Patient and Visitor Information

Patient Guide

Thank you for selecting Madison County Memorial Hospital as your medical care provider. Our goal is to make your stay as comfortable and pleasant as possible while following the medical care plan designed for you by your physician. Your health and comfort are important to us and the aim of our nursing staff is to meet your needs and exceed your expectations with compassionate and caring service.

We believe that teamwork is one of the keys to delivering excellent care. Our skilled professional nurses oversee and coordinate twenty-four hour patient care in order to achieve the most favorable outcomes. Our team of professionals work with the patient, family, physician, community resources and other health care professionals to promote the highest level of physical, emotional and spiritual wellness.


We have put together a short list of do’s and don’ts to help you. Please call ahead if you have any questions regarding your visit with us?


  • Bring your physician’s orders or other paperwork with you, if you were given any.
  • Bring a photo ID, such as a driver’s license.
  • Bring your insurance card(s). We must verify that your insurance coverage has not changed each and every time you visit.
  • Please bring a complete list of the medications and dosages you are currently taking. This list should include all your over-the-counter medications, vitamins or herbal preparations.
  • It will be very important for the nurses and physician’s to know any allergies or intolerances to any medications that you may have.


  • We urge you to send jewelry, credit cards, keys, important papers, and large amounts of cash home with a family member for safekeeping. If you must bring valuables with you, you are encouraged to have the nursing staff inventory your valuables and deposit them in the hospital safe.
  • Do not keep medications at the bedside. While you are in the hospital, we are required by law to dispense all of your medications.
  • Do not bring alcohol or other drugs
  • Do not bring electronic gadgets such as laptop computers, cell phones, etc., unless first inspected and approved by the hospital engineering department. Some electronic equipment can interfere with the delicate telemetry monitoring stations in certain areas of the hospital.

Visitor's Guide

To facilitate a safe and secure environment for patients, all visitors are asked to observe the following regulations:

  • General visiting hours are 9:00 am to 9:00 pm daily.
  • Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult and should not be left unattended without adult supervision.
  • Clergy may visit patients any hour at patient’s request.
  • Smoking is not permitted in the hospital.
  • Visitors may be asked to leave while hospital personnel are performing a medical or other hospital procedure.
  • Visitors in Isolation Rooms must be instructed on isolation procedures prior to entering an isolation area.
  • Persons with signs of illness, or exposure to an infectious or communicable disease are encouraged not to visit hospitalized patients. Family and friends may be a source of infection for patients.
  • Visitors should not touch lines/drains/tubes, open wounds/sores, or dressings utilized on or by the patient.
  • Visitors should not bring food or beverages to patients without permission from the * Physician or Charge Nurse.
  • Visitors and patients are asked to speak quietly and to avoid unnecessary noise, so as not to disturb other patients.
  • Visiting privileges may be modified at the discretion of the nurse based on patient’s needs.


Outgoing local calls may be made from your bedside phone at any time, without charge to you. Also, pay telephones are located in the ER lobby. Incoming calls from friends and relatives may be made directly to your room between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. So that patients can rest, incoming patient phone service is not available each evening between 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

To place a local call from your room please dial 9 followed by the number. Long distance calls must be either collect or charged to a credit card. Long distance calls cannot be billed to your room.


Patients and visitors are responsible for all personal belongings. Madison County Memorial Hospital is not responsible for replacing lost or misplaced items, so we recommend you bring only essential items to the hospital and offer the following tips to help keep your personal items secure:

  • Clothing: Storage space in patient rooms is limited. A robe and slippers are necessary for patients. Hospital gowns are provided. We suggest that clothing worn to the hospital be sent home with family/friends and that appropriate clothing be brought to the hospital shortly before patient discharge. If you are in the Swing Bed program, it is recommended to bring comfortable day to day clothing and appropriate fitting shoes.
  • Denture Care: Patients are asked if they wear dentures or bridges and, if so, a staff member will provide a denture cup to store them in when not in use. The cup will be labeled with the patients name. Please avoid placing dentures on a meal tray, under a pillow, on the sheets or in any concealed place where they may be lost or accidentally thrown out.
  • Hearing Aids: Hearing aids should be kept in the original case provided upon purchase. If the original case is not available, nursing staff will provide a container labeled with patient name to store the aids in when not in use. Do not leave aids unprotected on the bedside or over-bed table.
  • Eyeglasses: Glasses are best secured in a case with patient name on it when not in use. To prevent loss or damage to eyeglasses during hospitalization, patients are asked not to leave them unprotected on the bedside table, in a robe pocket or on the bed.
  • Wheelchairs, Walkers, Canes: Please put your name on all necessary items that are brought to the hospital including wheelchairs, walkers, and canes.
  • Valuables: Please leave all valuables at home or send them home with a family member or friend upon admission to the hospital; this includes jewelry, watch, cash, and credit cards, wallet, purse, camera, or any other item that would be considered a loss if misplaced. Madison County Memorial Hospital is not responsible should a cell phone, laptop, or iPad be lost during your stay. If family members are not present, valuable items should be given to the nursing staff to be secured in a valuables envelope and locked in the safe. They are not to be kept at the bedside. A receipt will be provided for collection of the items upon discharge.
  • Medications: Bring a current list to the hospital of medications the patient is taking. This includes herbal and over the counter medications as well as prescription medications. If a list is not available, bring in the medication containers for the pharmacist to view. The containers can then be taken home by a family member or friend or stored by the pharmacy, for retrieval prior to discharge. Medications brought in from home are not to be kept in the patient room.
  • Lost Items: While Madison County Memorial Hospital is not responsible for patient and visitors' personal belongings, we certainly try to return lost items to their owners. To file a lost items report, please contact the Risk Management department at (850) 253-1969.


