Patients & Visitors

Patient Guide: Preparing for Hospitalization

preparing for hospitalization

Thank you for entrusting your care to our doctors and nurses at Alvarado Hospital. The list below will help you prepare for your hospital stay. We dedicate ourselves to a higher level of service, and should you forget to bring important items from home or have additional special needs, our nursing staff will be available to help you with your requests, as well as the needs of your family and guests.


What to Bring

  • Valid driver license, passport or other valid form of identification
  • A list of medications you are taking, including dosages and directions
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Comfortable clothing for your arrival and discharge
  • Eyeglasses, hearing aids or dentures
  • Any personal items you’ll want with you during your stay, such as books or writing materials
  • Not more than $20 cash
  • Credit card number and expiration date, not the card itself
  • Calling card number
  • Your health insurance card, or your spouse’s, if applicable
  • All insurance forms and pre-authorization paperwork
  • Advance Directive document, if you have completed one. If not, click here to download the document

What Not to Bring

  • Credit cards
  • Jewelry
  • Valuables
  • More than $20 in cash
  • Medications from home (unless otherwise instructed by your physician)

Alvarado Hospital cannot be responsible for valuables brought to our hospital. Should you bring an item of value to the hospital, we recommend you give the item to a family member to take home with them. You can request your valuables be locked in our safe. Our staff will provide you with a receipt so that you can claim your items upon discharge.

Parking

Free, covered parking for patients and their guests is available in the hospital parking garage, located behind the main hospital entrance between the main hospital building and the San Diego Rehabilitation Institute. Other parking is located to the west of the San Diego Rehabilitation Institute and the medical office buildings east of the main hospital on Reservoir Drive. Parking is free. Click here for a map.

Admitting Department

  • Admitting hours: 6 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Saturdays and Sundays, holidays and after-hour admitting needs are taken care of through the emergency department.

You may pre-register for your hospital stay or outpatient services by calling (619) 229-3120.

When you arrive for your hospital appointment, you will be asked to show your identification and insurance card. We will also inquire about your Advanced Directive and request that you sign consent-for-treatment forms that give us permission to treat you. If there is any money due for your care (e.g., co-payment), you will be asked to pay at the time of admitting.

To make the admission process faster and more efficient, we encourage you to complete the pre-admission process prior to arriving at hospital, including advance payment. In compliance with federal law, you will receive separate bills from the hospital and the physicians involved in your care.

To ensure patient safety and accurate patient identification, you will be given an identification wristband. This wristband must be worn at all times while you are a patient at Alvarado Hospital.

Should you have any questions about the admissions process, please call (619) 229-3120.

Laboratory Hours

The laboratory’s hours of operation are as follows:

  • Monday-Friday: 7 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Sunday and Holidays: Closed

Visiting Hours and Guidelines

Visiting hours are from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and all visitors are kindly requested to check in at the information desk in the main lobby. We recommend that you call for specific visiting information before seeing a patient at (619) 287-3270.

Children under the age of 14 are not allowed to visit patients without prior approval from the nursing director or charge nurse, and all children under age 18 must be in the company of a parent or guardian at all times. To protect our patients and caregivers, children and adults who may have been exposed to or have symptoms of any illness should not be brought into the hospital.

ICU/Isolation Guidelines: No children under the age of 14 are allowed to visit patients in isolation or in the intensive care unit; no flowers are allowed on the ICU.

Gift Shop

A variety of items are available for purchase for patients and visitors, including flowers, balloons, toiletries, gifts, food, magazines and more either through the gift shop website or at the physical gift shop, located on the first floor of the main hospital. To locate the in-hospital gift shop, call (619) 229-5601 or the online shop toll-free at (877) 887-3200.

Security

For your safety and security, all areas of Alvarado Hospital are under video surveillance. The main security number is (619) 229-4530.

Interpreter Services

Alvarado Hospital provides healthcare services to people with culturally diverse backgrounds, we use Language Lines. If you need their help in understanding any aspect of your care—or in expressing your concerns—your nurse will arrange for their assistance. There is no charge for this service.

Download our list of language services here, in Spanish here and in Vietnamese here.

For our language interpretation policy, click here.