Palmetto Patient Guide 


Dear Patient,

On behalf of  the Board of Directors, Medical Executive Committee and Tenet South Florida HealthSystem, we want to welcome you and thank you for making Palmetto General Hospital your hospital of choice.

For over 30 years, the physicians and staff at Palmetto General Hospital have been dedicated to providing quality and personalized medical care to the communities we serve. We are proud of our experience and the many honors we have achieved, such as being selected for four consecutive years as one of the top 100 hospitals in the nation by HCIA-Sachs Institute, also known as Solucient. The annual study identifies superior performance by hospitals in the efficient delivery of their services, quality of their care and value provided to their patients and communities. HealthGrades, a company that ranks hospitals by medical specialties nationwide, also awarded Palmetto General Hospital Five Stars in the following distinct areas:

Neuroscience – "Ranked in the Top 5% in the Nation for Treatment of Stroke"

Obstetrics – "Ranked in the Top 5% in the Nation for Treatment of Obstetrics" & "Highest rated in Miami-Dade County for Obstetrics"

Although we are appreciative of these prestigious honors, no honor is greater for us to have the opportunity to serve you during your time of need.

During your stay, you may notice many recent improvements and enhancements to our facility, some cosmetic, some operational. One thing remains constant, however, and that is the commitment of our medical staff, employees and volunteers to provide you and your loved ones with the best service possible. Our caregivers are committed to meeting each of your individualized and personal needs.

Should you feel any need for additional assistance from Administration, please feel free to call the office at ext. 2100. We will be happy to assist you in resolving any issues or concerns. Our staff of professionals is dedicated to continuously improving the services we provide. We value your input.

Thank you again for allowing us to serve your health care needs. We hope to exceed your expectations for quality service and care. Please accept our best wishes for a comfortable stay and a speedy recovery. 

Ana Mederos, MBA, Chief Executive Officer




Palmetto General Hospital was the vision of 26 physicians practicing in Hialeah who recognized the opportunity for a quality medical facility to meet the increasing health care needs of the growing population. Charged with the responsibility of turning that vision into reality, a nine-member steering committee set the course for what would become one of the area's leading hospitals.

Palmetto General Hospital opened its doors on January 17, 1971 with 50 beds, 70 doctors and 100 employees. Today, a 360-bed acute care hospital, Palmetto General Hospital serves growing Miami- Dade and South Broward communities. Our 595 member medical staff and 1,524 employees deliver acclaimed cardiac care, maternity care, pediatrics, wound care and more. Palmetto has received Bariatric and Breast Imaging Center of Excellence accolades, and numerous additional citations for quality care.

Pre-Admission Testing

Pre-admission testing services is available by appointment when ordered by your physician.  Tests may include laboratory testing, EKG and X-rays. To schedule an appointment, you may call  (305) 823-5000 ext.  6700.


The Registration Services Department is responsible for processing your admission to the hospital. You will be required to provide demographic and financial information, insurance cards,  and some form of personal identification.  They will verify eligibility and obtain  benefits. You will be required to pay co-pays, deductibles, and  non- covered charges at time of registration and prior to discharge. Payment may be made by cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.  This process can be expedited by calling (305) 823-5000, ext. 6700 and pre-registering prior to your scheduled arrival date.

The department is staffed with Financial Counselors who will  be happy to explain your insurance benefits. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call (305) 823-5000, ext. 4722 or 4721.



Pain Management

Patient's Bill of Rights and Responsibilities

As a patient at this hospital, we believe you have the following rights and responsibilities:

  • Information about pain and pain relief measures.
  • A concerned staff committed to pain prevention   and  management
  • Health professionals who respond quickly to reports of pain.
  • Your reports of pain will be believed.
  • Pain Management, and
  • Pain Relief Specialists.

As a patient at this hospital, we expect that you will:

  • Ask your  doctor or nurse what to expect regarding to pain and pain management.
  • Discuss pain relief options with your doctors and nurses.
  • Work with your doctor and nurse to develop a pain management plan.
  • Ask for pain relief when pain first begins.
  • Help your doctor and nurse assess your pain.
  • Tell your doctor or nurse if your pain is not relieved, and
  • Tell your doctor or nurse about any worries you have about taking pain medication.


You will have no need for valuables during your stay at the hospital. Please give these items to someone to take home for you, or ask your nurse to call security and place them in the hospital safe. We are not responsible for items kept at the bedside.


