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Hospital Guide

Welcome to Sarasota Memorial Health Care System!

Our mission is to provide health care services that excel in caring, quality and innovation.

Please do not hesitate to let us know your needs. If your caregiver or another employee has given you excellent service and you would like to tell us about it, please ask to fill out a "Stargram," which we use to recognize outstanding staff. After you are discharged, you will receive a survey asking your opinion about your hospital stay. Please help us to provide excellent health care services by returning your survey in the postage paid envelope.


Free valet parking services are available for patients and visitors at the hospital's main entrance and Arlington Street entrance.

The Main Entrance valet is available from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday - Friday and 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The Waldemere Medical Plaza entrance valet is available from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday - Friday for a $3 fee. Valet parking service is not available on weekends.

Patients and visitors may self-park in any of our garages for free. 

Greeters are available at entrances to help direct you when valet services are closed.

Security for Your Belongings

There is much activity in the hospital and many people are involved in your care during your stay. You may be transferred from your room or you may leave your room for a procedure. It is best to keep personal items and valuables to a minimum while you are in the hospital.

The hospital will not be responsible for patients’ personal items or valuables. If you bring valuables such as jewelry, credit cards or cash exceeding $5, we recommend sending them home with a family member. If this isn’t possible, a safe is available in the Cashier’s Office. Ask your caregiver for assistance. Personal items kept at the bedside, including but not limited to dentures, eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids and other devices such as canes and walkers are the responsibility of the patient. Be sure personal items are labeled with your name. Take care to place them where they cannot be easily misplaced or discarded. The hospital can provide you with a container for smaller items.


If medicine is required during your stay, your doctor will prescribe it for you. If you brought your own medicine, please share this information with your health care team. We recommend you send it home or have your caregiver store it for safekeeping. Any problems with this policy should be discussed with your physician.

To help you to provide and maintain an ongoing current list of medications, see My Medication List.

Room Accommodations & Beds


It is our policy to admit patients, assign accommodations and provide treatment without regard to race, color, national origin, age, gender, disability or religious creed. The hospital makes every effort to provide you with the accommodation you and your physician requested. However, if the hospital were unable to fill your request at the time of admission, or if you would like to transfer to another room during your stay, please tell your health care team member. Arrangements will be made to honor your request, as your preferred accommodations become available.

Patient room assignments are based on the needs of the patient and availability.  Most of our rooms are private.

Patient Beds

You have an easily adjustable electric bed. Push-buttons on the side rails regulate bed height and raise and lower your head and knee areas. You may call your health care team member by pushing the button on your side rails or by pulling the health care call cord in your bathroom or shower. Other buttons on the side rails control lighting over your bed. Your health care team member will be happy to demonstrate their use. Call buttons for special needs are available.

Internet Access

Free wireless internet access is available in all patient rooms for your convenience.


Telephones are available in most rooms and are conveniently located in the side rail of your bed. Local calls are free. For an outside line dial "9" and the number. 

To place long distance calls dial "9" and "00." Long-distance calls can be made by calling collect, using a credit card, or by having the charges billed to your home.

Each patient has a phone number that can be dialed directly from an outside phone. Your phone number is listed on your white board. If not, ask your health care team member for your number.

You may prevent calls from coming to your phone by entering * (star key) and "6." This feature blocks calls to your extension. When the call block feature is activated, you'll hear a message on your phone, '"private, private, private." This is just a reminder that you have blocked calls coming to your extension. You can still call out with this feature activated. To cancel this feature, enter # (pound key) and "6," and your calls will come through.

TDD amplified handsets are also available. Ask your health care team member for assistance. A phone for the deaf can also be installed by request. Arrangements can be made for a language line to assist our patients who do not speak English. Interpreters for almost any language can also be made available.


Sarasota Memorial Health Care System (SMHCS) is a tobacco-free environment. SMHCS acknowledges its responsibility to provide a safe environment promoting wellness and quality health care for all persons, including but not limited to patients, employees, physicians, volunteers, contract workers, students and visitors. Use of tobacco products are strictly prohibited in the hospital and on the hospital campus including parking garages and outlying hospital-owned buildings and properties.

