For your convenience, patient information is organized as frequently-asked questions under four headings: overnight stays, outpatient testing, day surgery, and emergency department.
Frequently asked questions about overnight stays:
Frequently asked questions about outpatient testing:
Frequently asked questions about day surgery:
Frequently asked questions about the emergency department:
What is the admitting procedure and patient guidelines?
The Customer Business Services (CBS) department is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and holidays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. During the admission process, each patient or next of kin must sign a health-care consent form. The form covers consent to treat, responsibility for payment, assignment of benefits, release of medical information, independent physician services and declares that the medical center is not responsible for a patient's valuables. Also a COB (coordination of benefits) form must be signed that asks whether or not a patient has other insurance coverage.
If you have not already done so, check with your place of employment or your insurance company to confirm the type of coverage that your insurance policy provides or to determine any unique requirements in your policy such as preadmission certification or required notifications. All noncovered medical center charges are payable when you are discharged.
You should bring the following information with you:
- Insurance card, referral or precertification form or number.
- Any written orders or paperwork the physician may have given you.
- Test order must include a DIAGNOSIS.
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What should I bring with me?
Clothing and valuables
We want you to be as comfortable as possible during your stay, so bring your robe, slippers and a gown or pajamas. If you do not want to bring your own toiletries, the medical center can provide a small kit that includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, body lotion, baby oil and tissues. There is a fee for this kit.
Also, you should bring copies of your living will and durable power of attorney for health care (if available), contact lens/eyeglass container and denture cup. For your safety and that of other patients, personal electrical appliances are not allowed in patient rooms.
We cannot accept responsibility for valuables, so we suggest that you leave yours at home. In an emergency, if you do have valuables with you, please tell your nurse, who will ask the public safety department to put your items in the medical center safe until you can make other arrangements. Valuables can be picked up at the cashier by you or a designee weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. After hours, on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays, contact the nursing supervisor at extension 41-5730 to retrieve valuables.
Cell phones are permitted inside the main medical center in designated areas only. Because we care about your health, Christ Medical Center does not permit smoking within the medical center or in medical center-owned buildings. Smoking has been shown not only to compromise the health of those who smoke, but others who come into contact with smokers. Therefore, in keeping with Advocate's mission to promote the health, wellness and comfort of our patients and growing concern of health risks resulting from smoking and second-hand smoke in the community, all Advocate Health Care sites are smoke-free.
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How do I prepare for surgery?
Your doctor/surgeon will schedule you for surgery and explain all of the risks, benefits and alternative treatments available. You will be required (in most cases) to fast after midnight. Your family may visit you in your room before you are taken to the surgical suite.
Anesthesia: The anesthesiologist will visit you prior to going to the operating room. The anesthesiologist will ask you a variety of questions relating to your health history and will determine the mode of anesthesia that you will be receiving (i.e., general, spinal, etc.).
Surgery: On the morning of surgery, a transporter will come to pick you up and escort you to the operating room. The transporter will show your family members where to go on the morning of surgery. Family members should register with a volunteer at the desk in the family waiting area. They may watch television, read or visit one of the gift shops while they wait.
Family waiting area: Following the completion of your surgical procedure, the surgeon will come to the family waiting area and talk to your family. A volunteer will inform your family when you are taken to the recovery room and when you return to your own room.
Recovery room: Following surgery, you will be transported to the recovery room until you are fully awake and oriented. Your family will be kept informed of how long you will be in recovery and when you will be transported to a floor.
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What are the food service options?
Each day, you will receive a menu for the next day. You will mark your meal selections and keep the menu until it is collected. If you have any questions regarding the menu, you may call extension 41-1041. You can expect to receive your meals at approximately these times:
||6:30 to 8:30 a.m.
||11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
||4:30 to 6:40 p.m.
A late meal may be provided if you are unavailable at a scheduled mealtime, and your diet permits. Snacks are offered at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. as ordered by your physician or at your request, if your diet permits. Should you have any questions about your meals or diet, notify the associate who collects your menu selections or ask the nurse to contact the nutrition services department.
