Resources & Tools
Make a Decision
Take some time to consider the research that you've gathered about your hospital options. Then talk with your doctor about your preferred hospital or concerns you may have about the doctor's choice. If you are not reassured, you may need to change doctors.
Once you have agreed on a hospital, you should schedule your procedure, alert your insurance plan, and get to know the hospital better.
Schedule Your Procedure
Find out how soon you can be admitted. If your condition is not severe, you may receive a date that is weeks or months in the future. Many doctors perform certain procedures only on certain days, so be prepared to wait.
Once you have a date for the procedure, find out how long you should expect to be in the hospital and how long your doctor thinks your recovery will take. You'll need this information to arrange time off from work and for coverage while you're in the hospital, such as child care and pet care.
Tell Your Insurance Plan
Call your health insurance plan to tell them the kind of procedure you are having, which hospital it will be at and when, and how long you expect to be in the hospital. Your insurance may require pre-authorization for certain procedures.
Get to Know the Hospital Better
Everyone feels more comfortable if they know the lay of the land. To relieve any anxieties you may have, find out more about the hospital.
- Go to the hospital's website. The website will give a lot of basic information, such as visiting hours and restrictions, a directory of phone numbers, and the hospital's address, maps, directions, and parking options.
- Take a tour. Most hospitals offer guided tours for prospective patients. When arranging a tour, tell the hospital administrator the procedure you're having, so you can see the part of the hospital where you'll be staying. You should also ask to see the facilities for visitors, including family rooms, overnight facilities, and the cafeteria.
- Do a practice run. If you're concerned about logistics on the day of your procedure, do a practice run so you know what to expect. Ask a friend or relative to drive you to the hospital at the same time and day you'll need to be there, so you can give yourself extra time if traffic or parking is an issue.
- Call the hospital. Any remaining questions you have can be answered by the hospital.