Health Insurances Accepted UPDATE

Commercial Health Insurance Plans Accepted at SMH and Frequently Asked Questions

The list of providers gives general information only and is subject to change at any time. Information is updated regularly, however, please refer to your provider directory to ensure that Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a participating provider accepted by your insurance plan or contact your insurance company member services.

Traditional Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage Plans and how they affect your coverage.


Pre-registration for medical services will assist us in preparing for your upcoming hospital visit. Pre-registration is not required, but doing so will expedite your check-in by reducing questions during the registration process.

You can access our pre-registration information form, frequently asked questions and contact information online here: Patient pre-registration.

Co-payment, Co-insurance, Deductibles

It is the policy of Sarasota Memorial to collect any co-pays, co-insurance, deductibles, or standard deposits from the patient (or responsible party) at the time services are delivered. In the absence of a valid, current insurance identification card (or policy booklet) that states otherwise, the patient (or responsible party) will be expected to pay minimum deposit amounts based on their expected level of services. If the patient provides documentation from their insurance company stating that their benefits allow for a reduced deposit amount as his/her responsibility, that amount will be collected in lieu of the standard deposit shown.

Maternity Package Plan Agreement (non-insured patients pre-registration)

The Maternity Package Plan Agreement is a program offered by Sarasota Memorial Hospital, which provides families with an economical package of maternity services. The plan offers packages designed to meet most medical needs, including normal vaginal delivery and scheduled Cesarean births. This program is only available to families without maternity insurance coverage. Fees include all indicated hospital charges for uncomplicated deliveries but do not include physician fees or intensive care services for mother or baby.

Maternity Plan Agreement (pdf)

Patient Information & Confidentiality

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) went into effect April 14, 2003. The privacy component of HIPAA puts you in charge of who sees your health information. Learn more about your rights, as well as certain responsibilities that Sarasota Memorial has regarding your medical information and our patient privacy notice:

Notice Of Privacy Practices (pdf)
Spanish version:
Adviso de Pra`cticas sobre la Privacidad (pdf)

Patient Safety

We are committed to providing a safe environment for our patients. Patients and their families may help by informing physicians and caregivers of:

  • Any food or drug allergies, and if you are taking or have been taking any medications, including over-the-counter and herbal products.
  • Any changes in your condition and how you are responding to medications and treatments. If you have questions about your care, medications or treatments, please ask your caregiver. In addition, many factors, including your physical condition, medications and procedures, may make you feel weak or dizzy. It is important to know what activities your physician feels you are able to perform, and it is best initially not to try to do things such as get out of bed without first checking with a caregiver.
  • If your doctor says you may get out of bed, please use the bed controls to lower the bed to the lowest position and use the call system for assistance.
  • Use the call system in the bathroom if you become weak or need help getting back to bed.
  • Wear non-skid footwear. Ask your caregiver if you don't have any.
  • Have objects you use, such as bedside table, phone, call light, walker or cane placed within easy reach.
  • Hospitals are required to conduct routine fire and disaster drills. You may experience alarms or door closures during a drill. If a real emergency occurs, staff will assist you.

Patient Centered - Patient Safe

Health care today is very complex. Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is making patient safety a top priority. You are the most important member of your health care team and Sarasota Memorial welcomes and urges you and your family to play a vital role in your care. This brochure, Patient Centered - Patient Safe lets you know how you can make a difference by being informed and actively involved.

Patient Bill of Rights

Florida law requires that your health care provider or health care facility recognize your rights while you are receiving medical care and that you respect the health care provider's or health care facility's right to expect certain behavior on the part of patients.

» The Patient Bill Of Rights Summary.

Patient Food Services

Patient meal service is a top priority. We believe proper nutrition is essential to your recuperation and ability to return home more quickly. Upon admission, you will be placed on a diet as prescribed by your physician. If a special diet is ordered, it may be different than what you are accustomed to at home. If you would like a diet explanation, a Registered Dietitian is available. Please notify your meal server or call Food and Nutrition Services at ext.1084 to request to see a dietitian.

Our Service features:

Daily chef specials are offered to patients via a scripted menu at the bedside by our Nutrition Attendants and alternate meal selections are available. Patient's food preferences and cultural food requests are taken to ensure we provide food that meets the patients need's. A gourmet menu is available for an additional charge.