Vending machines are available 24 hours a day and are located in the 95th Street Cafe‚ on the ground floor of the medical center. Impressions Restaurant is located on the first floor in the main lobby of the medical center.
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What are the amenities and conveniences such as television, phone and ATM?
Advocate Christ Medical Center provides free television service in all patient rooms. One television is available in each patient room and is shared by both patients. Television functions can be controlled by the remote control unit by your bed. If you require closed captioning, your nurse can arrange for this.
Channel 8, Chicagoland Radio Information Service, Inc. provides audio readings of newspapers, magazines, sports news and books.
Communication doesn't stop when you're hospitalized. For your convenience, your calls can be dialed directly from your bedside telephone.
To keep communications flowing smoothly, please tell your relatives, friends and business associates to dial your patient room directly. Your number will be
708-684-xxxx (the last four digits will be your designated extension).
Patients also can be reached by dialing the main medical center number
708-684-8000. When the automated voice answers, press "1" and then enter the six digit extension number, 41-xxxx.
Patient Calling Instructions
Free local calling is available in the following area codes: 708, 312, 773, 847, 224, and 630.
To make a local call, press the extension button and then dial the number, including "1" plus the area code, if it is outside the 708 area.
To make a non-local call, (outside the free calling area) press the non-local button, then dial 0 plus the area code, plus the number you are calling and an operator will assist you. You will be able to charge your call to your home telephone number or a credit card or you can place a collect call.
If you don't wish to receive calls, simply press the "hold calls" button on your phone. You will still be able to make outgoing calls. To cancel the hold calls, press the "hold calls" button again.
Hard of hearing phones and a TDD for the hearing impaired are available upon request. Please contact your nurse if you are in need of either of these devices. To call the medical center, persons with hearing impairments may use the TDD number, 708-684-1033.
An ATM machine (Fifth Third Bank) is located in the main lobby of the medical center on the first floor. Fifth Third Bank also has a banking facility in the Physicians Pavilion located next to the medical center. The medical center does not provide check cashing.
Flowers and mail
Volunteers assist with the delivery of flowers, mail and packages.
- Deliveries: Volunteers assist with the delivery of flowers, mail and packages. Newspapers are sold in machines on the first floor vestibule of the medical center. A volunteer also delivers newspapers in the morning on the patient floors.
- Recreation program: A volunteer circulates a recreation cart with arts and crafts, games and other recreational projects that you may do with your doctor's permission. For requests, call extension 41-5248.
- Books and magazines are available upon request through volunteer services at extension 41-5248.
Notary Public services are available Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ask your nurse to help you contact a Notary Public.
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Where do I park?
Parking lots are maintained and monitored by Christ Medical Center public safety personnel, in partnership with Standard Parking Management. Christ Medical Center’s 620-space patient/visitor east parking tower offers customers enhanced parking availability and state-of-the-art gating and technology for easy access and faster exits.
Parking is free for our patients and guests. New technology will allow patients/guests to pull a ticket upon entry. Prior to leaving, we ask that our patients/guests have their parking ticket validated, which will allow for an easy exit. Validation stations are located at the main points of entry.
Convenient, accessible parking is located on both the east and west sides of our campus.
For your convenience, valet service is offered at Christ Medical Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4pm.
Valet car retrieval ends at 7pm; thereafter, Public Safety personnel retrieve all remaining cars. Stop at the Guest Services Desk for assistance.
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What types of spiritual care services are available?
Advocate Christ Medical Center's chapel, located off the main medical center lobby near the Physicians Pavilion, is open 24 hours a day for anyone seeking a quiet place to meditate or pray. The chapel also is used for occasions of formal worship and memorials led by the chaplains. If you wish to attend any of the following chapel services, you will need to obtain permission from your nurse or doctor.
