In this Section:
Austin Hospital provides a full range of services to diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries. These include tests (such as blood tests, CT scans and x-rays), treatments (including medication and drug therapy), surgery and mental health and rehabilitation services. These services are provided either while you are staying in hospital (as an inpatient) or while you are attending the hospital for treatment (as an outpatient).
If you think you will be late, please telephone Austin Health:
Do not arrive too early before your appointment.
Alcohol cannot be brought into the hospital.
Due to the potential fire risk, you must ask ward staff before you bring in personal electrical equipment such as hair driers, portable radios or CD players.
Every day you will be given a menu card to order ahead for three meals. Your meals will be chosen for you if you are unavailable or unable to choose for yourself. If you are in theatre or having tests, your chosen meal may be altered automatically to fit in with your schedule. Please tell your doctor or nurse if you have special dietary or religious requirements and you will be referred to a dietician.
Due to food safety regulations, patients should not bring in food from outside that needs to be heated. Food to be served cold must be refrigerated.
There is a patient phone at most overnight bed locations. Calls from outside the hospital between the hours of 8:00am and 8:00pm can be directed to all patients by ringing 03 9496 5000. Outgoing calls can be made by patients who have a Telstra Phoneaway card. These may be purchased on-site at vending machines, or at external retail outlets (such as Post Offices). Instructions on how to use the system are available in the wards.
The use of mobile phones is permitted in the public areas (lounges, waiting areas, corridors etc) so long as there is no operating medical equipment within 2 metres (due to possible interference).
If you would like to hire a bedside television, you can do this yourself through the free Patient Information Channel. When you have the TV switched on, please use your Nurse Call bell to access this channel on Channel 1. Access to selected radio stations is also included in your TV hire.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please call 03 9496 4779.
Please do not bring jewellery, money or valuable personal items to hospital, except small amounts of change for newspapers or other small necessities. The hospital cannot accept responsibility for the loss or damage to your property.
In the interests of patient, visitor and staff health, smoking is not permitted anywhere within Austin Health's buildings or grounds.
Speak to your treating team about obtaining free nicotine replacement therapy during your visit, or support to help you quit.
Please bring a list of all medicines you take and any recent changes that have been made. This includes all prescription medicines and those purchased in a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop. These medicines will be reviewed by a your treatment team and then given to hospital staff for safe keeping during your hospital stay. All of your medicines are provided as part of your care while you are an inpatient. Do not take any medicine from your own supply while in hospital, as this will interfere with your treatment. Please advise us of any unexpected or allergic type reactions you have had to any medicine in the past.
When you are ill, family and friends naturally want regular updates on your progress. However, frequent enquiries to the ward can make it difficult for staff to spend time caring for patients. To avoid this, please nominate one person to be the main contact who can keep everyone updated on your progress.
Chaplains are available to support patients, relatives and staff. Austin Health chaplains represent all Christian denominations and world faiths. Please ask a member of the ward staff to arrange for a chaplain to visit you.
The hospital’s multi-faith worship space is located on Level 2 of the Austin Hospital Tower overlooking the main forecourt.
Hospital staff, with your doctor’s input, will decide when you are able to go home. We will let you know ahead of time so that you can arrange for someone to take you home or we can contact that person for you.
Discharge time is usually 9am. If you can’t arrange for someone to collect you at this time, you may be asked to wait in the Transit Lounge where nursing staff can monitor you until you leave.
Your doctor and nursing staff will make arrangements for any services that you need at home such as Meals-on-Wheels, home nursing, physiotherapy and rehabilitation, and they will advise you of these arrangements.
Before you leave the hospital, please make sure that the people who will be looking after you at home know what they need to do. If you are in any doubt, ask the nursing staff to write out your treatment program.
If you are concerned about any aspect of returning home, please ask your nursing staff to arrange an appointment with a social worker. You should try to arrange this appointment as early as possible before you go home.
This checklist may help you plan your discharge from hospital:
Patients who are transferred to the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre will be shown around when they arrive.
Post-Acute Care is designed to help you adjust to your return home, co-ordinating community services that you may need, such as District Nursing, home help, Meals-on-Wheels and other services. Your needs will be discussed with you and your family before you go home.
Allied Health teams help you to make a faster recovery or manage changes in your daily life after you go home. They work with medical and nursing staff in a multi-disciplinary team. Our Allied Health departments include nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, social work and speech pathology.
Many patients go home with support from the Hospital in the Home (HITH) program. Its wide range of services includes providing intravenous antibiotics or wound management, seven days a week, with an on-call emergency service. Your doctor and nursing staff will discuss HITH with you if they feel you might benefit from it.
When you leave hospital you will normally be given an appointment to see your treating doctor in the Outpatients clinics. It is important that you go to these follow-up appointments so we can check your progress and provide you with any extra treatment you may need.
As a patient of Austin Health, you have a right to expect high quality, prompt and courteous treatment from our staff. You have a responsibility to provide us with information about your health to help us make the best choices about your care, and to treat all staff, visitors and your fellow patients with respect.
These and other rights and responsibilities are set out in the Patient Rights and Responsibilities leaflet, which is given to all patients. More copies are available from your ward.
Speakers of languages other than English can access versions of the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights in Victoria in other languages from the Health Translations Directory.
The following document provides more information about patients’ rights and responsibilities.
In January 2001, Austin Health became the first secular hospital in Australia to publish a Corporate Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics sets out the principles all Austin Health staff, including non-clinical staff, are expected to follow.
It covers areas including treating patients and their belief systems with respect, upholding individuals’ rights to make informed decisions about their care, and a commitment to high standards of skill and learning. The values, principles and practices in the Austin Health Corporate Code of Ethics apply to everyone, from the boardroom to the boiler room.
Hard copies of the Code of Ethics can be obtained from the main reception desk on level 1 of the Austin Hospital Tower.
The Health Records Act 2001 describes how hospitals may collect, store, use, disclose and dispose of information about patients. Under the Act, Austin Health must give all patients a brochure that explains its policy of respecting your privacy, how we share information needed to treat you and its legal obligations towards your care.
This brochure is normally provided to all patients when they arrive.
Please ask ward staff if you would like a new copy or a copy in a language other than English.
All Patients that are admitted to Austin Health are asked to choose whether they wish to use their Private Health Insurance or be admitted as a Public Patient.
All patients requiring medical care will be prioritised based on clinical needs, and single room accommodation will also be allocated based on clinical need.
As a private inpatient payment from your health fund will be accepted as the full settlement of the account. Pharmacy charges at discharge are paid by both public and private patients. Television and telephone charges are paid by all patients.
There are many advantages of using your private health insurance. Please read the brochure below to find out more or for more information about using private health insurance at any Austin Health facility, telephone Patient Accounts on 03 9496 3188.
Austin Health runs clinical trials in a number of areas. Your doctor can provide more information if you are interested.
In the unlikely event of a staff member having an accident that exposes them to your blood, you may be asked to be tested for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV. In an emergency situation, such testing may need to be carried out before you have been able to consent.