Information about your health care is confidential. Palmetto General Hospital recognizes the importance of protecting your privacy and has developed numerous mechanisms to maintain confidentiality. Except as specifically authorized by state law, you have the right to determine the information the hospital may release about you.

Consent Forms

You will be asked to sign several consent forms upon admission to the hospital. Please be sure to read and understand everything that you sign. If there is something you do not understand, please ask for clarification.

Advanced Directives

You, as a competent adult, have the right to control decisions related to your own medical care.

You, as a competent adult, have the right to designate a person to serve as a health care surrogate, to make health care decisions for you, and to provide informed consent  should you become incapable of such decisions.

Upon admission, you may be provided an opportunity to present a previously executed advanced directive, such as a living will, which is the state endorsed vehicle for communicating advanced directives.

If you have not previously executed an advanced directive, you may be provided written information concerning the right to do so.

You may not be required to execute or waive an advanced directive or surrogate designation as a condition for treatment or admission to the hospital.

Each patient also has a choice of becoming an organ donor. Please contact the Nurse Manager or Administrative Supervisor if you have any questions.

While You Are With Us

Once you are settled in your room, a member of the nursing staff will obtain a brief medical history from you. Then a physician will examine you.

The physician who arranged for your admission to the hospital is referred to as your attending physician, and is responsible for your care. Your attending physician will direct your treatment and he or she, or a consulting physician, will order tests and procedures.

Patient Relations

The Hospital is committed to providing for your special needs and wishes. Should you wish to discuss an issue regarding  your care, to comment or raise an issue, you may do so by contacting the Nurse Manager or the Administrative Supervisor by dialing "6403".

Cellular Phones

As patient safety is a top priority, cellular phones and other hand-held communication devices are not permitted in the hospital because they interfere with medical equipment such as infusion pumps, heart monitors, dialysis equipment, defibrillators, ventilators and others.

Gifts for Employees

In support of Tenet's Standards of Conduct, our employees are not allowed to accept any gifts from patients or families. A note of thanks to the employee or their Supervisor will earn a special recognition luncheon for the person(s) you wish to compliment. This is very rewarding for the employees and boosts satisfaction and morale.

Smoking Policy

In accordance with the Florida Clean Air Act and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health care Organizations, the Governing Board of Palmetto General Hospital has adopted a "Smoke Free" policy for Palmetto General Hospital. Thank you for not smoking. Please consult your physician for alternatives if necessary.

Patient Rooms

Hospital Bed: Your hospital bed is higher than the one you use at home. Electric controls adjust it to a variety of positions. For your safety, please keep your bed in the lowest position with the brakes locked.

Call Buttons: Press the nurse call button located on the speaker attached to your bed or your bed's side-rail. Also, each bathroom has an emergency nurse call button.

Medications: A nurse will administer medications prescribed by your physician during your stay. All prescription or your non-prescription medications used prior to hospitalization should be left at home.

Television: The speaker for the sound portion of your television set is attached to your bed. If you have a roommate, please apply courtesy. The Hospital's Patient Information is seen on Channel 3.

Patient Safety

Our goal is to provide a safe, effective and efficient environment that will meet your needs. We suggest the following ways in which you or your family might help in providing a safer environment. If you notice a change in a patient's behavior, such as confusion, irritability or forgetfulness, please tell the nurse immediately.

  • Observe all posted warnings;
  • Do not adjust the bed height;
  • Do not attempt  to move a patient prior to checking with the nursing staff;
  •  Do not move the patient without proper instruction;
  • Do not release restraints without checking with the nursing staff;
  • Do not remove the call bell from the patient's reach; and
  • Notify the nursing station if the floor is wet or room is cluttered.

During your hospital stay it may become necessary for us to use soft restraints for your safety and protection. Restraints will be used only after other alternatives have been evaluated and/or attempted to control a patient's behavior. The restraints will be removed as soon as the patient can demonstrate self-control. Restraints may be used for the following reasons:

  • For patients who are confused and/or disoriented and are attempting to climb out of bed;
  • To prevent interruption of treatment modality;
  • For patients who endanger themselves or others; or
  • For patients who are unwilling or unable to follow limitation of activity as ordered by the physician.

Palmetto General Hospital uses soft restraints after a licensed health care provider initiate and performs a careful assessment of need. Staff members will frequently monitor the patient's clinical condition, the condition of restrained limbs and attend to the needs of a patient in restraints such as: hydration, feeding, toileting, range of motion and skin irritation.