Schedule of services:
|9:30 a.m. Sunday
||Catholic Mass, main chapel
|Noon First Friday of each month
||Catholic Mass, main chapel
||Interfaith service, main chapel
|1:30 p.m. daily
||"Moments of Worship," Channel 29
|12:38 p.m., 7:08 p.m., 12:38 a.m.daily
||Readings from the Koran, Channel 29
|Muslim prayer service available in Hope chapel and main chapel.
Because your spiritual needs are important to us, our professionally trained chaplains, representing many faiths, are a vital part of our healing team. They are available 24 hours a day for pastoral care, counseling and sacraments. They also assist with ethical concerns and advance directives. They work closely with the doctors and nurses who care for you and your family. To see a chaplain or request a free brochure describing pastoral care services, call extension 41-5175 weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. At other times, ask your nurse to page the chaplain on duty.
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What services are available for people with special needs?
Advocate Christ Medical Center is committed to serving patients who have disabilities. To ensure that patients with impaired sensory, mobility or speaking skills have an equal opportunity to benefit from medical center services, a variety of specialized services are available.
Guest Services staff is available Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. to assist patients and visitors. For your convenience, wheelchair escorts are available. Guest Services can be reached in-house at extension 41-3880 or via the guest services phones located throughout the first floor.
Interpreters and sign language assistance
Advocate Christ Medical Center is committed to communicating effectively with people who are deaf and hearing impaired or have limited English by providing qualified sign language/language interpreters and other auxiliary aids when necessary so patients have the opportunity to benefit from medical center services. These auxiliary aids and services also will be afforded to a patient's representative who has primary responsibility for communicating with Christ Medical Center staff about the patient's treatment and care. All of these additional services will be provided at no cost to the patient. Patients and visitors who need a sign language/language interpreter can request these services through a nurse or other members of the patient care team.
Accommodations for people who are deaf and hearing impaired
TDD equipment is available in the main lobby, outpatient registration/direct admitting, emergency department, day surgery and the telecommunications department. If you need a phone amplifier, hands-free phone, assistive listening devices and/or communication boards, your nurse can arrange for these devices. Television sets with closed captioning also are available. If the TV in your room does not have this option, please notify the nurse or any other member of the patient care team.
Your nurse or any other member of the patient care team can provide more information about specific aids that are available or help to arrange for auxiliary aids. For further information and/or assistance, please call the special services department at extension 41-4104.
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What are advance directives such as a living will or do not resuscitate order?
You have the right to make decisions about the health care you receive now and in the future. An advance directive is a written statement about how you want medical decisions made when you can no longer make them. Federal law requires that you be told of your right to make an advance directive when you are admitted to a health care facility. Illinois has these advance directives: health-care power of attorney, living will and mental health treatment preference declaration. If you make an advance directive, tell your doctor and other health-care providers and provide them with a copy.
Durable power of attorney for health care
The health-care power of attorney lets you choose someone to make health-care decisions for you if you cannot. You are called the "principal" in the power of attorney form and the person you choose is called your "agent." You can use a standard form or write your own. You may give your agent specific directions about the health care that you do or do not want. Click on the headline above for a sample document translated into four languages.
The agent whom you choose cannot be your doctor or other health-care provider. You should have someone who is not your agent witness your power of attorney. You can cancel your power of attorney by telling someone or by canceling it in writing. You can name a backup agent to act if the first one cannot or will not take action. If you want to change your power of attorney, you must do so in writing.
A living will lets you tell your doctor whether or not you want death-delaying procedures used if you have a terminal condition and are unable to state your wishes. Withdrawal of food and water cannot be done if it would be the only cause of death. If you are pregnant and doctors feel you could have a live birth, your living will cannot go into effect. You can use a standard living will form or write your own. You may write specific directions about the death-delaying procedures that you do or do not want. The living will must be witnessed by two people. Your doctor cannot be a witness. You must tell your doctor about the existence of a living will. You can cancel your living will by telling someone or by canceling it in writing. If you have both a health-care power of attorney and a living will, the agent you name in your power of attorney will make your health care decisions unless he or she is unavailable. Click on the headline above for a sample document translated into four languages.
