FAQ About Your Stay
Learn more about what you can expect during your stay with answers to frequently asked questions.
What’s the role of hospitalists and what training do they have?
Because your primary care doctor focuses on outpatient care, a hospitalist manages your care while you’re in the hospital. Think of a hospitalist as an extension of your primary care doctor during your hospital stay. He or she:
- Coordinates and manages your inpatient care, including communicating with your primary care doctor, arranging tests and following up on results and fulfilling any preoperative or postoperative needs.
- Communicates directly with you and your family to ensure you’re well informed and are receiving excellent care.
- Coordinates your discharge from the hospital and arranges follow-up care with your primary care doctor or other healthcare professionals once you leave the hospital.
Hospitalists are generally trained in internal or family medicine, but specialize in providing care exclusively in the hospital setting.
Why do I need to bring a list of my medications?
Because some medications and supplements can cause unintentional interactions and side effects — or may not work effectively in combination with others — keeping an updated list of prescription and over-the-counter supplements is important to keep you safe. For your convenience, we provide a medication form for you to complete and keep with you to share with healthcare providers.
Ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to review your list and help you keep it updated whenever you start or stop taking a medication or supplement.
Whom can I contact with feedback about my hospital stay?
We value your feedback — your input helps us improve our care and services. Don’t hesitate to talk to your nurse, charge nurse (nursing supervisor) or a member of our patient experience team.
During your stay, you may receive a visit from a nursing leader or a member of the patient experience team to make sure you’re satisfied with your care and treatment. If you or a family member has a concern, please contact a member of our patient experience team at 650-962-5836 or email@example.com.
How can friends or family contact me during my stay?
Unless you’ve specified that you don’t want to be contacted during your stay, friends and family can reach you by calling the hospital’s main number and asking for you by name or room number:
- Mountain View campus: 650-940-7000
- Los Gatos campus: 408-378-6131
To protect your private medical information, callers will be given limited or no information about your location or medical condition without your permission.
How often will someone check on me during the day?
One of your care team members will perform a quick service and safety check during most hours of the day — a practice we call purposeful rounding or visiting. Care staff will ask about your pain level on a scale from 0 (no pain) to 10 (most severe pain) and check to make sure any personal objects you need are within reach.
During the night, a member of your care team may still check on you while you sleep, including your vital signs and anything else your doctor recommends. If you have questions or comments about our rounding process, please don’t hesitate to ask.
How do I order my meals?
A member of the food and nutrition staff visits nursing units daily to provide menus for the following day’s meals. Since your doctor will prescribe your meal plan, and your menu options will depend on your doctor’s orders.
Each nursing unit offers different menu plans. For some choices that are often served with condiments or extras — such as sugar and cream for coffee, or butter or other spreads for toast — you’ll need to choose the extras on the menu (if permitted in your meal plan). Food and nutrition staff can walk you through the ordering process.
Are there any restrictions to what I can order from the food menu?
Because your meals are prescribed by your doctor, you may not be able eat certain foods or ingredients, or have foods prepared a certain way. For example, your doctor may prescribe a dairy free, low-fat or low-sodium, or specify non-spicy or easily digestible options. In some cases, that may mean that your food may not be as flavorful as you expect.
Our food and nutrition staff members are available to discuss additional requests with you.
What are the policies for visitors?
Because seeing your friends and family can offer comfort during your stay, El Camino Hospital strives to provide an open visitation policy. At times this can be challenging for patients sharing a room or when extended families are visiting, so care staff may discuss other options with you.
Keep in mind, the policies from one department to another may vary in order to keep our patients safe. During certain times, such as flu season, visiting hours and policies may change to protect patients.
Are there any services to offer stress relief or comfort during my stay.
Yes. At El Camino Hospital, we believe care involves much more than medical treatment. We offer a variety of amenities and services to make your stay as comfortable as possible, including art and music therapy, massage, spiritual care services and more — all at no cost to you.
Why do I have to arrange a ride home from the hospital after I’m discharged?
Because your health, safety and welfare are of the utmost importance to us, we require you to have someone pick you up when you leave the hospital. Talk to your friends and family to arrange a ride. Or, El Camino Hospital’s RoadRunners transportation service may be an option for you — you must live within 10 miles of the Mountain View campus or within 8 miles of the Los Gatos campus.
If you need help finding a ride, contact our care coordination team to learn about community resources that can assist you.
Are there designated smoking areas at the hospital?
As part of our commitment to protect and promote good health by eliminating the hazards associated with smoking, smoking is prohibited on El Camino Hospital campuses. We recognize that giving up smoking is a challenge, and we’re committed to helping people quit by offering smoking cessation programs. For more information about our programs, call 650-988-8225.
Where can I find information about the hospital’s billing process?
Visit our frequently asked questions about billing to learn more about our billing policies and options for paying your bill.