Delivery Policy:
Online Bill Pay payments will be processed within three business days of receipt.

Refund Policy:
All transactions processed on the Samaritan Health online bill payment system will be considered for a refund based on our Refund Policy i.e. Any overpayment or credit will first be applied to any open account balances for the patient &/or guarantor. In the event a refund is due, either the online bill payment transaction will be voided or if necessary, a refund check will be generated. Please allow 21 business days for a refund check to be processed.

At any point, you may need to access your health information. It is important to Samaritan Medical Center to make this process as seamless as possible. Because of the volume of records we maintain, Samaritan contracts with a copy service company, HEALTHPORT, to handle requests for records. HEALTHPORT charges a flat fee of 75 cents per page and requests can take up to 10 business days. HEALTHPORT will contact you for a fee approval. Please call Samaritan at the number below to request your records, or visit us during normal business hours.

If you are coming in to Samaritan personally to pick up records, please be sure to bring a photo ID. We cannot give your records to anyone but you without your written authorization. A Health Care Proxy only allows the proxy to request records in the event that the patient is incapacitated and cannot give written permission.

Our Location:

Samaritan Medical Center
2nd floor – Medical Records/Health Information Management
Use Pratt Elevator (C)
830 Washington St.
Watertown, NY 13601
p. 315-785-4198
f. 315-785-4645

Our Hours:

Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Release of Medical Information

In order for anyone besides yourself to have access to your medical information, you must sign a form allowing this. These forms are available for download and completion here.

Download the General Medical Release Form
Download the Mental Health Medical Release Form

Forms must be signed by the patient and faxed or mailed to Medical Records.

Connecting with Samaritan has never been easier! provides you with a secure method to manage your healthcare records online. You may be able to view your personal health summary, request prescription renewals, request appointments, change demographic information and communicate with your doctor – easily, safely and according to your schedule. With your secure password, you can log into the online portal anytime, anywhere using a computer or smartphone with an Internet connection.  

Information for patients

"Hospital food" isn't what it used to be. The Samaritan Medical Center Cafeteria staff takes pride in the quality and selection of meal options and refreshments available. Whether you're looking for a warm cup of coffee or a complete meal, you can find it in the SMC Café. The bright and relaxing atmosphere also provides a place to relax or share a conversation with a friend or loved one, or to catch up on the news for the day..
Hot meals are served during meal times, and snacks and refreshments are available throughout the day. A fresh salad bar and deli bar add to the selection each day.
Room Service is also available – not only to our patients, but if you would like a guest tray delivered so that you can remain with your loved one who is hospitalized, just call us and we'll have it delivered.

The Cafeteria is located on the 1st floor of the hospital and is open from 6:00 am until 7:00 pm daily. Hot meals are served during the following hours:

Breakfast – 6:30 – 9:00 am
Lunch – 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Dinner – 4:30 – 7:00 pm

The SMC Cafeteria accepts cash and most credit or debit cards. Discounts are available to all military personnel at the Café.

Samaritan Medical Center has a charming Gift Shop – a place to grab a quick gift for an ailing friend or perhaps a magazine to help pass the time. The Gift Shop is owned and operated by the Samaritan Auxiliary.

The Gift Shop is located on the first floor of the hospital in the main lobby. The shop offers an impressive selection of gift items, fresh flowers, stuffed animals, balloons, magazines, cards, baby items, sundries, drinks and snack items. The shop is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am until 7:00 pm and Saturday and Sundays from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm.

The Gift Shop accepts phone orders for delivery of floral arrangements to patients. Call 315-785-4084 to order. The Gift Shop accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards for all phone orders. Flowers are delivered to the patient's room Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, Saturday and Sundays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Please note: Fresh flowers are not permitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Call today at 315-785-4084 to send an arrangement to a loved one or family friend that is with us at Samaritan Medical Center.

The Samaritan Auxiliary and the proceeds from the Gift Shop support the entire Samaritan organization with equipment needs and services to continue to fulfilling its mission.


Samaritan Medical Center's visiting hours are designed to allow for the maximum possible involvement of family and friends in the patient's care and healing process. Patients may designate a Patient Care Partner to remain with them throughout their stay with us.

To speak with a patient at the hospital, you can call their room directly if you have the number, or call 315-785-4000 to speak with our main operator.  

Visits from family and friends are welcomed and encouraged, and in most cases, visitors are helpful to a patient's recovery. Our general visiting hours are 10:00 am until 8:00 pm daily on most inpatient units. However, given the nature of the diagnosis and treatment with certain conditions, some exceptions apply as outlined below.