Mental-health treatment preference declaration
A mental health preference declaration lets you say if you want to receive electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) or psychotropic medicine when you have a mental illness. You also can say whether you wish to be admitted to a mental health facility for up to 17 days of treatment.
You can write your wishes or choose someone to make your mental health decision for you. In a mental-health treatment declaration, you may choose someone to make decisions about mental-health treatment if you are incapable. In the declaration, you are called the "principal" and the person you choose is called an "attorney-in-fact." The attorney-in-fact must do what you say in your declaration unless a court orders differently or an emergency threatens your life or health.
Your mental health treatment declaration expires in three years. If you are competent, you may cancel your declaration in writing at an earlier time. If you are in mental health treatment, the declaration may last longer than three years and you may not cancel it. Two witnesses must sign the declaration. Your doctor may not be a witness.
You also may ask your doctor about a do-not-resuscitate order (DNR order). A DNR order means that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) will not be started if your heart stops. You and your doctor may decide together that your doctor should write a DNR order into your medical chart. If you have an accident, such as choking on food, the DNR order still allows health care workers to give the Heimlich maneuver or take other appropriate action.
What happens if you do not have an advance directive? A health care surrogate may be chosen for you if you cannot make health-care decisions and do not have an advance directive. This health-care surrogate will be one of the following persons (in order of priority): spouse, either parent, guardian of the person, any adult child(ren), any adult brother or sister, any adult grandchild(ren), a close friend, or guardian of the estate.
The surrogate can make all health-care decisions for you, with four exceptions: First, a health-care surrogate cannot tell your doctor to withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment unless you have a "qualifying condition," which is a terminal condition, permanent unconsciousness, or an incurable or irreversible condition. Two doctors must certify that you cannot make decisions and have a qualifying condition in order to withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment.
A health-care surrogate cannot make decisions concerning mental health treatment, including treatment by electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), psychotropic medication, or admission to a mental-health facility. A health-care surrogate can petition a court to allow these mental-health services.
You should talk to your family, your physician or any agent or attorney-in-fact that you appoint about your decision to make an advance directive. If they know what health care you want, they will find it easier to follow your wishes. If you change your mind and cancel your advance directive, tell your family, your doctor, or any agent or attorney-in-fact you appoint.
No facility, doctor or insurer can make you execute an advance directive. It is entirely your decision. If a facility, doctor or insurer objects to following your advance directive, they must tell you and offer you assistance in finding alternative care.
If you are unsure about what advance directives mean to you, whether you need one or how to institute one, you can learn more by contacting the office for mission and spiritual care at extension 41-5175, or ask your nurse to page the chaplain on call. Information about advance directives also is available through an educational program shown on Channel 29, Advocate Christ Medical Center's patient education channel.
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What do I need to know when I leave the medical center?
The care management department, which consists of social workers, discharge counselors and care coordinators, assists with discharge planning, lends social and emotional support and provides patients and families with assistance in crisis situations. For information or assistance, call extension 41-5255.
Courtesy discharge program
Advocate Christ Medical Center's courtesy discharge allows you to leave the medical center, after notification from your doctor or nurse, without stopping at the cashier for clearance. To qualify for the special program, you must satisfy the out-of-pocket portion of your medical center charges. This means assigning your verified insurance benefits to the medical center and making arrangements prior to discharge for payment of any charges not covered by your insurance. For more information regarding your out-of-pocket expense or to confirm your courtesy discharge, call the cashier's office at extension 41-5068 or 41-5069.
When you are discharged, you can get your prescriptions filled quickly and conveniently at our outpatient pharmacy, located in the Physicians Pavilion. The pharmacy accepts many insurance plans and credit cards. For information, call extension 41-5275.
Home health care
Advocate Christ Medical Center can help you continue your care and treatment at home. You can receive home nursing care, physical therapy, oxygen therapy and many other medical support services. Many of these services are covered by your insurance or Medicare. If you feel you need these services, discuss them with your physician or call social work services at extension 41-5255.