Breakfast: 7:15 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Lunch: 11:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Dinner: 4:15 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

If at any time during your stay we do not meet your expectations, please contact Food & Nutrition at ext. 1084 so we may address your concerns.

Patient Financial Services

Patient Financial Services of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is dedicated to serving our patients by providing financial counseling and assisting patients in seeking financial aid from various agencies. In addition, we insure that each patient is fully aware and understands his or her financial responsibility.

Patient Financial Services has a primary obligation in providing patients as well as third party carriers with timely and accurate billings, while assuring that high professional standards are adhered to in all cases.

For information or assistance, call 941-917-1540

For a Price Quote on an upcoming procedure or service, please call 941-917-1447

For more information see Requesting Your Billing Record or call 941-917-1103

Concierge Services

Sarasota Memorial offers Concierge Services to ensure our patients receive the ultimate level of customer service. Our friendly and professional staff is dedicated to exceeding patient expectations. Located on the second floor of the Heart and Vascular Services building (across the street from the hospital), the program offers a dedicated concierge and an enhanced communication process, providing patients and families a personalized and seamless approach throughout their experience.

Click here to learn more

Advance Directives and Living Wills

As a competent adult, an advance directive is a way for you to make your health care preferences known to those who need to know in the event you are unable to speak for yourself. Each time a patient is admitted, hospitals are required to ask patients about their advance directives.

If you already have formal advance directive documents regarding your health care decisions, such as a living will or designation of a health care surrogate, it is important to bring a copy of the documents each time you are admitted. This will ensure that your medical record contains the most current and accurate information. We will be glad to make extra copies for you. These health care decisions should be clearly communicated by you to your physicians and others involved in your health care, including hospital staff and family members or personal friends.

We also can address your concerns for pain management, including the possibility of palliative care, which is especially suited to assist in the care of individuals with incurable, progressive illnesses, and includes the management of a patient’s physical, psychosocial, social and spiritual needs.

Decisions about accepting or refusing treatment, including life-prolonging or sustaining procedures, should be made after careful consideration. We can assist by providing you with written information, a Living Will document or meeting with you to address your concerns. Sarasota Memorial's full Making Personal Choices brochure and Making Personal Choices summary flyer, may help you determine what is right for you.

View a video: The Gift That Counts: Advance Directives, Surrogate Designation and End of Life Decisions


At time of discharge, your nurse will review your discharge instructions with you. Discharge instructions are as individualized as you are. This is the information that you will need to have in order to care for yourself at home. Depending upon your diagnosis, various printed information sheets and/or booklets available specific to your needs, medications and/or diet to assist you in restoring and maintaining your health. You will receive information about your medications including any prescription(s) your physician may have written. You will also receive information about when you should follow up with your physician after you are discharged home. If your doctor has ordered home health or any equipment the name of the company and their contact number will be provided to you as well.

Directions to pick up patients who have been discharged from the hospital

Integrated Case Management

Your physician will plan your care throughout your hospital stay and identify any care needs you may have after you leave the hospital. The Integrated Case Management Department is available to assist you in planning for your needs after you leave the hospital. There are health care team members to help you arrange for a variety of services from home health care, skilled nursing or extended care placement to medical equipment.

This department can also assist you in evaluating insurance issues or payment concerns and coordinate with specialists in Patient Financial Services. A case manager may contact you, but if you need some assistance and have not met with a Case Manager, please ask a member of your health care team to call for you. You may also call the department at 941-917-1540. After hours, please leave a message and you will be contacted the next day.

Spiritual Care

The Spiritual Care Department offers a wealth of services to patients and families seeking emotional/spiritual support. An on-call chaplain is available, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To reach a chaplain call 941-917-1304, Monday through Friday for non-urgent requests.  A chaplain can be paged at 941-917-4444, x1717 for urgent requests, or to connect with a chaplain after hours (evenings and weekends).  Ask your health care team member or the hospital operator for assistance. We can also contact your own clergy or someone from your faith community upon your request.

Other services include bereavement care, crisis intervention, referrals, communion, counseling, prayer, death and dying support and distribution of Bibles and devotional literature.

Community Support

There are occasions that patients are very impressed with the quality of care and services they receive from Sarasota Memorial Hospital and would like to know how they can become involved and give something back.

