Preparing for Your Hospital Stay

Before Your Admission

Insurance

Insurance plans vary widely in their coverage and requirements for notification of in-hospital care. If you have any insurance-related questions before you arrive, please call Admission Services at (773) 702-6233.

Housing

If you need help arranging housing for your family, call Admission Services at (773) 702-6233 or Social Work at (773) 702-1807. The University of Chicago contracts with several area hotels to offer discount rates for patients and families who require hotel accommodations while visiting our medical center.

Private Rooms

All 240 patient rooms and 52 intensive care suites in the Center for Care and Discovery are private. Patient rooms have family-friendly amenities such as a wide-screen television, ample closets and a pullout sofa.

PLEASE NOTE: Patients in private rooms may have one family member spend the night each night they are hospitalized.

Bringing What You Need for Admission

The first four items are “musts” for everyone. The remaining items may or may not be necessary, depending on your individual situation. It is vitally important that you bring everything necessary with you.

  • Social security number
  • Insurance card, including the insurer’s name and address and the patient’s policy number
  • Photo identification, such as a driver's license or state photo ID
  • Cash, check, or major credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express) to pay for services not covered by insurance (Please call (773) 702-6233 if you have questions.)
  • Your employer’s name, address, and phone number--if you are covered by traditional insurance or managed care (HMO or PPO) provided by that employer
  • Your spouse’s employer’s name, address, and phone number--if you are covered by traditional insurance or managed care (HMO or PPO) provided by your spouse’s employer
  • Health Plan Referral Authorization--if required by your health insurance carrier
  • Medicare or Medicaid card, plus the date of your spouse’s retirement if that applies to you
  • Advance Directive (living will)
  • Name, address, and phone number of your referring physician if you were referred here

Bringing What You Need for Your Stay

To help ensure a comfortable hospital stay, the items you may wish to bring with you include:

  • Personal toiletries, such as shampoo, toothpaste, and toothbrush
  • Bathrobe and slippers or socks
  • A list with names, doses, and schedules of all medications you take on a routine basis. (Do NOT take any of you own medications while you are in the hospital unless your doctor writes an order for you to take them.)
  • Glasses, dentures, hearing aid, or other assistive devices you may need. Please ask the nurse for a container to protect these items. Please label these and other personal items with your name if possible.
  • Any instructions your physician may have provided
  • Cash to purchase a magazine, snack, and/or debit card for long distance calls (local calls are free)

What Not to Bring

The University of Chicago Medicine is a big and busy place. It can be difficult to keep track of personal items here. Unfortunately, the University of Chicago Medicine cannot be responsible for patients' personal items. We ask you NOT to bring:

  • Jewelry or other valuables
  • A lot of money or extra credit cards
  • Hair dryer, electric shaver, or other electrical appliances (If you need assistance shaving, ask your nurse or another patient care staff member.)
  • Personal electronics

All of the rooms in the Center for Care and Discovery and many in Mitchell Hospital are equipped with personal safes for your use. If you do not have a safe in your room, ask your nurse to assist by contacting Public Safety. Public Safety has limited capacity to secure valuables. Items that can be stored, such as cash, rings, watches, and credit cards, must fit in a 4.5 x 8-inch envelope. The procedure for placing and retrieving valuables from the valuables safe may cause some delay in admission and/or discharge.

Creating an Advance Directive

You have the right to make informed decisions about your health care, including the right to refuse treatment offered to you. You may also give directions, in advance, about your wishes for health care should the time come when you cannot communicate your wishes to others.

If you have an advance directive, such as a living will or durable power of attorney for health care, please bring it with you at the time of surgery. If you do not have an advance directive and wish to create one, please call Social Work and Pastoral Care at (773) 702-6243 in advance and ask them for help.

Getting to the University of Chicago Medicine Campus

There are many ways to get to our campus. Please visit our directions section for more specific details.

Entering the University of Chicago Medicine

Medical Center buildings

Center for Care and Discovery: Enter through the hospital's west lobby at 5700 S. Maryland Avenue. The entrance is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please take the elevators to the seventh floor Sky Lobby.

Bernard A. Mitchell Hospital: Enter through the hospital’s main entrance on Maryland Avenue across from the parking garage. Doors to the hospital are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Take the elevator from the ground level up to the lobby on the second floor. If you self-park in the garage, you may walk through the enclosed pedestrian bridge which links the garage "bridge level" floor to the second floor of Mitchell Hospital.

NOTE: The walk from the Mitchell Hospital entrance to the surgery check-in point is more than 1/4 mile. For wheelchair assistance, ask the valet attendant.

Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine: Enter the DCAM through the main entrance on 58th Street by the circle driveway. A curbside attendant can provide a wheelchair if you need one. If you park in the garage, you may prefer to walk through the enclosed pedestrian bridge, which links the "bridge level" of the garage with the second floor of the DCAM.

Checking in at the University of Chicago Medicine

Center for Care and Discovery: Enter the hospital through the west entrance and take the elevators to the seventh floor Sky Lobby. Once there, you will be directed to the Patient Registration Desk, where you will receive all necessary information regarding your stay and care.

Bernard A. Mitchell Hospital: For pre-surgical admission, please stop at the Information Desk at the Bernard Mitchell Hospital entrance for directions to Admission Services or the Surgery Waiting Room. You will need to register at Admission Services (room TS-200), located off the second floor lobby, or in the Surgery Waiting Room (P-211). The Surgery Waiting Room is open Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine: On the day of surgery at the DCAM, please go directly to 2C. The DCAM 2C waiting room is open Monday to Friday, from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Patient Meals

Most patients receive At Your Request Room Service Dining®, a special food service program that allows patients to order meals from an extensive menu at times when they want to eat.

Making Phone Calls Inside the Hospital

If you are calling inside the medical center, dial the last five digits of the number, for example, 2-6233 instead of (773) 702-6233. If you would like to use your cell phone, please check with a healthcare provider to determine if you are in a safe location for cell phone use.

Receiving Phone Calls and Having Visitors

If you wish to receive phone calls and visitors, do NOT check the privacy box on your admission form.

Privacy Issues

Due to patient privacy regulations, our staff cannot release any information about you to your family and friends without your permission. When you are admitted, a staff member will write down your access code on a blue card. Share this access code with individuals who you wish to receive information about your condition.

Survey reminder

We Appreciate Your Feedback

All of us at the University of Chicago Medicine appreciate your trust in us. We will do everything possible to ensure you receive the top quality care and courteous treatment you expect. We welcome your comments. Please ask any staff member for a comment card. If you receive a patient satisfaction survey in the mail, please be sure to fill it out and send it back to us. Thank you.