Palmetto General Hospital uses restraints to protect the patient's health and safety and preserve his or her dignity, rights and well being. We encourage discussion of patient and family preferences and insights regarding the alternatives to the use of restraints.


An integral aspect of patient and family centered care approach to patient care.

Palmetto General Hospital believes that a patient’s support person and or visitors play an important role in the care and recovery of patients by providing support to the patient, providing health information about the patient, communicating patient’s needs and desires, creating a more familiar environment for the patient and ultimately serving as intermediary between the hospital staff and the patient in support of continuity of care.

All patients have the right to have, or not have, visitors of their choice. The hospital will accommodate the need of any patient who request visitors and only restrict or limit visitors when clinically necessary or reasonable, or when visitors interfere in the care of the patient or the care of other patients in the hospital.  The nursing/medical staff will use their best clinical judgement and take into account all aspects of the patient’s health and safety, including the benefits of visitation on a patient’s care as well as potential negative impact that visitors may have on other patients in the hospital, to determine when visitation is, or is not, appropriate.

Visitation rights may differ by type of unit or department.

Individuals who are feeling ill are discouraged from visiting patients in the hospital.

Children under the age of 12 require adult supervision at all times by an adult other than the patient.

A full copy of the Visitation Policy may be obtained from the Admitting Department or the Nursing Administration Department.



Meal Services

The Food & Nutrition Services Department plays a key role in patient care and education.  We strive to provide you with an enjoyable dining experience. We provide menus that are tasty and meet your prescribed nutritional needs as ordered by your physician.  Your daily menu offers a variety of well-balanced selections based on your dietary restrictions. 

Your Nutrition Attendant will personally review meal selections with you each day, deliver your meals and provide services to ensure we meet your expectations.  Other options and nourishments are available to you upon request and are based on your dietary restrictions.  If you are unable to select your menu, our chef's Special of the Day will be served. Food & Nutrition Services discourages patient consumption of food brought from other sources other than our department in an effort to ensure optimal nutrition care. 

We would like for you to be so pleased with our services, that you would rate us a "10"  if asked.  Please feel free to contact our department at extension # 3438 to assist you with your meal or service.

Guest Meal Services

As a convenience to visiting family and friends, Food & Nutrition Services may provide you with guest trays for a minimal charge.  These meals are offered only during serving times for patients and must be requested two hours in advance of meal service.  If you wish to place an order for a guest tray, please notify your Nutrition Attendant or call our department.  

  • Complimentary guest meals are available to parents/guardians of pediatric patients. 

Also, visitors are welcome to join us for meals in our cafeteria located in the first floor of the hospital.  Our chefs and staff offer daily appetizing and nutritious meals. For daily menu offer, please dial Menu Line ext. 3663.

Medical Nutrition Therapy

Registered Dietitians are available to answer questions or assist you with your meal planning. Registered Dietitians provide Medical Nutrition Therapy, that is, specific nutrition services for treating chronic conditions, illness, and injury.  This involves assessment, intervention and education to provide you and your family with the skills to manage your nutritional needs. 

Please request from your physician or nurse, a nutritional consult with a registered dietitian to address any questions regarding your special diet or to assist you with planning for your nutrition needs.

Hours of Operations

Sunday – Saturday   5:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.


Patient Meal Services

Breakfast   7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Lunch   11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Dinner   4:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.


Cafeteria               Weekdays                              Weekends

Breakfast               7:00 a.m. – 9:30 am           7:30a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Lunch                    11:00a.m. – 2:00 p.m.        11:30a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Dinner                   4:30p.m. – 7:00 p.m.           4:30p.m. – 7:00 p.m.


Your Support Team

At Palmetto General Hospital, we devote as much attention to maintaining your individuality and dignity as to treating your physical ills. While every member of the hospital's staff is committed to this philosophy of health care, you may look to specific personnel for certain support services.

Nurse Manager: Each patient care unit has a Nurse Manager who is responsible for the 24-hour operation of that area. Your Nurse Manager will be able to assist in answering questions or solving problems regarding your care.

Pastoral Needs: All patients are encouraged to access pastoral services of their choice. Hospital staff will make every effort to facilitate spiritual support for any patients so desiring.  You or your family may contact the clergy of your choice or request our assistance. In the absence of a preferred clergy, contact your nurse, Nurse Manager or Administrative Supervisor for assistance.

Mail: Mail will be delivered to your bedside. Mail comes every Monday through Friday morning (except holidays). Mail arriving after you are discharged will be forwarded to your home.

