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HMC Observation Privileges

Please read the following information carefully to ensure your application is complete:

Observation privileges should be requested for visiting medical personnel who wish to observe medical staff in clinical or research settings. No patient care or hands-on medical training will be conducted. There will be no compensation provided by Harborview Medical Center (HMC). The observer or sponsoring provider/department is responsible for arranging visas, travel and/or accommodations.

It is the observer's responsibility to identify a medical staff host. Observational privileges will not be granted without the agreement of an HMC provider to take full responsibility for the observer's time on campus.

Important links:​

How to apply

  1. Complete all areas in the “Observer Information” section. Forms without the applicant’s signature will not be reviewed or approved.
  2. Page 3 must be completed by the supervising physician. He or she must clearly indicate if the observer will be in his or her presence at all times while at HMC.
    •  If the observer is shadowing multiple providers within the same department/unit, please write the additional names next to item “B” in the “Supervising Medical Staff Attestation” section.
    • For medical professional: Observation periods longer than 30 calendar days require the approval of a department’s chief of service
    • For pre-med or undergraduate students: Observation periods longer than 3 calendar days require the approval of a Department’s Chief of Service.
  3. Observer must complete all areas of the Immunization and Health History Intake Form.
    • Applicants do not need to fill information about a specific immunization if a copy of their records is attached.
    • Forms without information or documentation of the applicant’s most recent influenza vaccine or TB screening (PPD) will not be reviewed. The PPD must have been placed within one year prior to start of the observation period.
    • Contact HMC Employee Health if you have specific questions: (206) 744-3081
  4. Scan and email or fax the completed form to the Medical Director’s Office at / (fax) 206.744.4422.
    • Please allow up to two weeks for processing.

After approval

A copy of the completed application must be retained by both the observer and the department of the supervising physician.  A temporary badge must be obtained and worn visibly at all times while on the HMC campus. Temporary badges are distributed through the Harborview Public Safety Office, located on the 8th floor (8CT-69). The temp badge will grant observational privileges at HMC only, not any other UW Medicine entity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, non-medical personnel are allowed to observe HMC medical staff as long as the medical staff agrees to host the non-medical personnel. Students who wish to observe medical support staff, such as RNs or MAs, should contact the Volunteer Office ( for more information.

Medical personnel (visiting physicians, researchers, etc.) are able to observe HMC medical staff at their supervising physician's discretion. All long-term requests must be accompanied by a written explanation justifying extended length of observation.

Non-medical personnel are allowed to observe staff for a total of  three sessions three per calendar year. If students wish to observe medical staff longer than 3 days, then a written explanation by the host medical staff must be submitted along with the Observation Privilege Form and with approval from the department’s chief of service.

Observation privilege periods longer than 30 calendar days require completion of HIPAA training. The Medical Director's Office will register observers for HIPAA training upon approval of their observation request. Proof of HIPAA training must be provided to the Medical Director's Office prior to start of their observation period. Failure to comply may result in rescinding of observation privileges.

Yes. The observer must submit their intended schedule and specify dates during which they will be supervised by different physicians. All supervising physicians must approve and sign the observation request form.

Observers are required to comply with all HMC immunization policies and procedures. Applications with incomplete immunization documentation will not be approved.

All applicants must have a minimum of the following immunizations:

  • Seasonal flu shot required during the active seas​on of October - April
  • TB test (PPD)

Exceptions can be made by the Medical Director's Office. All immunization records are reviewed by the Employee Health Services Office. Contact HMC Employee Health if you have specific questions: 206.744.3081.

Forms should be submitted two - three weeks prior to the observer's start date. This allows ample time for processing by the Medical Director's Office, as well as time to complete HIPAA training if needed. Applications submitted less than two weeks from the observation start date may not be processed or approved on time.

Observers are not allowed start their observation period until the form has been fully reviewed and approved by the Medical Director. No exceptions.

No, the Parking/Badge Office will not create a temporary visitor badge for the observer if he/she will be on campus less than seven (7) days. Observers should obtain a temporary badge from their sponsoring department. If the sponsoring department does not have a badge available, then a "vendor" badge can be obtained from the Ground West Lobby Information Desk.