Representatives for Advocate Home Health Services, a division of Advocate Health Care, are located at Christ Medical Center. If you would like more information about this provider, call 1.800.564.2025.
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What if I have questions or concerns about my insurance or paying my
While you are at Advocate Christ Medical Center, we want you to concentrate on your health. However, we know that you also are concerned about the financial aspects of your hospitalization, since the ultimate responsibility for payment of your medical center bill rests with you or your guardian.
Please remember that many employers, insurance companies and HMOs now require notification by the patient, family member or doctor prior to, or shortly after, admission. If you do not comply with this requirement, your medical benefits could be jeopardized, or your insurance company could refuse to pay your bill in part or in full. For your own protection, please check with your benefits provider to see if you need to follow any special rules. By providing us with complete insurance information at the time of registration, you will make it possible for us to bill your insurance company and settle your account promptly.
Unless you have prearranged for a courtesy discharge, it will be necessary for you or a family member to stop at the cashier's office before you leave the medical center to pay your portion of the bill that is not covered by your insurance carrier. This includes such items as the deductible and co-payments. If you have questions, the cashiers can be reached at extensions 415068 or 415069.
Cashier hours are:
|Monday through Friday
||7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Your insurance company will probably pay some or all of your bill. Whatever your insurance company does not pay is your responsibility. This amount is payable at the time of discharge. Major credit cards are accepted methods of payment for your portion of the bill.
For services in which insurance is accepted, you must authorize your insurance company to make payment on your behalf directly to the medical center. You will need to sign a special form that allows us to bill your insurance company and authorizes that payment will be made directly to the medical center. Without this signed form, we will be unable to process your claim.
If you would like to discuss your bill, you should call a hospital financial counselor at the phone number on your billing statement. The financial counselor will review payment options that may be available to you. Such options include, applying for Illinois Medicaid, KidCare or Family Care programs, Illinois Crime Victims Fund, interest-free extended payment plans and charity care consideration. To help make the process easier to understand, Advocate can provide you a financial counselor who speaks your language.
For more information, please review our brochure, "Understanding Hospital Bills and Health Insurance Claims." Para más información por favor lea nuestro folleto "Entienda las facturas del hospital y la manera de hacer reclamos a su seguro médico."
Seniors 65 and older who have questions regarding their bill or need assistance processing their medical paperwork may call the Senior Advocate office at 708.684.4150.
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Who do I call with a complaint or concern?
The patient advocacy team is here to serve you in a variety of ways. The patient advocacy specialist helps patients resolve problems and explains the policies, procedures and services of the medical center. The patient advocacy team also is available to assist patients who have disabilities or special needs.
The patient advocacy specialist is available from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. To contact the specialist, dial "0" and ask the operator or call extension 415452. In case of an emergency, nursing supervisors are available after regular business hours to assist with problems. After hours or on holidays, you can call extension 415452 and leave a message and a patient advocacy specialist will return your call.
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How do I schedule an outpatient appointment?
Need to schedule an outpatient appointment? Simply call our toll free telephone number 1.800.970.APPT (1.800.970.2778) or 708.684.1000. You can also take advantage of our convenient pre-registration phone service.
Hours for the Outpatient Call Center are:
|Monday through Friday
||7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
||8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where do I register?
The outpatient testing area, known as the diagnostic and treatment center, is located on the first floor of Advocate Christ Medical Center. This hassle-free center consolidates most common outpatient services such as EKGs, lab and x-rays into one convenient location. Patients should enter through the outpatient registration entrance next to the parking tower under the "Diagnostic and Treatment Center" canopy on Kostner Avenue.
Upon arrival, patients will need to stop at the front desk to present an order from their physician. The order must contain a written diagnosis. The patient should also bring their insurance card(s) and a photo I.D. Patients will be given a number based on the type of test being performed. Patients with scheduled tests/procedures receive a higher priority number since they are scheduled procedures. When your number comes up on the screen you will be directed to a booth for completion of the registration.
