Patient Belongings and Valuables
We, the staff of University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH), care about our patients and their belongings. We recommend that patients bring only items to the hospital that they must have because storage space in patient rooms is small and items are easy to lose. Sometimes items are lost when patients move about in the hospital for tests, treatments, or changes in their condition. Sometimes items are lost when patients stay in one room because the items are put on a tray or covered up by something on the bedside table or bed, then taken out with the tray, garbage, or laundry.
Patients are responsible for everything they bring to the hospital. When patients are children less than18 years old or have legal guardians for other reasons, it is the parents or legal guardians of the patients who are responsible for the patients’ belongings. Sometimes a primary support person is responsible for a patient’s belongings. Parents, guardians, primary support persons, and visitors are also responsible for their own belongings. So, please bring only items really needed in the hospital.
We, the staff of UWHC and AFCH, will help you keep your patient items safe. Please read below. Your nurse (the nurse caring for you or your loved one) can do a lot to help you.
Your nurse will make a list of your patient belongings in the medical record. Please tell your nurse when:
- You send your items home.
- Visitors bring more items.
- You would like your items put in a safe at the hospital.
- We have hospital gowns and non-skid socks for patients to wear during their stay.
- We suggest you send your patient clothes home with family or friends.
- Please ask family or friends to bring comfortable clothes to wear when it is time to leave.
- Valuables include money, credit cards, jewelry, wallets, purses, cameras, cell phones, laptop computers, and other items that are worth a lot of money or special.
- If you have patient valuables in the hospital, your nurse will make a list of the items and put them in an envelope.
- The envelope will be kept in the cashier’s office in a safe if the items can’t be sent home with a family member or friend.
- Your nurse will help claim your valuables when you are getting ready to leave.
- The valuables you keep at the bedside (such as a purse or laptop) will be your responsibility.
Every day Items like Dentures, Hearing aids, Eyeglasses, and Retainers
- We will help you keep track of your patient belongings that you need every day like dentures, hearing aids, eyeglasses, and retainers by giving you a clear case for them.
- This case will have your patient’s name on it and should be kept by the bed.
- Please keep dentures, hearing aids, glasses, and retainers in this case when not in use so they’re protected and harder to lose.
- Please don’t put dentures or retainers on a tray, under a pillow, on the sheets, or any place where they can’t be seen.
- Please don’t leave hearing aids on the bedside or over-bed table.
- Please don’t put eyeglasses on the bedside or over-bed table, bed, or in a robe pocket.
Wheelchairs, Walkers, Canes, and CPAP/BiPAP Machines
- Please make sure your patient name is on these items.
- If you need labels, please ask your nurse for some.
Medicines, Vitamins, and Supplements
- Bring a list of all the medicines, vitamins, and supplements taken by the patient.
- This list should include all of herbal, over-the-counter, and prescription medicines.
- If there isn’t a list, please bring the containers for your pharmacist to see.
- After your pharmacists looks at them, the containers can go home with a family member or be stored in the pharmacy until you are ready to leave.
- Medicines, vitamins, and supplements from home may not be stored by your patient bed.
Cell Phones, Chargers, iPads, iPods, Lap Top Computers, and Other Electronics
- If you plan to bring any of these items, please label them.
- We are not responsible for these items, if you keep them at the bedside.
- For patients in American Family Children’s Hospital, we suggest using the locked cabinet in the patient room to secure these items.
- If you would like, your nurse can send your patient electronic items to the cashier’s office for storage in a safe during your stay.
- Parents of patients who are children less than 18 years old, legal guardians of patients, and some primary support persons of patients are responsible for the lost items of patients for whom they care. These people along with adult patients with sound mental status and visitors are also responsible for their own lost items.
- UWHC doesn’t replace lost, misplaced, stolen, or damaged items.
- We do try to return lost items to their owners.
- To file a lost items report, please call the Patient Relations Department at (608) 263-8009.
We hope these tips will help keep your items safe during your stay.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 05/07/2013
Copyright © 05/07/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7495
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