Patient & Visitor Guide | Appalachian Regional Behavioral Health Hospital
At ARHS, we know that being a patient may not be an easy time, and we work continuously to exceed your expectations during your stay. Each member of the ARHS team wants to make your time with us as pleasant as possible, and he or she does so by adhering to the organization’s core values of Integrity, Compassion and Excellence. This is our commitment to you.
Patients: When You Arrive
Referrals and walk-ins are welcome. Because we are a free standing facility, patients do not have to go to the Emergency Department (ED) first like other facilities. Adults, ages 18-64, with any issue can walk-in to our facility and we will assess them to determine if they need inpatient or outpatient care.
All patients go through an admissions process which includes nursing, history and physical assessments. At the time of admission every patient will get an individual meal, medication and therapy treatment schedule.
On admission all personal belongings brought into the hospital are searched. Valuables, home medications, sharp objects or other items not allowed and will either be sent home with a family member or processed according to hospital policy. A record will be maintained on the disposition of your personal belongings. Additionally, all items brought into the hospital by family or visitors will be searched before being given to patients.
We recommend that patients bring 3 changes of clothing with them at admission. All clothing is required to be clean and free of obscene, offensive or alcohol/drug related words, symbols, slogans, logos, etc. Patients are expected to wear street clothes while outside of their rooms. Clothing is laundered on the unit.
To maintain a safe environment, we restrict hazardous items. Items considered hazardous include but are not limited to:
- Weapons, of any type
- Substances containing alcohol
- Beepers or recording devices
- Cell phones and cameras
- Flammable items including aerosols
- Glass or other sharp objects
Medical & Financial Information
Having your current medical and financial information will result in less stress for you during check-in. Please bring the following:
- insurance card and/or policy
- Medicare or Medicaid card
- driver’s licenses and/or photo ID cards of the patient and the insured
- emergency contact information
- a list of your current medications, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, vitamins and herbals
- physician’s orders, if you have any
- your advance directives (living will, power of attorney, etc.)
Patients & Visitors: During Your Stay
Patients sleep and eat in the Residence Hall area but are rarely in their rooms because of our active treatment plans.
The Treatment Mall is where patients get all of their treatment services. We have three primary group rooms with a different focus for each treatment session based on the customized treatment schedule the patient receives upon Admissions. Each room has 60” smart board. During the treatment sessions, we can take notes on smart board which we can print at the end of each session for our patients to add to their treatment manual which helps set them up for success post discharge.
Healing Environment: We provide a top tier treatment experience for our patients. Our healing environment includes open areas with natural light and mountain views. We partner with our patients to meet them where they are and provide a combination of coping skills and didactic approaches to therapy.
Family support/support systems are a cornerstone in behavioral health treatment during treatment and during the recovery process. Family members are invited and encouraged to attend treatment team meetings. These meetings provide information on the patient’s plan of care and treatment goals. Discharge and aftercare needs will also be discussed during the treatment team meetings.
Visiting hours are 3:00 – 9:00 pm daily. Visitation must be scheduled with the nurse prior to coming to the hospital for a visit. The patient may decline seeing a visitor, and their privacy will be protected at all times. To provide ample opportunity for all patients to have visitors, visitation is limited to 30 minutes for each visit, and is permitted in the dining room only. Visitors are not allowed in patient rooms. Visitors under the age of 12 are not permitted.
NOTE: Special COVID-19 Visitor Restrictions are currently in place. Learn more >
Help & Support
Assistance and support are available to patients 24 hours a day. Patients are provided information regarding treatment and administrative support that is available and accessible. Nursing staff are able to assist with finding the appropriate person to address patient needs.
More Visitor Guidelines
NOTE: Special COVID-19 Visitor Restrictions are currently in place. Learn more >
Visitors will be searched prior to being allowed on the unit. Any visitors suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol will not be allowed on the unit. Visitors may be limited to two per patient depending on the patient population and number of visitors on the unit at any one time.
