Frequently Asked Questions

At Kern Medical Center, our first priority is our patients and their friends and family. We are looking forward to serving you. We understand patients may have some questions and concerns when entering the hospital. Below are some useful information that may be needed prior to your visit to Kern Medical Center. If the following topics do not cover the information needed, feel free to Contact us at 661-326-2000.

Accreditation

Kern Medical Center is an accredited organization by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). You may direct questions or concerns regarding the quality of care, safety of care, or the hospital environment to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations by Mail, Fax or Email.

Contanct Information:

Division of Accreditation Operations
Office of Quality Monitoring
Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Fax – 630-792-5636
Email – complaint@jcaho.org

Admission

When you enter the hospital, the patient will go through the admissions process. During this process, the patient will be asked to sign an authorization form for medical and/or surgical treatment. Parents or legal guardians must sign for minors.

Patients and Personal Belongings

Patients are asked not to bring items of value to the hospital. This would include, but is not limited to, the following items: wallets, pictures, rings or jewelry, money, or anything valued by the patient. Glasses, contacts, or watches should be left in the care of a family member, to be brought to the patient after any procedures are performed. Personal clothing worn into the hospital will be placed in a “patient belongings” bag and tagged with the patient’s name and room number. Patients are asked to bring any medications that are currently prescribed so that schedules may not be interrupted.

Medications

All medications taken by the patient while hospitalized are prescribed by their doctor, dispensed by the hospital pharmacy, and administered by a nurse. Patients are not permitted to administer their own drugs or keep personal medications at their bedside. For helpful and accurate information about medications you are taking, please go to www.safemedication.com.

KMC supports efforts to keep our environment free from potentially hazardous chemicals that might contaminate our drinking water. One very important way this can be accomplished is to dispose of unwanted prescription medications at designated pharmacies rather than flush down the sewer or place in the landfills. To find a local pharmacy that will take unwanted prescription medications for disposal, please contact www.disposemymeds.org.

Smoking

Smoking is only allowed in designated smoking areas on the hospital campus. These smoking areas are located by the main hospital entrance, the north surgical clinic entrance, the west entrance and a portion of the courtyard located outside of the cafeteria.

Telephones

For your personal convenience, each patient room is equipped with a telephone. Patients may receive calls in their rooms 24 hours a day. Local calls may be made at any time from the room by dialing 9, waiting for a dial tone, and then dialing the number you want to call.

Long distance calls cannot be charged to your room.

Pastoral Care/Chaplain

If the patient requires pastoral care, they may contact the Nurse Staffing Office at (661) 326-2685 and request to see a list of available pastors or chaplains.

Door Locking/Parking Area Patrol

All exterior exits are locked each evening at 8 p.m. and unlocked each morning at 6 a.m. Between the hours of 8:00 pm and 6:00 am, visitors may enter the hospital through the Emergency Department. A routine patrol will be made of the parking lots to attempt to prevent theft or vandalism and to detect vehicles that are improperly parked.

Firearms

Firearms are not allowed in the hospital unless a law enforcement officer is guarding a prisoner or performing other official duties.

Fire Drills

For your protection, the hospital regularly conducts fire and disaster drills. If a drill occurs while you are here, please remain in your room and do not become alarmed. The hospital is a fire-resistant building, and the staff is trained in fire protection.

Identification

All Kern Medical Center employees are easily identifiable by white and blue identification badges worn on the upper part of the body. All hospital volunteers are easily identifiable by their blue smocks and their identification badges.

Money Changers

Money changers are located in the vending machine areas.

Newspapers

Copies of the local newspaper and other national publications may be purchased from boxes located at the Flower Street entrance to the hospital.

Condition Reports/Confidentiality

Any personal information about your diagnosis and treatment must come from your physician, and this information is available only to members of your immediate family whom you designate to receive it. Family members who call and request condition reports over the telephone will be transferred to your room or to the nurses’ station on your floor.

Questions from the news media are coordinated through the Public Relations Department or Administration. When these departments are unavailable, the Hospital Shift Manager on duty will be the designated spokesperson. All information given to the news media will be given in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the procedure for working with the news media, based on state and federal laws presented in the California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems' (CAHHS) "Consent Manual", and the CAHHS "Guide to Public and Private Release of Public Information" and in accordance with Kern Medical Center Administrative Policy #ADM-RI-203 entitled "Media Policy."

Gift Shop

The Auxiliary Gift Shop is staffed by volunteers and is located off the East Lobby on the first floor of the hospital. The Gift Shop hours are Monday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., Friday 10:00 am until 8:00 pm, and 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday. A wide variety of gift items are available including fresh flowers. Postage stamps are also available for purchase. Call extension 62542.

Mail & Flowers

Volunteers deliver letters and packages for patients as needed. Letters and parcels that arrive after you have been discharged are forwarded to your home. Stamps and stationery may be purchased in the Auxiliary Gift Shop. Volunteers also deliver flowers to patient rooms.

Gifts for Patients

Visitors should check with the nurse before bringing gifts of food or drink to patients. Please check with the nurse to make sure your gift is appropriate. On the intensive care units, please check with the unit staff regarding any gifts for patients.