About Your Hospital Stay
You are a critical member of our healthcare team. The effectiveness of your care and your satisfaction during the course of your treatment at Kennedy depends, in part, upon you. We need your participation by carrying out the following responsibilities to help make your hospital stay more pleasant and your treatment more effective:

  • Provide information about past illness, hospitalization, medications, and other matters related to your health history in order to help your healthcare team to effectively treat your condition.
  • Ensure that the hospital has a copy of your Advance Directive (living will and/or proxy), if you have one. If you do not, you may review the enclosed material on advance directives and contact Guest Services for assistance, if necessary.
  • Select a designated spokesperson, when possible, to communicate with care providers regarding your wishes should you be unable to do so.
  • Respect the rights of other patients and hospital associates by following the policies and procedures at Kennedy Health System (e.g., assist in the control of noise, receive two visitors at a time, respect the property of other people and the hospital).
  • Assist the physicians, nurses and other clinicians by following their instructions and medical orders to facilitate your care. If you have any concerns following prescribed treatments, let your physician and/or caregivers know. Ask questions.
  • Recognize the impact of your lifestyle on your personal health and work with your care team to eliminate risks. Follow the nutrition plan that your doctor has ordered for you. Do not consume alcohol or toxic substances while hospitalized. These may interfere with your treatment and recovery.
  • Do not take any medications which have not been ordered by your attending physician and administered by your nurse.
  • Do not bring valuable items into the hospital.
  • Discuss with your physician, nurse or other healthcare providers any pain that you have that will not go away and about your options for pain relief. Work with your healthcare team to create a pain control plan that meets your treatment goals. Take or ask for the pain relief drugs or other comfort measures when needed.
  • It is your responsibility to pay for all services rendered, either through third-party payers (your insurance company) or being personally responsible for payment of any services not covered by your insurance policies.
Participate in Kennedy's SpeakUP campaign:
Everyone has a role in making healthcare safe – doctors, healthcare executives, nurses and technicians. Healthcare organizations across the country are working to make healthcare safety a priority. You, as the patient, can also play a vital role in making your care safe by becoming an active, involved and informed member of your health care team by remembering to SpeakUP!

  • Speak up if you have questions or concerns, and if you don't understand, ask again. It's your body and you have a right to know. It may also be helpful for you to write down questions you have for physicians and other care providers and record their answers.
  • Pay attention to the care you are receiving. Make sure you're getting the right treatments and medications by the right healthcare professionals. Don't assume anything.
  • Educate yourself about your diagnosis, the medical tests you are undergoing, and your treatment plan. Ask care givers to clarify if you don't understand instructions or can't read a provider's writing.
  • Ask a trusted family member or a friend to be your advocate.
  • Know what medications you take and why you take them. Medication errors are the most common healthcare mistakes.
  • Use a hospital, clinic, surgery center, or other type of healthcare organization that has undergone a rigorous on-site evaluation against established, state-of-the-art quality and safety standards, such as that provided by JCAHO.
  • Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of the health care team.

If you have any questions or concerns about patient rights or responsibilities, please contact Guest Services at your location. Dial the last four digits if calling within any of our hospitals.

Kennedy Univ. Hospital - Cherry Hill  856-488-6500

Kennedy Univ. Hospital - Stratford  856-346-6000

Kennedy Univ. Hospital - Wash. Twp.  856-582-2500

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Kennedy Respect My Personal Health Information?

To protect confidentiality, our staff will only provide information to those individuals you designate. You were assigned a confidentiality code at the time of admission. Persons requesting your confidential information must provide the code number before staff will respond to phone calls or other confidential information requests. It is recommended that you designate a primary spokesperson to keep your family informed.

What Medication Should I Bring?

It is helpful if you are can bring a list of medications and dosages you have been taking prior to your hospitalization. Do not bring in medications from home (including vitamins, herbal remedies, over-the-counter medications, etc) unless specifically requested to do so by your doctor. Our hospital pharmacy will provide you with the medications you need during your hospital stay. Medications brought in without your physician's approval should be sent home with a friend or family member. If any medications are approved that are brought from home, they must be immediately given to your nurse.