There are times that medicine today has the ability to keep people alive for extended periods of time, even in hopeless situations. For many, this is of great concern and a frequently asked question is, “How can I be sure this does not happen to me?"

If you are at least l8 years of age and of sound mind, there is something you can do to make your wishes known. You can execute an Advance Directive/Living Will. This document can then speak for you if you are unable to do so for yourself, it gives you a way to tell your wishes to those who need to know.

Upon admission you will be given information regarding your healthcare options should you become seriously ill and are not able to speak for yourself. You will be offered the opportunity to complete an Advance Directive/Living Will.

What is an Advance Directive?
It is any written instruction you give relating to the provision of health care in the event you become unable to make your own decisions. Examples of advance directives include: Living Wills; Durable Power of Attorney; and, Designation of a Health Care Surrogate. Using a directive you give specific instructions about your health care in certain situations, or designate a person to act on your behalf in decision making, or a combination of the two.

Is a Living Will the Same Thing as an Advance Directive?
A Living Will is one kind of advance directive; however, at the present time in Florida the standard Living Will only pertains to situations involving a terminal illness. Many conditions and situations may arise which do not involve a terminal illness. For example, in most cases a person who is in a “persistent vegetative state” is not considered terminally ill. The Advance Directive - Living Will is an expanded form addressing terminal illness and other conditions.

What is a Persistent Vegetative State?
The term refers to a condition caused by a brain injury. The victim is unable to respond to his or her surroundings and is not aware of anything, even though the eyes may open periodically. It is similar to a coma in that the person is unresponsive, but it is a permanent condition. A head injury, stroke or other events may result in this condition and a person may be kept alive indefinitely in this condition by artificial means.

Are Advance Directives just for Senior Citizens?
No. A severe illness or serious accident can happen to a person at any age. If you have strong feelings about what choices you would want in such a situation, regardless of your age, you are encouraged to consider an advance directive.

May I Change My Advance Directive?
Yes, you may do so at any time. If you do make changes to any advance directive, be sure to destroy all of the outdated copies and provide copies of the updated version to the appropriate people.

Will My Advance Directive Be Honored in an Emergency?
Usually it is not possible to determine the chance of survival in an emergency situation or to determine the outlook for recovery. After the initial emergency has passed and the prognosis for recovery is known, your advance directive will come into play if you are not able to express your wishes.

Is It Difficult to Stop a Treatment Once it Has Been Started?
No, not if you have an advance directive and your instructions are clear. Particularly in conditions with a sudden onset, it may take days or even weeks before the reasonable degree of certainty. During the time before the outlook is known, it is appropriate to use any treatments which might be beneficial. When the prognosis is established, if your instructions indicate you would not want continued treatment under the circumstances, treatment can be stopped.

What is a Health Care Surrogate?
A health care surrogate is a person you choose to make health care decisions for you if you are not able to do so for yourself. Your surrogate should be someone who knows your wishes and who will make decisions based on what he/she believes you would want, not based on his or her own preferences. You are encouraged to appoint a health care surrogate even if you have made other written expressions of your wishes, since it is difficult to address every situation in a directive.

May I request that I Not Be Given Food and water artificially?
Yes. It is believed your right to make choices includes the ability to choose not to be given food and water artificially, even if withholding this treatment shortens your life.

Are There Any Limitations on Carrying Out Instructions in My Directive if I Am Pregnant?
Yes. Most likely any instructions which would result in withholding or withdrawing life-prolonging treatments would not be honored during the time you are pregnant.

What About My Religious Beliefs?
Some choices you may make in filling out an advance directive may not be in keeping with the teachings of your religion. If this is a concern to you, discuss the matter with your minister, priest, rabbi or other spiritual mentor.

Do I need a Lawyer or a Notary to Complete an Advance Directive?
In most cases, no; the document need only be signed in the presence of two witnesses. One of the witnesses must be someone who is not your spouse, blood relative, heir, or person responsible for paying your medical bills. However, if you have legal effect of these documents or any other aspect of this matter, you should contact your attorney.

After I Complete an Advance Directive, What Do I Do With It?
Give copies to someone who would know if you became seriously ill. You may also want to consider giving a copy to your physician, minister, family members or close friends. Discuss with them the details of your directive and ask that they keep a copy to make available if it is ever needed. Of course you should give a copy to your health care surrogate, if you appoint one.