Critical Care Units – ICU and PCU
Two visitors are allowed at any one time. Children (10-17 years of age) are permitted to visit on a limited basis as determined by the nurse and based one the patient's status. So that staff can be as attentive as possible to patients in the Critical Care units, visits should be limited to 15 minutes, depending upon the patient needs.

In the Critical Care waiting area, a phone is available to connect directly into ICU and PCU nurses' stations. Please use these phones to inquire about visiting your loved one.

When a patient is admitted to ICU or PCU, it is important that each family designate a contact/spokesperson to assure optimal communication regarding the patient, while allowing staff to focus on providing care to your loved one. The waiting room number is 315-785-4671.

The Maternity Place
Visiting hours are at the request of the patient during waking hours. There are no restrictions for fathers, siblings or grandparents. Siblings are welcome during waking hours. Please use the phone outside of the Maternity Place to let the nurse's station know who you are visiting. Fathers are encouraged to spend the night.

Pediatric Unit
Parents and grandparents are welcome to visit anytime during waking hours. One parent/designee may spend the night.

Inpatient Mental Health Unit
Two visitors are allowed per visit, and all visitors must sign-in at the nurse's station. Visiting hours are Monday through Friday 7:00 - 8:30 pm and Saturday and Sundays from 1:00 - 2:30 pm or 7:00 - 8:30 pm. Other arrangements may be made based on family availability.

Emergency Department
Two visitors are allowed at a time. For children, both parents are allowed to remain at all times. A visitor may be asked to leave if his/her presence infringes on others' rights, safety, or interferes with the patient's treatment plan. NOTE: Due to the critical nature of many Emergency Department patients, visitors will be permitted at the discretion of the Emergency physician and/or nurse.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
Parents are permitted to stay at any time. Grandparents and siblings are welcome during waking hours. Other visitors will be allowed at the request of the parents during waking hours. A sleeping room is available within the NICU for parents to stay, upon request.

Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit
In order for patients to participate fully in their rehabilitation, visiting hours are available Monday through Friday from 4:00 - 8:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am - 8:00 pm.


Please note that our nurses and staff on any unit may ask a visitor to leave if his or her presence interferes with the patient's rights, safety, or treatment plan.

For the safety of all patients at Samaritan, we request that all visitors wash their hands (Purell dispensers are located throughout the hospital) before visiting a patient. Please do not visit if you are ill.

Children may be restricted based on the patient's condition, and all children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

Samaritan Medical Center would like to answer many of the questions we are asked each day. If your answer is not here – use our Contact Us page and ask us. We will try to respond as soon as we can. Thank you!

Q: How do I find a doctor?
A: Please use our Find A Physician tool to locate a doctor in an certain specialty or location, or even by the certain services and procedures we provide.

Q. What if I don't know which type of doctor I need to see?
A. Samaritan would suggest that all patients have a Primary Care provider. This doctor will be a patient's main doctor and refer them to other specialty care if needed. To find a Primary Care doctor, please use our Find A Physician tool.

Q. There is an issue with my bill, who do I contact?
A. Please contact our Patient Accounting Department at 315-785-5730.

Q. Where are your other locations?
A. Please see our Community Locations page to show you all the locations Samaritan has.

Q. How do I get to a Samaritan location?
A. Please visit our Getting to Samaritan page.

Q. How do I find a certain area or department in the hospital?
A. Please see our facility map, use our hospital signs once you arrive or ask any hospital staff member once you arrive here. We are happy to help you find your way.

Q. Is there a Financial Assistance Program available to help me with my hospital bills?
A. Samaritan does have a Financial Assistance Program that is available to patients that have tried other sources to help them with their bills, such as Medicaid and Medicare.

Q. I want to speak with someone about the care I received while at Samaritan.
A. We encourage you to call our Patient Relations Department at 315-785-4679.


Everyone has a role in making healthcare safe. That includes doctors, healthcare executives, nurses and many healthcare technicians. Health care organizations all across the country are working to make healthcare safe. As a patient, you make your care safer by being an active, involved, and informed member of your healthcare teams.

The 'Speak UP™' program is sponsored by The Joint Commission. They agree that patients should be involved in their own healthcare. These efforts to increase patient awareness and involvement are also supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

This program gives simple advice on how you can help make healthcare a good experience, Research shows that patients who take part in decision about their own healthcare are more likely to get better faster. To help prevent health care mistakes, patients are urged to 'Speak Up.'

The goal of the Speak Up™ program is to help patients and their advocates become more informed and involved in their healthcare.

Speak up if you have questions or concerns. If you still do not understand, ask again. It is your body and you have a right to know.