Newspapers / Magazines: You may purchase newspapers and magazines in the Gift Shop, or you may call ext. 2665 for delivery.

Case Management / Discharge Planning

The Case Management Department is available to work with you and your family, assisting with emotional, financial and social problems resulting from your hospitalization and planning of your post hospital care.

Today, it is not usually necessary for patients to remain in the hospital until fully recovered. When your acute care needs have been resolved or stabilized and your physician has determined that continuing care can be provided in an alternate setting, your case manager will assist you in implementing your discharge plan of care.

Through knowledge of community resources, your case manager will help you obtain whatever assistance you may need for continuing care after leaving the hospital. Specific areas where services may be beneficial include arranging for an ambulance or other transportation, admission to a rehabilitation center or skilled nursing facility or nursing care in your home during the recuperative period, and access to necessary equipment, financial aid, or protective services.

If you desire assistance from Case Management and discharge planning, ask your nurse or call the Case Management Department at ext. 4766.

Your Special Needs

Hearing Impaired: If you are hearing impaired, please ask a member of our nursing staff for an audio enhancement device or a referral for a translator who may be able to sign. In addition, we can contact the Deaf Services Bureau.

Vision Impaired: Copy of the Patient Handbook is available to you in Braille or audio format, in either English or Spanish. Please contact a member of our nursing staff for more information.

Surgical Patients: After surgery, you will be taken to the Recovery Room until you are fully awake. Once fully awake, you will be returned to your room or to the appropriate unit. Your family may wait in the lobby or surgery waiting area during your surgery.

Maternity Patients: While you're in the hospital, nurses who specialize in newborn care will care for your baby in the Newborn Nursery. You or your husband may bring your baby to your room during feeding hours. Your nurses will teach you how to feed and bathe your baby; change a diaper and otherwise provide for your child's needs. Your doctor and the baby's pediatrician will visit regularly during your hospital stay. They will also offer you advice and guidance.

Pediatric Patients: Parents of a child in the Pediatrics Unit are welcome at any time, and may stay overnight if they wish. We encourage the presence of parents in the unit. The Pediatrics Unit nurses have special training, and are glad to answer questions and instruct you in your child's care. Parents, notify nursing personnel if you notice that a child needs help.

Discharge Planning: Your physician will inform you of your discharge and give you any necessary instructions about caring for yourself after you leave. If you will need assistance leaving, the Case Management Department and a nurse will help you with discharge planning. We ask that you make arrangements to leave the hospital as soon as possible on the day of your discharge. Florida State Law requires all children under 40 pounds to be in an approved car seat when riding in a car. If you are taking home an infant or small child by car, he or she must be in an approved car seat when leaving the hospital premises.

Home Health Care: Your physician may recommend skilled medical care for you as you recuperate at home.  You may also request an alternate list of Home Health Agencies from your case manager.

Outpatient Pharmacy: The hospital offers a retail pharmacy located in the Pal-Med Mall near the parking garage entrance. The pharmacy accepts Medicare, Medicaid and most insurances, and can fill your prescription for discharge medications before you leave the hospital.

Your Hospital Bill: If you have any questions or would like some advice regarding payment of your bill, our financial counselors will be glad to help you. If you have any questions about your hospital fee, please contact your patient account representative at extension 2378 or 2416. Having your account number and insurance information available is recommended.

We are happy to help with your insurance claim by billing the insurance carrier directly and by helping you fill out required paperwork. We accept assignment on Medicare, Medicaid and most commercial insurance and contracted managed care companies with proper authorization.

The hospital will prepare a final bill, which will be mailed to you a few days after you are discharged. That bill will show the amount we anticipate your insurance company will pay and whatever balances you may owe. Please be prompt and considerate in paying your balance due.

In addition to your hospital bill, you may receive other statements from certain members of your health care team who have participated in your treatment. These may include your own physician or other physicians, such as a surgeon, anesthesiologist, cardiologist, radiologist or pathologist. Questions about these bills should be directed to that individual's offices.

After you have been discharged

We hope your stay at Palmetto General Hospital has been as pleasant as possible. If you have any questions regarding your stay, please call us. Below is list of several hospital departments and their phone numbers for your easy reference.

Main Phone Number: 305-823-5000

Administration: 305-364-2100

Admitting: 305-823-5000 ext. 6700

Business Office: 866-904-6871

Administrative Supervisor: 305-354-2188

Media Relations: 305-364-7735

Case Management: 305-819-1208

Food & Nutrition, Clinical Dietician: 305-823-5000 x3459

Patient Satisfaction Monitoring Survey: Your opinion is very important to us. Please let us know if you have any comments which will help us improve our service, or recognize any staff member of a  "job well done."

