illness while patients are in the hospital and arrange for needed services following discharge.

Hospital stays are often shorter today than in the past. This means that many patients continue to require services after they leave the hospital. Social workers routinely work with hospital case managers, patients and their families early in their hospital stay to help them begin planning for the services they may need. Social workers are familiar with community resources and can assist in arranging nursing home placement, home health care or meals. Social workers also are available after discharge to help with problems that may arise.

Home care
If home care services are necessary to facilitate your recovery, arrangements will be made prior to your discharge home.

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What if I have questions about my insurance or bill?

When the patient's account has been settled in full by cash, check or credit card payment, insurance confirmation or arrangements with the patient accounts department, a discharge slip will be issued. The discharge slip can be picked up at the cashier's window in the east lobby by the family member or friend who is taking the patient home. In some cases, additional processing may be necessary and the person will be referred to the account representative.

The patient should give the discharge slip to the nurse before leaving the nursing unit.

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Who do I call with a complaint or concern?

Your concerns are important to us. Please contact your nurse with any questions or concerns you may have during your stay. If you do not believe your concerns have been fully addressed, request to speak with the nursing director or the house supervisor.

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Where do I register?

Most outpatient testing services at Advocate South Suburban Hospital are located on the first floor of the hospital. Services include, but are not limited to: laboratory services; cardiac testing; diagnostic imaging, and employer-based wellness and screening programs.

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What do I need to bring to be sure my test is covered by Medicare?

Advanced beneficiary notification, known as ABNs, are issued to Medicare outpatients in situations where a doctors' diagnosis (ie., reason for ordering the test) does not meet the Medicare criteria for "medical necessity." When an ABN is issued to a Medicare patient, it means that Medicare will not pay the claim and the patient will be responsible for paying the bill.

In order to avoid being issued an ABN, Medicare patients should: 1) bring in their doctor's order for the test on their date of service; 2) make sure the doctor has included a written diagnosis on the order; and 3) make sure that the physician's diagnosis is acceptable to Medicare so that Medicare will pay the claim and the patient only will be responsible for a co-payment.

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What do I need to know before my day surgery?

The Advocate South Suburban Hospital ambulatory surgery department is located on the first floor of the hospital.

Unless otherwise instructed by your physician, do not eat or drink anything after midnight. This includes milk products, candy and gum. Failure to do so may result in cancellation of your procedure. You may brush your teeth the day of surgery.

You will be asked to cut back on your smoking 24 hours prior to surgery and not to smoke the morning of surgery. You should not drink any alcohol within 24 hours of surgery.

Arrange for transportation to and from the hospital by a family member or friend. You only will be allowed to leave the hospital with a responsible adult. For your own safety, the hospital cannot allow you to return home alone in a taxi or any other form of public transportation. Ambulatory surgery patients are asked to refrain from driving and making important decisions for 24 hours after surgery. It is suggested that someone stay with you at home during this time.

The day of surgery

  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing
  • Do not wear any makeup, hairspray, perfume or nail polish
  • Leave valuables, such as credit cards and jewelry at home

What to bring

  • Minors will need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Foster or adoptive parents will have to present legal documentation.
  • Eyeglasses and/or hearing aids. Contact lenses may not be worn to surgery.
  • Children are encouraged to bring a special toy or blanket.
  • Insurance and prescription cards
  • Referrals or pre-certification forms
  • X-rays, if you were instructed to bring them
  • Crutches, walkers or braces, if needed

Checking in
You may be instructed to arrive two to three hours before your scheduled procedure. You will be contacted the evening before your surgery and given an exact time to arrive at the hospital. When you check into ambulatory surgery, you will be taken to a patient room. This is where the staff will prepare you, give you a identification wristband and ask you to change into a hospital gown. You will be asked to sign consent forms for your procedure and anesthesia. From your patient room, you will be transported by cart to the surgical holding area. This is where you will speak to an anesthesiologist and/or your doctor. One family member may remain with you in this area.

Before your procedure, you will meet with the anesthesiologist who will describe the type of anesthesia that will be used. Your anesthesia options may include:

General anesthesia-makes you are completely asleep.

Spinal anesthesia-numbs your body below your waist to be operated on, you may be in a light sleep.

Sedative anesthesia-makes you relaxed or provides a light sleep-you are conscious.

Local anesthesia-numbs just the area of your body the surgeon is operating on. You may be in a light sleep.

