Your Hospital Visit - Columbia Memorial Health

Preparing for your Visit to Columbia Memorial Health

To preregister, please contact the Patient Registration Department at 518-828-8392 between 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.

When being admitted, please bring:

  • Comfort items
  • Personal toiletries

Please do not bring:

  • Jewelry or other valuables
  • Large sums of money
  • Radio or television
  • Medications from home, unless specifically ordered by your doctor.

If you do arrive with valuables, we have a safe available upon request. Please contact the nursing staff for assistance.

Please note: We ask that you take special care of your eyeglasses, dentures and hearing aids so they are not mistakenly discarded. Never put them on your dining tray or wrap them in a tissue.

Advance directives are documents that outline your wishes to receive or refuse certain kinds of medical care if you are unable to express them. Completing and signing an advance directive can help ensure that your medical providers know your choices. Please keep in mind you can always change and update your advance directives, and should bring them to all hospital visits to ensure the most current is on file.

Directives can include:

  • Living Will: Instructions on the type of life-prolonging medical care you would wish to accept or refuse
  • Health Care Proxy: Names an agent who can make medical decisions for you if you are unable
  • Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment: Outlines your Do Not Resuscitate and Do Not Attempt CPR orders

To learn more about advance care planning, receive guidance, or request forms, please contact your nurse.

Information about different advance directives is also available through the New York State Department of Health.

During Your Stay

We hope that we were able to meet or exceed your expectations. If for some reason you or your representative have a concern about your time here, you have the right to file a complaint or grievance. We strive to resolve the majority of concerns within 7 days recognizing that some may be more complicated and require further investigation, in which case, we will keep you informed throughout the process. Your complaint or grievance may be filled either in person, by telephone, in writing, or electronically to:

The director of the unit/department where the care was provided and our Patient Representative at 518-697-3243, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

You may also contact:

New York State Department of Health
Centralized Hospital Intake Program
Mailstop: CA/DCS
Empire State Plaza Albany New York 12237
Phone: 1-800-804-5447

The Joint Commission

In keeping with our commitment to providing the highest quality care in a safe environment, Saratoga Hospital voluntarily participates in The Joint Commission's (TJC) accreditation process. TJC regularly conducts accreditation surveys of organizations to determine whether they comply with nationally established standards on quality, safety-of-care issues, and the safety of the environment in which care is provided.

The Joint Commission Action Center

Office of Quality and Patient Safety, The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, 60181
Fax: 603-792-5636


The Ethics Committee serves as an advisory body to patients, families, and hospital staff on matters relating to moral and ethical decisions that arise over the course of providing patient care. The Committee may review ethical issues with regard to the care of a patient at the request of any member of the hospital staff, patient, or member of the patient’s immediate family. Patients and families can connect to the Committee through the patient’s care team.

The options presented by the Ethics Consultation Service are not institutionally or legally binding.

Patients, families, and health care providers are encouraged to request the assistance of an ethics consultant when ethical or more questions arise. Most requests receive responses within 24- to 48-hours. For more information, please contact the patient’s nurse or primary care doctor.

The Albany Med Health System strictly enforces a no smoking policy on all campuses, in all buildings, and on our grounds. Ask your nurse if you are interested in resources to help you quit smoking.

For Your Convenience

Telephone service is provided to patients free of charge, including unlimited local calls. Long-distance calls may be made by calling 800-225-5288 and charging the call to your home or credit card.

Cellular phones may be used in the hospital at a minimum distance of 5 feet from medical equipment.

Television service is available to patients in their rooms for $4/day.

We offer free public wifi to all patients and visitors.


An ATM is available for use 24/7 in the corridor off the lobby.

The Paul and Clara Kellner Café is open for patients, visitors, and staff:

Weekdays 6:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Weekends 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Visitors may request in-room meals for a fee. Notify the server or nurse if interested.

You can request a visit by a member of the clergy at any time. Messages can be relayed through your nurse. Clergy/Rabbi members representing many denominations are available.

A Respite Room is available to family members who would benefit from a room on campus to rest and recuperate while their loved one is admitted to the hospital. For more information, please contact the switchboard by dialing ‘0.’

Going Home

If you are discharged from your room but unable to leave by 11 a.m., you may be asked to wait in another area of the hospital for your transportation. This is necessary in order to allow our staff time to prepare the room for patients awaiting admission. When this happens you will no longer be considered a patient of the hospital.

Discharge planning is the process by which hospital staff work with you and your family or someone acting on your behalf to prepare and make arrangements for your care once you leave the hospital. This care may be self-care, care by family members, home health assistance, or admission to another health care facility.

Discharge planning includes assessing and identifying what your needs will be when you leave the hospital and planning for appropriate care to meet those when you are discharged.

To ensure a smooth transition at the time of discharge, a member of the Discharge Planning staff will be contacting you early in your hospital stay to discuss your discharge plans.