Admitting and Discharge Information

On behalf of our healthcare team at Petaluma Valley Hospital, we wish to extend our warmest welcome. We are pleased that you chose one of our hospitals for your care. We feel our physicians, nurses, technicians, dietitians and other support staff make up the best healthcare team available anywhere and we hope you will feel the same. Our goal is to work together to give you quality, compassionate care and technically advanced medical treatment.

This patient guide has been prepared as a convenient resource for you. In it you will find answers to most of the questions you will have as a patient. However, if you cannot find the information you are looking for, please ask your nurse or another member of our hospital support staff. You are our guest as well as our patient, and we want to help in any way we can.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you. We hope your stay with us will be in every way a positive, healing experience.

To make the admitting process easier, we encourage you to have pre-admission testing completed in advance, if possible. Please ask your doctor.

If you are being admitted for elective surgery, a pre-admissions counselor will contact you. You will be given an appointment with our early admission surgical evaluation (EASE) nurse a few days prior to your surgery so we can complete necessary pre-operative tests, obtain medical, demographic and insurance billing information from you and answer any questions you may have about your hospitalization.

When you arrive, certain necessary information will be requested for financial arrangements and to accurately complete your medical records. Please be assured that all of the information given will be handled confidentially. Learn more about financial assistance.

Your room assignment will be determined by the type of medical care that you are to receive and by room availability. If, for some reason, you have brought valuable items such as jewelry, cash over $10 and credit cards with you, please send the items home with a family member. If this is not possible, a member of the admissions staff can deposit the items in the hospital safe.

Please bring your own personal toilet articles (toothbrush, shampoo, etc.) with you when you are admitted. The hospital can provide these but there is a small charge. Please label items you bring with an indelible marker. Also, please note that the hospital cannot be responsible for lost or stolen valuables kept in your room.

For your comfort and a sense of familiarity, we encourage you to bring a few personal items from home if you would like. For example:

  • Pillows
  • Throw blanket
  • Robe and slippers
  • Magazines and books

Additional items to bring:

  • A copy of your Advance Directive
  • A list of any medications you are taking and how often you take them
  • A list of any allergies you have
  • Insurance cards
  • Up to $10 cash for gift shop or newspaper purchases
  • Telephone calling card for long-distance calls

Please do not bring any of the following:

  • Electrical appliances
  • Medications
  • Credit cards and cash over $10
  • Valuables and jewelry
  • We are proud of our highly committed nursing staff. In order to provide compassionate, high-quality and technically advanced care, many of our nurses have obtained specialized training in their clinical areas
  • Chaplains are available to support you during your time of illness or crisis, to counsel and pray with you and your family and to administer sacraments. Our chaplains can contact your personal minister, rabbi, or spiritual counselor upon request. Learn more about our spiritual care services.
  • Meal Service: You will receive breakfast between 7:30 and 8:45 a.m. Lunch is served between noon and 1 p.m., and dinner between 5:30 and 6:45 p.m. A menu will be sent on your breakfast tray so that you can select your meal preferences for the next day. We can usually honor special requests if the items meet your therapeutic diet restrictions as ordered by your physician.
  • We are committed to responding to any concerns regarding care, treatment or services in a timely manner. Should concerns about your hospitalization arise, you or members of your family are encouraged to contact the nurse or manager in your area, or a patient representative.
  • Ethics forum includes members from various disciplines, including doctors, nurses, social workers, and chaplains, that meets regularly to discuss ethical issues. You or your representative have a right to participate in considering ethical decisions that may arise during your stay. You can request a patient care conference to include a consultation with the Ethics Forum if necessary. Please ask your nurse, one of our social workers or a spiritual care representative to help you.
  • Social workers are available for assistance with conservatorship issues, adoptions, elder or child abuse concerns, grief counseling and special program referrals such as drug or alcohol rehabilitation.
  • To make a local telephone call, dial "9" plus the telephone number. To make a long-distance call, you must have a telephone calling card, a pre-paid phone card, or you can call collect. To place a long-distance call, dial "90" plus the area code, plus the telephone number. Enter your billing information after the tone or wait for an outside operator to take your billing information.
  • Family and friends may dial directly into your room by dialing 525-5300 plus your bed number, plus your room number. Cards are available with direct-dial instructions.
  • TDD devices are available upon request for our hearing-impaired patients. Please ask your nurse.
  • In-person interpreters who speak Spanish are available daily. In-person interpreters are also available for sign language. For all other languages, we can provide interpreter services over the telephone. You have the right to access interpreter services during your stay at no cost to you.
  • Your mail will be delivered to your room. Our volunteer staff makes every effort to forward all mail received after discharge to your listed home address. Some mail may be returned to the sender.

Our case management staff is available to help you prepare for continuing care after your hospital stay. These arrangements may include ordering equipment such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, etc. for your home use, supplying lists of rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities and board and care homes, or arranging details of your transfer home or to another facility. Depending on your needs, case managers may also refer you to the home health liaison nurse.

To reach the case management department, dial the operator. Or you may ask your nurse for the case manager overseeing your discharge.

Preparing for discharge

Please plan to check out by 11 a.m. Your doctor will write your discharge orders on your chart. If you stay in your room after 11 a.m., additional charges may be necessary. Insurance usually will not cover an extra stay after a patient has been released by the doctor. Please make transportation arrangements prior to discharge, so the transition from hospital to home will be as smooth as possible. Before discharge, your nurse will review with you, your doctor’s instructions about diet, activity, medications and follow-up care.


Our staff will make every effort to assist you in setting up transportation and will advocate for optimal transport services at the lowest cost. Medicare/private insurance may not cover all transportation services, and you may incur financial liability for some of your transportation needs.

Subacute care

Some patients need more care, especially if they have had major surgery, or have a complex medical problem that needs to be watched a little longer. These patients may only need a few more days of the skilled care of nurses, or a couple of weeks to start learning new skills. If you need this level of care, your case manager will assist in making the arrangements for subacute care. We provide subacute services at the Sotoyome Campus. An Acute Rehabilitation Unit is located at the Fulton Campus.

Home care

St. Joseph Home Care provides services in your home including case management, medication management, dietary counseling and symptom management. If you think you might need home care, please ask your doctor or nurse to contact your case manager early in your hospital stay to arrange for a consultation.

The observation program is available at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital for people who need professional supervision in a hospital setting, yet do not require admission as an inpatient. Normally this program is for 24 hours, but can be extended in some cases.

As a patient, you or your family member may be admitted to the Observation Program from your doctor’s office, the Emergency Department, Same Day Surgery or a convalescent hospital.

Reasons for supervision under the Observation Program include:

  • Diagnostic work-up performed by a physician
  • Unclear diagnosis and condition warrants further observation
  • Observation required after completion of testing or other procedure, including surgical procedures
  • Physician anticipates patient will respond to treatment in a short time

Hospital charges for the Observation Program are billed as outpatient charges to your insurance company. Observation Program patients are charged at an hourly rate and often a co-payment is required of you by the insurance company.

If Medicare is the insurance, Medicare is billed under Part B and you are responsible for a portion of the charges. The patient portion may be covered by a supplemental insurance.