Upon your discharge, you may be contacted by a survey company, which monitors several Tenet affiliated Hospitals in the area. If you feel that the service you received adequately met your needs, please let the surveyors know. If however, your stay was less than satisfactory, please give details as to your issues so that we may take the appropriate action.

Patient Bill of Rights

Florida law requires that your health care provider or health care facility recognize your rights while you are receiving medical care and that you respect the health care provider's or health care facility's right to expect certain behavior on the part of patients. You may request a copy of the full text of this law from your health care provider or health care facility. A summary of your rights and Responsibilities are as follow:

  • A patient has the right to be treated with courtesy and respect, with appreciation of his individual dignity, and with protection of his/her need for privacy
  • A patient has the right to a prompt and reasonable response to questions and requests
  •  A patient has the right to know who is providing medical services and who is responsible for his care
  • A patient has the right to know what patient support services are available, including whether an interpreter is available if he does not speak English
  •  A patient has the right to know what rules and regulations apply to his conduct
  •  A patient has the right to be given, by his health care provider, information concerning diagnosis, planned course of treatment, alternatives, risks and prognosis
  •  A patient has the right to refuse any treatment, except as otherwise provided by law
  •  A patient has the right to be given, upon request, full information and necessary counseling on the availability of known financial resources for his care
  •  A patient who is eligible for Medicare has the right to know, upon request and in advance of treatment, whether the health care provider or health care facility accepts the Medicare assignment rate
  • A patient has the right to receive, upon request and prior to treatment, a reasonable estimate of charges for medical care
  • A patient has the right to receive a copy of a reasonably clear and understandable itemized bill and, upon request, to have the charges explained
  •  A patient has the right to impartial access to medical treatment or accommodations regardless of race, national origin, religion, physical handicap or source of payment
  •  A patient has the right to treatment for any emergency medical condition that will deteriorate from failure to provide treatment
  •  A patient has the right to know if medical treatment is for purposes of experimental research and to give his consent or refusal to participate in such experimental research
  • A patient has the right to express grievances regarding any violation of his rights, as stated in Florida law, through the grievances procedure of the health care provider or health care facility which served him and to the appropriate state licensing agency. Should you have any questions or complaints regarding the quality of care offered by a health care provider or health care facility, you may contact the Agency for Health care Administration at 1-888-419-3456 or write:


Consumer Assistance Unit

2727 Mahan Drive • Tallahassee, FL 32308-5403

A patient is responsible for providing to his health care provider, to the best of his knowledge, accurate and complete information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and other matters relating to his health

  •  A patient has the responsibility for reporting unexpected changes in his condition to his health care provider
  •  A patient has the responsibility for reporting to his health care provider whether he comprehends a contemplated course of action and what is expected of him
  •  A patient has the responsibility for following the treatment plan recommended by his health care provider
  • A patient has the responsibility for keeping appointments, and when he is unable to do so for any reason, for notifying the health care provider or health care facility
  •  A patient has the responsibility for his actions if he refuses treatment or does not follow the health care provider's instructions
  • A patient has the responsibility for ensuring that the financial obligations of his health care are fulfilled as promptly as possible
  • A patient has the responsibility for following health care facility's rules and regulations affecting patient care and conduct

If at any time you feel your patient's rights have not been met, or if you have a concern about your care , please dial "0" and ask for the Administrative Nursing Supervisor.

Rules and Regulations

Each patient has the responsibility to follow the hospital's rules and regulations for their own safety as well as the consideration of others. This will include the observance of visiting hours and personal conduct, which may directly affect personnel or other patients in the hospital.

No catalog of rights can guarantee for the patient the kind of treatment he/she has a right to expect. A hospital has many functions to perform, including the prevention and treatment of disease, the education of both health professionals and patients, and the conduct of clinical research. All these activities must be conducted with an overriding concern for the patient, and above all, the recognition of his/her dignity as a human being.

Patient Education

Palmetto General Hospital professionals, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists and dieticians, will provide you with educational information depending on your needs.


Volunteers are special members of the community who give their time, energy and talents to enhance the quality of services provided to our patients and families. Volunteering can enrich your life and provide you with many rewards. Come fill a need and meet new friends. For more information about joining our team of volunteers call 305-823-5000, ext. 2665.