  • Your health is very important. Do not worry about being embarrassed if you do not understand something that your doctor, nurse or other health care professional tells you. If you do not understand because you speak another language, ask for someone who speaks your language. You have the right to get free help from someone who speaks your language.
  • Do not be afraid to ask about safety. If you are having surgery, ask the doctor to mark the area that is to be operated on.
  • Do not be afraid to tell the nurse or the doctor if you think you are about to get the wrong medicine.
  • Do not be afraid to tell a healthcare professional if you think he or she has confused you with another patient.

Pay attention to the care you get. Always make sure you are getting the right treatments and medicines by the right healthcare professionals. Do not assume anything.

  • Tell your nurse or doctor if something does not seem right.
  • Expect health are workers to introduce themselves. Look for their identification (ID) badges. A new mother should know the person who she hands her baby to. If you do not know who the person is, ask for their ID.
  • Notice whether your caregivers have washed their hands. Hand washing is the most important way to prevent infections. Do not be afraid to remind a doctor or nurse to do this.
  • Know what time of the day you normally get medicine. If you do not get it, tell your nurse or doctor.
  • Make sure your nurse or doctor checks your ID. Make sure he or she checks your wristband and asks your name before
    he or she gives you your medicine or treatment.

Educate yourself about your illness. Learn about the medical tests you get, and your treatment plan.

  • Ask your doctor about the special training and experience that qualifies him or her to treat your illness.
  • Look for information about your condition. Good places to get that information are from your doctor, your library, support groups, and respected websites, like the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Web site.
  • Write down important facts your doctor tells you. Ask your doctor if he or she has any written information you can keep.
  • Read all medical forms and make sure you understand them before you sign anything. If you do not understand, ask your doctor or nurse to explain them.
  • Make sure you know how to work any equipment that is being used in your care. If you use oxygen at home, do not smoke or let anyone smoke near you.

Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate (advisor or supporter).

  • Your advocate can ask questions that you may not think about when you are stressed. Your advocate can also help remember answers to questions you have asked or write down information being discussed.
  • Ask this person to stay with you, even overnight, when you are hospitalized. You may be able to rest better. Your advocate can help make sure you get the correct medicines and treatments.
  • Your advocate should be someone who can communicate well and work cooperatively with medical staff for your best care.
  • Make sure this person understands the kind of care you want and respects your decisions.
  • Your advocate should know who your health care proxy decision-maker is; a proxy is a person you choose to sign a legal document so he or she can make decisions about your health care when you are unable to make your own decisions. Your advocate may also be your proxy under these circumstances. They should know this ahead of time.
  • Go over the consents for treatment with your advocate and health care proxy, if your proxy is available, before you sign them. Make sure you all understand exactly what you are about to agree to.
  • Make sure your advocate understands the type of care you will need when you get home. Your advocate should know what to look for if your condition is getting worse. He or she should also know who to call for help.

Know what medicines you take and why you take them. Medicine errors are the most common healthcare mistakes.

  • Ask about why you should take the medicine. Ask for written information about it, including its brand and generic names. Also ask about the side effects of all medicines.
  • If you do not recognize a medicine, double-check that it is for you. Ask about medicines that you are to take by mouth before you swallow them. Read the contents of the bags of intravenous (IV) fluids. If you are not well enough to do this, ask your advocate to do it.
  • If you are given an IV, ask the nurse how long it should take for the liquid to run out. Tell the nurse if it does not seem to be dripping right (too fast or too slow).
  • Whenever you get a new medicine, tell your doctors and nurses about allergies you have, or negative reactions you have had to other medicines.
  • If you are taking a lot of medicines, be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if it is safe to take those medicines together. Do the same thing with vitamins, herbs and over-the-counter drugs.
  • Make sure you can read the handwriting on prescriptions written by your doctor. If you cannot read it, the pharmacist may not be able to either. Ask somebody at the doctor's office to print the prescription, if necessary.
  • Carry an up-to-date list of the medicines you are taking in your purse or wallet. Write down how much you take and when you take it. Go over the list with your doctor and other caregivers.

Use a hospital, clinic, surgery center, or other type of healthcare organization that has been carefully checked out. For example, The Joint Commission visits hospitals to see if they are meeting The Joint Commission's quality standards.

  • Ask about the healthcare organization's experience in taking care of people with your type of illness. How often do they perform the procedure you need? What special care do they provide to help patients get well?
  • If you have more than one hospital to choose from, ask your doctor which one has the best care for your condition.
  • Before you leave the hospital or other facility, ask about follow-up care and make sure that you understand all the instructions.
  • Go to Quality Check at to find out whether your hospital or other health care organization is "accredited." Accredited means that the hospital or health care organization works by rules that make sure that patient safety and quality standards are followed.