A block-numbs a specific area such as an arm or leg and helps with pain control after the procedure.

Going home
Generally, when your vital signs are stable and you have met the criteria for discharge you will return to your home. Before doing so, your nurse will review the discharge instructions carefully with you. You will receive a follow-up call the next day from the staff, to see how you are recovering.

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What is the scope of services in the emergency department?

Advocate South Suburban Hospital's emergency department is a state-of-the art facility that offers the following:

Staff Excellence

Highly-skilled physicians trained in emergency treatment for adults, children and infants
All emergency nurses have certifications in several areas of emergency care 
Emergency technicians are specially trained

Fast Track

Expands emergency facilities from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. 
Provides care for less serious ailments such as strains, simple fractures, lacerations and colds


Treatment rooms have doors and floor-to-ceiling walls 
Separate triage booths allow staff members to interview patients and family members privately 
Registration booths are designed to provide privacy and confidentiality 
Special consultation room allows physicians to meet privately with family members

Comfort and convenience

Waiting room offers an area for television watching, reading and conversation 
Play area for children in waiting area 
Convenient parking is available in a specially designated area 
One-way circular drive allows convenient drop-off for patients under a protective canopy

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What is the emergency admitting procedure?

The hospital's emergency department was developed with the belief that emergency care is about people. As a patient in our emergency department, you will be treated with dignity, care and compassion. To provide you with the best medical care, you will go through the following process when you arrive at our emergency department:

Triage: Upon arrival, a registered nurse will see you at triage. This is the beginning of your medical treatment. The triage nurse will ask the reason for your visit, inquire about your medical history and may perform a brief exam. Triage is done to help determine the severity of your condition and to assure that the most urgent patients are seen by the physician first. This is why someone who arrives after you may be taken in before you.

Registration: Next, the registration process is done to obtain the necessary information to begin your chart. If available, you will be taken directly to an exam room. Otherwise, you may be asked to wait in the reception area until a room becomes available.

Treatment: Once you have been brought into the treatment area, the nursing and physician assessment will take place. Depending on your condition, tests such as labs and X-rays may be ordered. The results of your tests may take one to two hours. Depending on the results of your tests and re-evaluation by your physician, you will either be discharged or admitted to the hospital.

Discharge: When you are discharged from the efmergency department, you will be given complete written after-care instructions to follow at home. Be sure that you understand and follow these instructions and that you follow-up with your physician.

Admitted to the hospital: If you are to be admitted you will remain in the emergency department until there is an available bed. Our goal is to provide the same level of comfort and care in the emergency department that is found on the inpatient unit. That is why, if you have to wait longer than six hours, you will be given nourishment and provided with a comfortable hospital bed.

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What are the visiting and other policies?

The treatment area inside the emergency department is very limited and frequently crowded. We welcome relatives and friends to either accompany the patient or join the patient after the physician's medical evaluation. We are dedicated to meeting the needs of patients while maintaining their privacy. That is why we limit visitors to one or two per patient. Both parents may accompany their child.

While the patient is undergoing treatment, you must remain in the waiting room. Rest assured that a triage nurse or assistant is always accessible to answer your questions regarding the patient's condition. If they don't approach you with information, ask the nurse at the front desk and they will assist you.

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What special services are available?

Vending machines equipped with snacks and refreshments are in the emergency department waiting area. There also is a cafeteria located on the lower level of the hospital near the east elevators. The cafeteria has 24-hour vending and serves meals during the following hours:

 6:30 to 7 a.m.  Continental Breakfast
 7 to 10 a.m.  Hot Breakfast
 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Lunch
 3 to 5 p.m.  Break Time Continental Meal Service Available
 5 to 7 p.m.  Dinner
 7 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.  The cafeteria is closed. There is a 24-hour vending area located on the lower level of the hospital.

While you are waiting to be seen, we ask that you remain in the waiting area and not visit the cafeteria in case you are called to an exam room.

Public telephones and restrooms are conveniently located in the waiting room.

The Elizabeth Karnes Vaughan Chapel is located on the first floor, near the west entrance of the hospital. Open 24 hours a day, this beautiful and peaceful chapel is available for your spiritual needs.
A public safety officer is on duty 24 hours a day. Public safety officers are available to assist with patient transport. They also can escort you to your vehicle at night, if necessary.

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Who do I call with a complaint or concern?

Complaints and concerns during your emergency department visit can be directed the department's nursing director. Please ask for her name, in-house phone extension and/or pager number.

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