The only medications you should take during your hospitalization are those given to you by your nurse. All medications are checked by our pharmacy for drug interactions, dosing, and allergies before you can receive them. For safety reasons, medications should not be kept at bedside.

If you are uncertain about any medication ordered during your stay, please ask your doctor or nurse to review the reason it was ordered – dosage, frequency, potential interactions, etc.

Can I Bring My Valuables?

Please do not bring valuable items, such as jewelry, large sums of money, or credit cards, as the hospital is not responsible if these items are lost or misplaced. If valuables cannot be sent home with a family member or a friend, then please ask that they be placed in the hospital's safe. To protect essential valuables, such as dentures, eyeglasses, hearing aids, or contact lenses, store them in a protective case, labeled with your name.

Must I Wear My Hospital Identification Band All the Time?

Wear the wrist identification band that you receive upon admission throughout your hospital stay. It provides positive identification to all those who serve you. Tell your nurse if the information on your band is incorrect or is missing, so your band may be replaced.

What Will I Eat?

Your diet is ordered by your doctor to meet your nutritional needs. Dietitians are available to provide education for patients/families so that patients can achieve their nutritional goals. If you have a special dietary need due to your religion, culture or preference, alert nursing to notify Food and Nutrition Services to meet your special request. Kennedy's dietitians can also provide you with resources to assist you in meeting your ongoing nutritional needs. If you have any questions regarding your diet, talk to your doctor or nurse.

To contact the dietary office during your stay, dial only the last four digits of the number.

Cherry Hill 488-5611
Stratford 346-2301
Washington Twp. 582-2814

A nutrition hotline is available for questions after your discharge, at (856) 346-7734.

Is Phone Service Available?

Patients in our hospitals receive complimentary local phone service.

On some occasions, phone calls may interfere with a patient's care. During these times, phone use may be restricted. Patients would always be able to use a phone when requested.

How to Use the Hospital's Phone System

  • If you are dialing a hospital extension, dial the four-digit extension only.
  • If you are calling a local exchange, dial 9 + telephone number.
  • For long distance, you must dial 8 + 0 + area code + telephone number.
  • For additional information or further assistance with using the phones, please dial 0.

Remember: For patient safety, cellular phones/2-way radios/cordless phones are not to be used in any Kennedy Health System patient care areas. Cellular phones may be used in the main lobby and cafeteria at each campus. Cell phones MUST be turned off when a medical electronic device is within 20 feet of the cell user.

What If I Need Help Communicating with Hospital Staff?

Guest Services and/or the Nursing Supervisor may be consulted for assistance with obtaining resources to meet your communication needs while hospitalized. The following resources are available to help you communicate with your caregivers:

  • Special telephones that provide 'over the phone' interpreter service utilizing a certified medical interpretation service
  • Amplified head phone for the deaf or hard of hearing, as well as special patient phones to assist those with vision problems (larger buttons)
  • Telephone devices for the deaf (TYY) and closed caption television are available
  • Sign Language Interpreters available
  • Cards with pictures and words commonly used in healthcare; pen, paper for writing.
  • Breath call devices are available allowing patients who are unable to use their hands/fingers to push the button to call for the nurse (patients would blow into the device hooked into the call system).
  • Press call devices to aid patients with difficulty using regular call devices for those with partial paralysis, arthritis, rheumatic conditions, etc.
  • Braille signage in hallway/elevators

Please request assistance to communicate with members of your healthcare team, especially during any discussions of your prognosis, treatment plans, consent for invasive procedures, and discharge planning. These resources are available at no expense to you.

Is TV Service Available?

Patients in our hospitals receive complimentary satellite television and local phone service. A television directory is provided as part of each patient's admission guide.

For any problems with your television service, you may also contact a Guest Services Representative in the building.

Patient Education through The Patient Channel
Kennedy offers televised education programs to help you learn more about your health. Programs are shown at all times of the day, every day of the week. Ask your nurse for a current schedule of programs in each category that interests you. All programs are free of charge.

Is There a Library?