Many choose to volunteer on our 1,000+ member Auxiliary Team. The importance of volunteer involvement at Sarasota Memorial cannot be overstated! For information on volunteering for the Auxiliary, please call 941-917-1010. Volunteering at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

Others choose to give to the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation, which is the fundraising organization that supports the hospital through philanthropy. Due to the generosity of our Healthcare Foundation donors, state-of-the-art equipment and educational programs are used to deliver top-quality health care. To speak with the Healthcare Foundation, please call 941-917-1286.

Postage Stamps

For your convenience, books of postage stamps can be purchased in the Gift Shop, located on the first floor of the hospital, near the B elevators.

Notary Service

Notary services are available through

Visiting Hours

General Hospital Visiting Hours are from 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m. daily. The hours will be maintained with exceptions made at direct caregiver's discretion or physician's orders.

Visiting Hours-Specialized Areas

Pediatric and Adolescent Unit:
Parents and grandparents may visit anytime; others may visit from 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m. Some visiting restrictions may apply.

Bayside Center for Behavioral Health, Bayside Adolescent:
Monday - Sunday from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
also Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays (if the holiday falls on a weekend) from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Please check with a member of your health care team regarding visiting hours for:

- Obstetrics
- Neonatal Intensive Care
- Intensive Care including Cardiac Intensive Care

Gift Shop Services

Sarasota Memorial’s Gift Shop offers a wide selection of gifts for every occasion and individual and in every price range. The shop accepts orders by phone and provides free in-hospital delivery.

Major Credit Cards accepted (Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express)

Call the Gift Shop at (941) 917-1011.  The toll-free number is 1-800-764-8255 (1-800-SMH-TALK); ask for the Gift Shop.
( All proceeds benefit hospital programs.)

Hours Of Operation:
Monday through Friday: 8:30 am – 6:00 pm, Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sunday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Hours may vary during summer season and holidays. The Gift Shop is located on the first floor of the Waldemere Tower, near the B elevators.

Visitor Food Services

Windows Café
Located on the fourth floor of the hospital, near the B elevators, Windows is a self-service style café offering a variety of entrees and sides, full salad bar and a featured made to order Chef Station.  Also available, Grab and Go items for those in a hurry, along with various snacks, desserts and a large selection of beverages.  We feature a Fuel Up for Wellness program which showcases Premium healthy selections and also educates on less desirable choices.  Monday we offer “Meatless Selections,” Wednesday is our popular “RD Choice” and Friday rounds out the work week with “Fryer-less Friday” options.  Eating healthy never tasted so good!  
Open 7 days a week from 6 a.m. to  2 p.m.

1700 South Café
Want to relax without having to leave the hospital campus?  1700 South Café is the perfect escape to a warm, friendly atmosphere with inviting music, delicious food selections and a full line of Starbucks Coffee!  Join us for homemade pastries, Grab and Go selections and homemade salads and sandwiches.  The café is  located on the first floor of the hospital, near the D elevators, with easy access to the tables and chairs in the open air courtyard.  
Open Monday - Friday,  7 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday and Sunday,  2 p.m. to  2 a.m.

Courtyard  Café
Located in the first floor Courtyard Tower lobby, just inside the hospital’s main entrance and adjacent to the open air courtyard, the café features Starbucks Coffee, including specialty hot and cold selections, fresh baked pastries and a variety of sandwiches and snacks perfect for any taste.  In addition, we feature Dilmah tea, a specialty product from Sri Lanka.  The Dilmah tea line sets itself apart by giving back to charity one cup at a time while providing a noticeable upscale cup of tea!
Open Monday – Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

VISA/Master Card/Discover and American Express accepted at Windows Cafeteria, 1700 South Café and Courtyard Café.

Vending Machines
Vending machines are located on the first floor: near the D and G elevators and Courtyard Tower.

Hotel & Motel Accommodations

For your convenience, Sarasota Memorial provides a list of Hotel/Motel accommodations that are near to the main hospital campus.

Area Transportation Available

Bus Service:

SCAT (Sarasota County Area Transit)
Bus service is available Monday - Saturday, except on legal Holidays. All are Handicap accessible with lift ramp available. There are two bus routes that pick up/drop off at Sarasota Memorial Hospital throughout the day until dark.

