Frequently Asked Questions

From Patients and Families

Frequently Asked Questions from
Patients and Families

How long do most patients stay here?

Lengths of stay are individually determined. In general, the average length of stay is usually between five to seven days.

Who Is the Treatment Team?

The multidisciplinary treatment team may consist of psychiatrists, clinical nurse specialists, registered nurses, psychologists, psychiatric social workers, activities therapists, case managers and mental health workers. These professionals, in collaboration with the patients, develop treatment plans focused on each person’s individual needs. You will meet with your therapist approximately three times a week for individual and family therapy.

Will I be put on medications?

It is possible that you will benefit from taking medication during and after your stay at Four Winds. The prescriber recommending medication for you will discuss the possible benefits, side effects and any other questions that you may have regarding your medication(s). A patient education/information flyer is available for all medications prescribed at Four Winds. You or a parent/guardian (for minors) will be required to give consent prior to receiving any medications.

What items should I bring with me and what should be left at home, for my stay at Four Winds Saratoga?

If you are scheduled for an inpatient stay, or if you are a family member inquiring about items that can or can not be brought onto the unit,  here is a list of items that you can and can not bring.

What is my family’s role in my treatment?

Four Winds Saratoga strives to involve the entire family in the patient’s treatment whenever possible. Family participation is an integral component to our multi-modal treatment approach.

When Can My Family Visit?

Visiting hours vary on each individual unit. You will receive a schedule of unit visiting hours upon admission. Alternate visiting arrangements can be made with the therapist or nurse manager.

Please note: All visitors must have a visitor badge to be permitted access to an inpatient unit.  Visitors need to stop in the Woodlawn building to obtain a visitor’s pass from the operator/receptionist.  A form of personal identification (driver’s license, photo ID; credit card etc.) will need to be provided to obtain a visitor badge. The badge needs to be worn at all times while on hospital grounds, and it is required to enter inpatient buildings. Visitors are required to sign in and out of the unit on the visitor logbook, which is located at the nursing station. Prior to visiting, please review the complete list of Visitor Guidelines.

Are there telephones for patient use?

There are telephones provided on each unit for patient use. Telephone times vary on each unit. Please refer to the unit guidelines for more information.

Where can I secure my money/valuables while I am here?

Patients are requested not to bring valuable jewelry or large amounts of money to the hospital. It is suggested that no more than $10.00 be kept on the unit. Larger sums of money will be secured by a safety officer and stored in the hospital safe. You will receive a receipt of what you have stored.

Can I receive or send mail?

Patients may send mail but must provide their own postage. Patients can also receive mail. Mail can be addressed to you in this way:

Your Name
C/O Four Winds Saratoga
Name of the unit that you are on.
30 Crescent Avenue
Saratoga Springs, New York 12866

Where do I eat my meals?

All patients are expected to eat their meals in the dining hall unless otherwise specified in the treatment plan.

Will anyone find out that I am here?

Each patient has the right, within the law, to personal privacy and privacy of information. Patient information is discreetly shared within the treatment team. Written consent is required prior to having information shared with other individuals, including insurance companies, schools and outside therapists. To ensure this comfort for everyone, and to enhance the healing process, we ask that you, your family members, friends and visitors hold the same level of confidentiality as is required by our staff. We ask patients, family, friends and visitors not to disclose information, stories or names to anyone outside of the hospital.

How is my healthcare information protected?

When it comes to your health information, you have certain rights.  For certain types of disclosures of information in your medical record at a psychiatric hospital, New York State Law may be more stringent than federal laws.  This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.  Please review this document carefully.

Will I go to school?/What is the Learning Center?

The school, located on the hospital grounds, is staffed by certified, master’s level and /or special education teachers. Each child and adolescent participating in an inpatient treatment program is tutored daily. In order to ensure an educational continuum, and with written permission, teachers at Four Winds maintain contact with each students’ home-school, including their teachers, guidance counselors and school administrators.

Are Pastoral Services Available?

Four Winds Saratoga Pastoral Care Department is available for patients who wish to address religious or spiritual concerns. Catholic, Jewish and Protestant Chaplains are on call and can be reached through the staff on the units. The chaplains are also available to meet with the patients’ family members. Patients are also entitled to see other spiritual advisors of their choice, such as a parish priest or minister. Visits may be scheduled through the unit staff. Patients, through the unit staff, may contact Rabbi Jonathan Rubenstein, Director of Pastoral Care, for information.

What If I Have a Complaint?

A complaint can be made in any form - verbal, phone, or written to any staff person who is obligated to report it to our Quality Improvement department. The Four Winds Saratoga Complaint Form is available hospital-wide for the documentation of complaints.

Information for Family Members

How do you maintain confidentiality?

Four Winds has a strict policy regarding confidentiality among staff and patients. Patients, family, friends and staff must not reveal information, stories or names of any patient to anyone outside of the hospital (without permission). It is important that patients and their families feel comfortable being here and disclosing information during treatment. To insure this comfort we ask that all patients and their family members hold the same level of confidentiality. To maintain confidentiality, no cameras, tape/voice recorders, video cameras or cell phones with recording devices may be brought to the hospital by patients. Neither patients nor visitors may take pictures on the grounds.

How do I obtain information about my family member in the hospital?

All of the people treated here have the right to decide who can or cannot receive information about their condition. This decision can mean we do not have permission to talk to you even if you are a spouse, a parent or child of our patient. We believe it is important to have a family member involved in treatment. We strongly encourage patients to discuss this with family members so all involved with the patient’s treatment are aware of any concerns with family involvement. Early in treatment each patient will be assigned a therapist, nurse and psychiatrist. If we have permission, any of those individuals will be able to discuss your family member’s treatment. If you are calling on the phone, we may ask you questions to ensure that you, the caller, are a family member. If you have additional concerns or questions about this, please ask the therapist, nurse manager or the program director.


Medical Record Requests:

If you are a current or former patient, or the legal guardian of a former patient, and you would like photo copies of a Patient Medical Record, please print and complete this “Authorization for Release of Information” form.

On the form, please provide as much detail as you can regarding your request for records or request to disclose records to another entity. Please be sure the form is dated and that an individual, over the age of 18, witnesses your signature.

Use the contact information on the form to fax or mail the request to our Health Information Management Department. Please allow 7-10 business days for us to process your request.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Health Information Management Department at 518-584-3600.



Four Winds Saratoga

30 Crescent Avenue
Saratoga Springs, NY  12866

Phone: 518-584-3600
Toll-Free: 1-800-888-5448