During Your Stay at UPMC Northwest
An advance directive is a written document that expresses the individual's wishes for medical care if he or she becomes incompetent or incapacitated. Advance directives may include living wills, health care agents, or durable powers of attorney.
When you are admitted to the hospital, a staff member will ask you if you have already prepared an advance directive. If you have an advanced directive, and a copy is available, it will be placed in your medical record. More information and sample forms are available in Making Medical Decisions in Advance. If you would like information about writing advance directives or making decisions about life-sustaining treatment, please ask your doctor.
Cafeteria and Food Services
Visitors may purchase meals in the cafeteria during the following times:
- Breakfast — 6:30 to 10:30 a.m.
- Lunch — 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- Dinner — 4 to 6 p.m.
Visitors my purchase coffee, cappuccino, juices, cookies, and donuts from the coffee bar located in the gift shop located off of the main lobby.
Vending machines are located inside the cafeteria on the ground floor of the hospital
Cell Phones and Wireless
Please read and follow all posted signs in the hospital regarding restrictions on the use of cell phones. Restrictions may exist in hospital areas such as operating rooms, intensive care rooms, and radiology imaging rooms. Do not use cell phones within six feet of medical equipment in patient care areas.
Condition Help was created to increase the safety of patients while in the hospital. It is a resource to call in an emergency or when a patient cannot get the attention of the health care team. You can call Condition Help for a concern about a noticeable change in the patient’s medical condition that the health care team is not recognizing. You can also call Condition Help for concerns about a breakdown in how care is given or confusion over what care is needed. Either the patient or a family member may call.
Each hospital has a special Condition Help phone number to dial. Give the operator your name, the room number, the patient’s name, and the patient’s concern. The operator will immediately activate Condition Help. This alerts a team of medical professionals to come to the patient’s room to assess the situation.
Your nurse will work with you and your family to make your discharge as smooth as possible. Before you are discharged from the hospital, your nurses will review with you any special instructions for your at-home care or medicines.
Clinical social workers can help arrange for discharge to another facility, such as a nursing home or rehabilitation facility. They can help arrange for home nursing care or home health care equipment or supplies, if needed. You should arrange for a family member or friend to take you home from the hospital.
Your attending doctor will decide when you are ready to be discharged. Most attending doctors make the final decision to discharge patients in the morning. If you disagree with your doctor’s decision and wish to appeal the decision, tell your nurse. Discharge time is usually 11 a.m. or earlier. Check with your nurse for your discharge time.
The UPMC Northwest gift shop is owned and operated by the UPMC Northwest Auxiliary. A wide variety of gifts, toys, stationary, magazines, books, local newspapers, greeting cards, and flowers are available.
- Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, closed
Please let your nurse know if you have any special communications needs. The following services are available to UPMC Northwest’s hearing-impaired patients free of charge:
- Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf (TDD): A TDD is a telephone system that allows a hearing impaired individual to communicate by telephone by typing a message and receiving information in the same way. Alert any of your caregivers if you need this type of service.
- Sign Language Interpreter: DT Interpreting is a system that provides live, face-to-face contact with a certified sign language interpreter using specialized video/TV equipment. In-person sign language interpreters also can be scheduled to help with communication. Talk to your nurse to request this service.
To safeguard the health of all patients, our staff uses routine protective measures, such as wearing gloves and other protective clothing, for many aspects of your care. These precautions protect patients and health care staff against many types of infections that are carried in blood and other body fluids. Many infections are not spread by casual contact. However, contact with an infected person’s body or body fluids can pose a risk if the blood or body fluid enters an opening in the skin, or comes in contact with the skin that lines the eyes, nose, or mouth.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all health care workers take precautions when they come in contact with a patient’s blood or other body fluids. If you have any questions about infection precautions, please ask your nurse.
UPMC Northwest uses over-the-phone interpretation via Language Line and DT Interpreting, which accesses interpreters in hundreds of foreign languages. Face-to-face interpreters may also be accessed through the DT Interpreting system.
UPMC is a part of a national effort to raise awareness about the need for organ and tissue donations. To raise awareness, staff members ask patients who come to the hospital, or their designated family members, if the patient would be willing to serve as an organ or tissue donor. Some people may have incorrect ideas about the donor program.
As health care professionals, we can help answer your questions about organ and tissue donation so you can make an informed decision. Thousands of people are awaiting organ and tissue transplants. You have the power to save lives and improve the quality of life of those in need of organ and tissue transplants by becoming a donor. If you have questions about becoming an organ or tissue donor, please ask your doctor. You may also call the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE) at 1-800-DONORS-7 (1-800-366-6777).
We recognize that pain control is essential to good health care. As a patient you can expect:
- Information about pain and pain relief measures
- A concerned staff committed to pain prevention and management
- Health professional who respond quickly to your report of pain
- Your report of pain will be believed
- State-of-the-art pain management
- Dedicated pain relief specialists
In turn, we expect that you will:
- Ask your doctor or nurse what to expect regarding pain and pain management
- Work with your doctor or nurse to develop a pain management plan
- Ask for pain relief when pain first begins
- Help your doctor or nurse assess your pain
- Tell your doctor or nurse if your pain is not relieved
- Tell your doctor or nurse about any worries you have about taking pain medicine
Pastoral Care arranges pastoral visits for patients who want spiritual support. To arrange for a visit from your pastor or the hospital chaplain, please ask your nurse.
A small, private chapel is located off the main lobby and is available for use at any time by you and your family.
During a hospital stay, concerns can arise. Your nurse and the nursing unit director are available to address your concerns and should be your first point of contact.
We are available to assist when resolution of an issue cannot be accomplished with the nurse or unit director. The phone number is 814-676-7154 or 814-676-7143.
Billing questions and issues requiring clarification of the billing process are managed by Patient Business Services. For questions or comments about your bill, call Patient Business Services at 1-800-434-1734.
Concerns may be submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Division of Acute and Ambulatory Care, Health and Welfare Building, P.O. Box 90, Harrisburg, PA 17108-0090. The phone number is 1-800-254-5164.
UPMC Northwest is accredited by the Joint Commission. If the patient believes his or her concerns about care or safety have not been addressed by the hospital, the patient may contact The Joint Commission’s Office of Quality Monitoring by phone at 1-800-994-6610, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patient Rights and Responsibilities
At UPMC, service to our patients is our top priority. Please take a moment to review our system-wide Patients Rights and Responsibilities adopted to protect the interests and well-being of our patients.
To protect our patients, visitors, and staff from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, smoking is not permitted anywhere on UPMC property. All UPMC hospitals, facilities, and grounds, including parking lots and garages, are smoke-free. UPMC has no designated smoking areas. If you choose to smoke, you cannot do so on the UPMC campus.
Telephones in all patient rooms are available for use at no charge. If you have impaired hearing, amplified phone receivers and TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) are available. Please ask your nurse for assistance.
Televisions in all patient rooms are available for use at no charge. Closed captioning is available for the hearing impaired. If you need closed captioning, please let your nurse know. If either your telephone or television is not functioning properly, please let your nurse know.
Please leave valuables such as jewelry, large amounts of cash, and sentimental items at home. You will need a small amount of cash for newspapers or other small items during your stay. The hospital cannot be responsible for the safety of valuables or other personal items. To deposit valuables in a safe deposit box, please call the Admissions Department.