SCAT fixed bus route fares and passes and SCAT Plus fares:

  • Basic Fixed Route Fare $.75
  • Senior Citizen, Disabled Fixed Route Fare $.35
  • Medicaid Monthly Bus Pass $2
  • Monthly Unlimited Use Passports $40
  • Unlimited Day Pass $3
  • Transportation Disadvantaged, TD Bus Fare $1.50
  • Americans With Disabilities, ADA Bus Fare $1.50

SCAT Plus: for disabled needing door-to-door transportation. Requires completing an application to qualify for this service. Must call 24 hours prior to needing this service. Nominal fees may apply.

Call SCAT for more information: 941- 316-1234

Local Taxi Service:
Emerald Green Taxi: 941-922-6666
Yellow Cab: 941-955-3341

Limousine Service:
Courtesy Executive Sedans: 941-954-1970 or toll free 800-700-1970
Diplomat Taxi & Limousine Service: 941-355-5155 or toll free 877-859-8933
Luxury Limousine: 941-926-4873 or toll free 877-683-5466

After Your Hospital Stay

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System offers a full range of post-hospital services, including our award-winning home care services, the area’s most comprehensive rehab services and a “5-Star” nursing and rehabilitation center.

Home Care
Voted “Reader’s Choice” for home health care provider by the Sarasota Herald Tribune four years in a row, Sarasota Memorial Home Care offers specialized disease management and post-surgery programs to speed your recovery and help manage serious or chronic medical conditions at home. Our specially trained home health nurses and therapists are equipped with laptop computers, which allows them to access their patients' history and manage their medical care during each home care visit, speeding recovery and promoting the very best possible outcomes. In addition to meeting the highest standards of care for state and federal licensure and certification, Sarasota Memorial’s Home Care program also is accredited by the Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP), awarded sparingly to organizations that demonstrate superior clinical outcomes and management practices. We accept Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance plans. Private duty nursing services, and LIFELINE – a personal in-home medical response system that quickly links people who live alone with emergency help – also are available. For information about our Home Care program, please ask your nurse or call 917-7730.

Comprehensive Hospital-Based & Outpatient Rehabilitation
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System provides the region’s widest range of specialized rehab services, including the only hospital-based rehab unit in Sarasota County. Our 34-bed Comprehensive Rehabilitation Unit – the only CARF-accredited rehab facility in the county – provides medically supervised around-the- clock care to patients recovering from strokes, neurological disease and other disabling disorders of the muscles, bones and joints. We also provide customized therapy to people on an outpatient basis in several convenient locations throughout the county. Working with patients, their families and physicians, our specialized team addresses a wide range of needs, including physical, occupational and speech therapy; specialized outpatient neurological rehab; and massage therapy. We also have a Better Balance Program; Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Program; Hand Rehabilitation Program; Pain Management Program; Driver’s Assessment & Training Program; and Ergonomics Program with injury prevention, treatment and education components for employers and groups of employees. For information about our Rehabilitation Services, please ask your nurse or call 917-1385.

Sarasota Memorial Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
Nestled among orange groves in a serene and peaceful setting near I-75 and Clark Road, Sarasota Memorial Nursing and Rehabilitation Center offers long- or short-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing care with the comforts of home to meet your individual needs. Whether you are admitted for a short stay or as a new home, the center's specialized rehabilitation staff will customize a program to meet your personal goals. Our center is among a select group in our district awarded the highest “5 Star” quality rating from the state Agency for Health Care Administration. With experienced, long-term caregivers, special safety programs to prevent falls and (skin) pressure areas and high customer satisfaction, Sarasota Memorial Nursing & Rehabilitation Center offers the region’s best choice in skilled nursing and rehab care. For a tour or more information, please ask to speak to our nurse liaison at 917-6197 or call the center at 917-4950.

Medical Records

A patient, or his/her legal representative may inspect and/or obtain a copy, or have copies of medical records sent to another facility. Sarasota Memorial Health Care System requires a completed and signed written request and authorization for release of health information form before releasing any documents to anyone, including the patient.

For more information see Requesting Your Medical Records or call 941-917-1103.

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