Patient with Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer Jacob Nelson

Patients & Visitors

Inpatients

Hospital services

We provide 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 (such as 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).

On the day of your admission

  • If your procedure is scheduled for the morning, you should not eat or drink from midnight the night before.
  • If your procedure is scheduled for the afternoon, you should not eat or drink from 7am. You may have a light breakfast of tea and toast, but this must be consumed before 7am.
  • It's important that you arrive on time for your appointment to allow time for preparation, but don't arrive too early to save you waiting around.

Let us know if you think you'll be late:

  • Day Surgery and Endoscopy patients: 03 9496 5037
  • Elective Surgery patients: 03 9496 3032

What to bring

  • Current medicines and a list of medications that you've taken in the past month.
  • Any X-rays, ultrasounds or reports.
  • Referral letters.
  • Medicare card, private health insurance details, pension card, Department of Veterans’ Affairs card, TAC and WorkCover claim numbers including employer details.
  • Pharmaceutical entitlement number.
  • Two telephone numbers of a friend or relative.
  • A labelled overnight bag in which to store your clothes.
  • Name, address and telephone number of your local doctor.
  • Cotton nightie or pyjamas and personal toiletry items.
  • If you have appointed a Medical Enduring Power of Attorney under the Medical Treatment Act 1988 (Vic) (Section 5A), please bring the original of the Power of Attorney form with you and a copy will be taken and filed in your medical history.

During your stay: practical advice

Alcohol

Alcohol cannot be brought into the hospital.

Electrical appliances

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.

Meals

Each day you'll 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're 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'll 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.

Phones

A patient phone is provided at most overnight bed locations. Calls from outside the hospital between the hours of 8am and 8pm 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.

Mobile phones can be used in public areas (such as lounges, waiting areas and corridors) as long as there is no operating medical equipment within 2 metres (due to possible interference).

Television and radio

Bedside televisions can be hired through the free Patient Information Channel. When you have the TV switched on, use your Nurse Call bell to access the channel on Channel 1. Access to selected radio stations is also included in your TV hire.

If you have questions or need help call 03 9496 4779.

Valuables and personal items

Please don't bring jewellery, money or valuable personal items to hospital, except small amounts of change for newspapers or other small necessities. We don't accept responsibility for any loss or damage of patients' personal items.

100% smoke free

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.

Pharmacy

Bring a list of all medications that 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 store. 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're an inpatient. Don't take any medicine from your own supply while in hospital, as this will interfere with your treatment. Ensure you advise us of any unexpected or allergic reactions to medication you've had in the past.

Family spokesperson

When you're 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.

Going home

Hospital staff, with your doctor’s input, will decide when you are able to go home. We'll 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.

If required, your doctor or nursing staff will arrange any services that you need at home such as Meals-on-Wheels, home nursing, physiotherapy and rehabilitation.

Before you leave the hospital, make sure that the people who'll be looking after you at home know what they need to do. If you're in any doubt, ask the nursing staff to write out your treatment program.

If you're concerned about any aspect of returning home, 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:

  • Leave a forwarding address with ward staff in case they need to contact you.
  • Make sure you have a time and date for your next Outpatients appointment (if needed).
  • Ensure you have enough medication and understand how and when to take it.
  • Make sure you have all of your personal items.

Patients who are transferred to the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre will be shown around when they arrive.

After hospital care

Post-Acute Care

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

Allied Health will help you 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.

Hospital In The Home

Many patients go home with support from the Hospital in the Home (HITH) program. Its wide range of services include providing intravenous antibiotics or wound management, 7 days a week, with an on-call emergency service. Your doctor or nursing staff will discuss HITH with you if they feel you might benefit from it.

Outpatients appointments

When you leave hospital you'll normally be given an appointment to see your treating doctor in the Outpatients clinics. It's 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.

Patient's rights and responsibilities

As a patient of Austin Health, you have a right to expect high quality, prompt and respectful 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 brochure, which is given to all patients. 

People who speak a language other than English can access versions of the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights in Victoria in other languages from the Health Translations Directory.

Patient privacy

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 our policy of respecting your privacy, how we share information needed to treat you and our 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.

Private patients

All patients 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 patients.

Please read the Private Patient brochure for more infomration or call Patient Accounts on 03 9496 3188.

 

Clinical trials

Austin Health runs clinical trials in a number of areas. Your doctor can provide more information if you're interested.

Infection control

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've been able to provide consent.