Visitors may be asked at any time to leave the unit for their safety or the safety of the patients. Visitors may not leave the unit and return during visitation. Former patients will not be allowed to visit the unit for 30 days following discharge.
It is recommended that you do not bring any valuables with. All valuables are either sent home with family members or stored on the Behavioral Health unit. All other belongings are secured in the BHU storage room.
Meals are provided from food services. Patients are provided an opportunity to choose their meals from a menu provided by the kitchen. Fruit is available throughout the day and there is a snack time scheduled each evening. For safety, sanitation, and dietary management purposes, food items and meals cannot be brought onto the unit. Eating and drinking are permitted in the dining room area only.
We have many safety features to keep our patients, staff and visitors safe. The hospital has one point of entrance and one point of exit. Every area is camera monitored, and patients and visitors must have staff escort to the unit. Purses and food are not allowed in the unit, and we provide visitor lockers to keep personal items secure. We offer a ligature resistant environment free of sharp edges or potential catch points. We offer open spaces with reinforced glass between common areas. Our goal is to maximize safety by maximizing visibility.
Telephones are available for your use during free time or in the case of an emergency between the hours of 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm. The telephone number for patients to make and receive calls is (828) 737-7766. As a courtesy to other patients please limit calls to 10 minutes. No incoming phone calls are permitted during scheduled group times.
Medications from Home
All medications brought with you on admission will be inventoried and secured in the unit safe.
For the health, safety and well-being of our patients, visitors and employees, the use of tobacco products is prohibited on all ARHS properties. This includes all the campuses of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, including buildings, grounds, parking areas, walkways and vehicles. Smoking cessation information is available. If you need assistance with nicotine withdrawal symptoms or if you are interested in smoking cessation, please talk with your nurse.
Patients & Caregivers: Leaving the Hospital
We have a dedicated discharge consultation room for patients to have a focused discharged plan. The patient and the person picking up the patient will meet in this room to review discharge plans, medications and to verify personal belongings.
Your relationship with Appalachian Regional Behavioral Health may not end at discharge. Patients may be referred to our outpatient services to continue treatment.
Our Commitment to Care
Our goal is to provide the best patient care. If at any time you have questions or concerns about the quality of care that you or a family member are receiving or have received at one of our facilities, do not hesitate to speak with your nurse or nursing supervisor. If you feel that your issue wasn’t resolved, please ask for the House Supervisor. Appalachian Regional Healthcare System seeks to provide prompt review and timely resolution of concerns from its inpatients and outpatients.
For complaints about quality of care, contact the Risk Management Department at (828) 263-1207.
All ARHS facilities have an Ethics Committee available to give you support and guidance when you are faced with difficult decisions about medical care and treatment issues. These committees do not tell you what you should do, but help affected parties look together at the larger situation and consider all feasible alternatives. Below is a list of how to contact the Ethics Committee at your location:
- Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital: Call Patient Safety Concern Line at ext. 2033 or call 737-7596 to contact care management
- Watauga Medical Center: Call 262-4100 and request pager No. 1400
File a Formal Complaint
You have the right to file a complaint or concern with either or both:
The NC Division of Health Service Regulation Complaint Intake Unit
2711 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699
Office of Quality and Patient Safety The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Blvd.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Website: www.jointcommission.org, then click “Report a Safety Event”
Resolution of Conflicts
Although conflicts often are a part of life, they can add to the stress you feel when you or a loved one is hospitalized. At ARHS, our job is to:
- anticipate potential care-related conflicts and eliminate them
- work with you to resolve conflicts quickly and considerately
While we strive to meet and exceed the expectations of our patients, staff, physicians and visitors, at times we may fall short. An important value at ARHS is receiving, responding to and resolving all complaints in a courteous and timely manner. Your feedback helps us to improve our care and delivery systems.
If you have a complaint, you may contact us online or speak with any facility employee or volunteer, and he or she will initiate the complaint process. If the individual can resolve the problem, he or she has the authority to do so. If not, your concerns are forwarded to the appropriate department manager, and if necessary, to hospital administration.
If you would like to speak to someone about our services, please let us know!