Participate in all decisions about your treatment. .... You are the center of the healthcare team.

  • You and your doctor should agree on exactly what will be done during each step of your care.
  • Know who will be taking care of you. Know how long the treatment will last. Know how you should feel.
  • Understand that more tests or medications may not always be better for you. Ask your doctor how a new test or medication will help.
  • Keep copies of your medical records from previous hospital stays and share them with your health care team. This will give them better information about your health history.
  • Do not be afraid to ask for a second opinion. If you are unsure about the best treatment for your illness, talk with one or two additional doctors. The more information you have about all the kinds of treatment available to you, the better you will feel about the decisions made.
  • Ask your doctor to recommend a support group you can join to help deal with your condition. People in these groups may help you prepare for the days and weeks ahead. They may be able to tell you what to expect and what worked best for them.
  • Talk to your doctor and your family about your wishes regarding resuscitation and other life-saving actions.

Samaritan realizes that one of the first things many people think of when they are being admitted to the hospital is "when am I going home?" Going home can be scary when thinking about your care and whether you have a family member or friend able to help you. At Samaritan Medical Center, not only do we want your admission and stay with us to be very good, we also want your discharge to be very good.

Preparation before Discharge

Your doctor will tell you and your care team the likely date for discharge. This date may change during your stay depending on your progress, test results, etc. You may need short-term rehabilitation or assistance at home following your hospital stay.

Please note: Let your nurse know if your ride will not be available to pick you up by 12 noon on the day of your discharge. We will be happy to help you arrange other transportation if needed. If you will need to go home by taxi, please arrange to have your house keys available.

Many physicians visit their patients early in the morning, some as early as 6:30 am. This is a good time for you and your family to plan your discharge or transition.

Please let us know if you are in need of help arranging care in your home.

You and your family are welcome to request assistance from our Patient & Family Services staff as you begin planning for your return home. Your nurse can contact a member of the Discharge Planning team for you. Your physician and care team will work with you to get all details of your discharge arranged.

Any questions that you have about any new diagnoses, treatments or medications are best asked as soon as possible into your hospital stay so as to avoid any delays in the discharge process. Your safety and comfort at discharge are our primary concerns.

The Quality and Care of Your Care are of Great Importance to Us

Our Goals:

  • Safely discharge you as early in the day as possible with 12:00 p.m. as our goal.

  • Include all people who you want to be part of your discharge planning and instructions.

How You Can Help:

  • Tell us who you want to have included in your discharge planning and instructions.

  • Ask questions about your continued care and treatment.


Day of Discharge

Discharge time is typically before 12:00 p.m.

Discharging early in the day enables you to obtain any new prescriptions written for you and to settle in to your home while your physician is available for questions. You and your family should have a plan in place to pay for any new prescriptions.

Your physician and care team will discuss your medications and instructions before you leave the hospital. Information about follow-up treatments or appointments that you will need to schedule will also be provided.

Your medications are carefully reviewed by your doctor(s) and nurses. It is imperative to your recovery that you take your medications exactly as listed on your discharge information. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask your nurse.
After you leave the hospital, you may receive a survey in the mail. Your responses will help us to recognize our employees and continue to improve the quality of our service.

Being prepared for your discharge is critical to the success of your recovery. Samaritan is committed to providing you the best care when here, and the best plan to make sure your discharge is easy and your road to recovery is successful.

At Samaritan, we strive to always provide the best care to our patients and residents. Your experience with us is very important to us, and we encourage your feedback – both positive and negative. If you wish to discuss your experience with Samaritan Medical Center or any of its affiliates, we encourage you to contact our Patient Relations Department.

It is our goal to share positive feedback with our staff, as well as address concerns and complaints if they arise. If we do not meet your expectations, we will attempt to resolve concerns and complaints when we can. Your feedback will help us make improvements and continue to reinforce what is working well. We believe in continuous improvement and we can only do this with your help.

To contact our Patient Relations Department, please call 315-785-4679 or toll-free 1-877-888-6138

Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., and our office is located on the first floor of the hospital adjacent to Registration.

Our Patient Relations Department is also a conduit for patient advocacy – you, your family and friends are your best advocate. We encourage all patients to SPEAK UP about the care you are receiving. Our staff and physicians also advocate strongly for each of our patients. Patient Relations Volunteers visit admitted patients to talk with them about their stay and care provided.

Please also read the Patient Bill of Rights and Patient Responsibility information that pertains to every patient – know your rights, it is important.

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