During registration, associates will verify your name, address and insurance information to ensure that your personal information is accurate and that your bill is submitted to the proper insurance payer. If you are a Medicare patient, we are required by law to ask you a series of questions. You will also be asked to sign our health-care consent form. Upon completion of your registration you will be directed to your point of service. Hours of operation:
To schedule a test or procedure, please call central scheduling at 1.800.970.2778.
Please Note: The outpatient testing area accepts their last patient 15 minutes prior to closing.
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What do I need to know before my day surgery?
Surgeries are performed in the surgical suites of Advocate Christ Medical Center's Surgery Pavilion located on the third floor. Your surgeon on staff at the medical center will schedule your surgery and order preadmission tests, which may include a blood count, urinalysis, chest x-ray and other tests, depending on your condition. People over the age of 45 will need an electrocardiogram and all females ages of 10 to 50 will receive a pregnancy test.
When you arrive at Christ Medical Center, you (or your driver) can use the free valet service or park across the street from the emergency department. All other visitors should use the parking towers located on Kostner Avenue.
Two family members or friends who are over age 12 may accompany you to the day surgery center. Your first stop will be the reception area where you will be registered. Then you will be escorted to your room and asked to change into a gown and your robe and slippers. Family members and close friends are welcome to be with you both before your surgery and in the later stages of recovery.
When you are taken to surgery, your family will go to the surgical waiting room and register with the volunteer at the desk. They may watch television, read or visit one of the gift shops. A volunteer will inform your family when you are taken to the recovery room and when you return to your own room.
After your operation, you will go to the recovery room for phase I recovery, where you will be closely monitored for approximately one hour before being allowed to return to your private room for phase II recovery.
Before leaving the medical center, you will receive instructions on suggested diet, activity level, medication and follow-up visit. Outpatients must make arrangements for someone to accompany them home if they have had anesthesia, spinal anesthesia or any kind of sedation. If you received anesthesia or sedation, do not drink any alcoholic beverages, sign any legal documents, take sleeping pills or sedatives not ordered by your doctor, or drive or operate machinery for at least 24 hours after surgery.
One or two days after your surgery, you will be contacted by a nurse to check on your progress.
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What do I need to know before my child's day surgery?
Advocate Christ Medical Center offers a program to help children, ages 4-12, through the experience of hospitalization and surgery. You are invited to bring your child to join Willie the Wee Care Bear for the Wee Care surgery orientation and tour. To register or for more information, call 708.684.3132. You also can obtain a teaching video for your child from your surgeon or the day surgery center.
With outpatient surgery, children are hospitalized for only a few hours and can return home before bedtime. The day surgery center has a special pediatric waiting area and playroom to accommodate the special needs of children. Parents stay with their children before surgery and after they are discharged from the recovery room.
Children can bring a special toy or blanket to help them relax and feel more comfortable in the hospital.
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What is the scope of services in the emergency department?
Advocate Christ Medical Center is a state-designated Level I trauma center, providing trauma patients with the most sophisticated emergency medical care. The emergency department treats more than 76,000 patients annually. In 2000, Christ Medical Center implemented an emergency cardiac center to streamline patient care.
Upon arrival, a registered nurse will see you at triage. This is the beginning of your medical treatment. The triage nurse will ask the reason for your visit, inquire about your medical history and may perform a brief exam. Triage is done to help determine the severity of your condition and to ensure that the most urgent patients are seen by a physician first.
Next, the registration process obtains the necessary information to begin your chart. You will be taken directly to an exam room, if one is available. Otherwise, you may be asked to wait in the reception area.
What are the visiting and other policies?
The treatment area inside the emergency department is very limited and frequently crowded. We welcome relatives and friends to either accompany the patient or join the patient after the physician's medical evaluation. Minors may be accompanied by their parents. Limiting visitors to two per patient is essential for patient well being, as well as for space constraints. We ask that the visitor remain at the patient's bedside while inside the treatment area. Vending machines are available.