Patients and their families are welcome to use the hospital libraries. If you would like more information on your disease, condition, or procedure, call the Library at any of the Kennedy campuses:
Cherry Hill campus (in hospital) (856) 488-6865
Stratford campus (Rowan-SOM campus in Stratford) (856) 566-6800
Washington Township campus (in hospital) (856) 582-2675

Can I Receive Gifts and Cards While Hospitalized?

Mail and flowers are delivered daily to patient rooms. Any outgoing mail can be given to the visiting volunteer. If you need help writing letters, a hospital volunteer will be glad to help you. Please contact Guest Services to obtain assistance.

Are Religious Services Available?

Kennedy recognizes and respects the spiritual needs of all of our patients. Your local clergy is welcome to visit while you or your loved one is in the hospital. If you do not have a specific clergy person, but would like someone to visit with you, please contact Guest Services.

What Is Offered for Pain?

You have the right to pain relief. If you have pain, it is extremely important that you talk with your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider. Pain management can help you obtain greater comfort, get well faster, and improve your treatment results.

Tell your healthcare provider about your pain. Pain is a signal that tells you your body, or some part of it, is under stress from illness or injury. It is very important that you tell your doctor, nurse or other healthcare provider that you are having pain and explain how this pain affects your life. Pain needs to be assessed on an individual basis. Everyone's pain experience is different. Do not assume that pain means your illness or injury is getting worse.

Managing your pain. No matter what the cause, pain can be controlled and relieved. Your healthcare provider will ask you regularly if you are having pain. You may be asked the following questions:

  • Where is your pain located?
  • Is this new, or have you had pain before?
  • When does your pain occur?
  • Can you describe your pain, such as "sharp" or "throbbing?"
  • What makes your pain better?
  • What makes your pain worse?

Please discuss any fears or concerns you may have so that we can best serve your needs. Do not fear addiction. Addiction to pain medication is rare if medications are taken as prescribed by your doctor. When the pain stops or is less intense, most people are able to stop or reduce their pain medication without any problem.

You will be asked to rate your pain intensity (0-10) to assist us in managing you pain:

  • If 0 = no pain and 10 = the worst pain imaginable? What is your pain now? In the last 24 hours?
  • Using this scale of 0-10, what pain is acceptable to you? What is your goal for pain relief?

Where Can My Visitors Park?

Kennedy offers free parking to our guests at all of our facilities. Our Washington Township campus additionally offers free valet services at both our Main and Emergency Department entrances.

Where Do I Go Once I’m at the Hospital?

Report to the registration desk in the hospital lobby. The registration clerk will inform our staff of your arrival while you wait in the waiting area. When your name is called, please go to our admissions department where your information will be confirmed.

Do My Visitors Need a Visitor’s Pass?

All visitors must stop at the information desk in the hospital lobby where they can obtain a visitor’s pass. This pass allows visitors access to the floor they are visiting as well as the cafeteria and other public areas. If a visitor does not have a pass, our security officers may stop them from visiting patient floors.

What is Pre-Testing?

  1. Certain surgical procedures require that you have testing done in order to provide medical staff information about your condition. Common tests include:
    • Blood work
    • Chest X-rays
    • Urine tests
    • Electrocardiogram Other tests may be ordered depending on your condition. If you have questions regarding these tests, please ask your physician or our staff.

Where Can My Visitors Eat?

Cafeterias are open to the public at all Kennedy hospitals. Our hospital cafeterias provide a wide array of dining options to our guests. Menus are changed on a daily basis and we happily cater to your requests. Our cafeterias are open seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Vending machines are also available in various locations for the convenience of hospital visitors.

How May I Obtain Copies of My Medical Records?

To get a copy of your medical records, you must complete an Authorization to Release Protected Health Information. The completed form must be returned to us in person. Medical records will not be released without a written authorization. The authorization form must be signed by the patient. Signatures other than the patient's must have documentation of authority to sign. A valid ID will be required. An authorization may also be required for continued patient care directly to a physician's office or healthcare facility.

For more information on obtaining copies of your medical records, and to download the release form, click here.

What Is a Press Ganey Survey?

The Press Ganey survey is a tool Kennedy uses to help determine the level of patient satisfaction. You may receive a survey regarding your stay at Kennedy in the mail. If you receive a survey, kindly fill it out and return it to us so we can continue to provide our patients with very good patient care.