Inpatient Care

UW Medical Center’s team of health-care professionals are dedicated to providing you with expert, compassionate care. If you or your family and friends have questions or concerns about your health care, please talk with your doctor, nurse or another member of your health-care team.

Our Team Approach

Treatment at UWMC is a cooperative effort between patient and staff. You are the most important member of your health-care team. We promise to respond quickly to your questions, problems and concerns and will keep you informed about options and choices.

Every one of our nearly 400 attending staff physicians is a faculty member of the UW School of Medicine. Attending physician means that the doctor has completed residency and practices medicine in a specialty area. Attending physicians supervise fellows, residents and medical students.

Your attending physician oversees all aspects of your medical care, including direct supervision of any care you receive from resident physicians (physicians doing specialty training) and UW medical school students.

UWMC’s nursing care is also recognized nationwide. The medical center was among the first facilities in the country to adopt primary nursing care, in which each inpatient has a registered nurse assigned to coordinate his or her care.

In addition, UWMC has been designated as a Magnet hospital in recognition of the excellent care our nurses provide. This certification comes from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, which certifies hospitals based on excellence in nursing practice and patient care. The medical center was the first hospital in the nation to achieve this status in 1994 and has received the honor every four years since.

Your health-care team may also include occupational, respiratory, and physical therapists, as well as pharmacists, technologists, technicians, social workers, dietitians, and other support staff.

Your Stay at UW Medical Center

Your Patient Care Coordinator

Most of our medical and surgical services have a patient care coordinator who works with you and your doctor to plan your admission. You may reach a coordinator through the medical center paging operator at 206.598.6190 during weekday office hours.

Arriving at UW Medical Center

Parking validation is provided for UWMC patients and visitors in the Triangle Garage, the Surgery Pavilion lot and the S1 pre-pay lot. For more information on directions and parking, please see our location information page. You may also call 206.598.4151.

Your doctor will arrange for admission to UWMC on a specific day, unless you are admitted through the Emergency Department or transferred from another hospital. If you are unable to keep this appointment, please call your doctor or patient care coordinator as soon as possible.

Enter the medical center through the main entrance (Level 3) on N.E. Pacific Street. Wheelchairs are available in the medical center lobby.

The Admitting Office is straight ahead and to your right in the main lobby when you walk through the main entrance. Admitting staff will help you register. Please bring a picture ID (identification) and health insurance card with you.

On admission, you will receive a plastic identification bracelet that we'd like you to wear while you are at UWMC. It helps identify you to staff members who will be taking care of you.

Your Room

All patient rooms in the East Wing are private and have mountain or water views, along with private bathrooms with showers. Rooms in the original hospital building are private or semi-private.

Your room assignment depends on your medical or surgical needs and the availability of rooms in the area requested by your doctor.

What to Bring

We recommend that you bring only a small amount of cash and leave jewelry, credit cards and other valuables at home. If you do bring valuables, we encourage you to secure them in the Admitting Department safe, or give them to family members to take home and keep safe for you. UWMC cannot assume liability for any items of value you keep with you during your stay here.
Bring your own gown or pajamas, robe, and slippers, or use those provided by UWMC. You may also want to bring personal hygiene items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste or denture paste, brush and comb, and cases for glasses, contacts or dentures.

You may bring personal grooming aids such as electric razors and hair dryers if they are UL-approved. Battery-operated radios or computers are also permitted.


UWMC has room service dining, which allows each patient to choose meals from a restaurant-style menu. Patients may also select the time of day they would prefer to eat a meal.

Room service dining is a patient-centered program established to meet the nutritional needs of each patient. Diet orders are written after the medical provider determines that it is appropriate for the patient to eat.

A Patient Service Ambassador from Food & Nutrition Services will visit soon after the medical provider has written the diet order, and will present a restaurant-style menu based upon your specific needs. The ambassador will explain the meal order process and answer any questions you might have.

UWMC’s room service dining program is available all day, beginning at 6:30 a.m. until closing at 7:30 p.m. A Heart Healthy menu—approved by UW Medicine Regional Heart Center physicians—is available, along with many other menus to meet specialized patient needs. Our general menu, for example, includes a variety of vegetarian options. Your ambassador may assist you if you have any questions about your meals, and UWMC has clinical dietitians who may answer any general nutrition questions you may have.


The main medical center telephone number is 206.598.3300. Incoming calls to patients are connected to their rooms. You may make local calls from your room by dialing 9 first. Long distance calls may be charged to your credit card or home phone, or may be placed collect.

We provide a variety of adaptive equipment for patients who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or who have speech impairments. TTYs (regular print, large print visual display, Braille), amplified headsets, flashing light and vibrating phone alert signalers, and TV decoders are available. To request adaptive equipment, call 206.598.6993.

Leaving UW Medical Center

When you are admitted to UWMC  or even before then  our staff members are available to help you and your family plan for your discharge. You'll need to arrange ahead for a family member or friend to accompany you when you leave, for example.

If you have questions or concerns about care after hospitalization, your nurse and the UWMC Social Work Department can help you plan for visiting nurse services, nursing home placement, home health care, special equipment or other follow-up services. 

When You Leave

Your doctor will issue a discharge order when it is time for you to leave. Your nurse will talk with you about medications, special precautions and any other information you need to know before leaving.

Check-out time is 11 a.m. Please remember to take all personal items with you, including any valuables you may have secured in the Admitting Department safe.
A volunteer escort service is available to take you to the medical center exit. Your nurse can arrange for escort service.

Medical Records

Copies of your medical records are available at the Patient Data Services office, Room BB-304. A fee is charged for the copies. The office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 206.744.9000.

Follow-up Care

Your doctor may ask you to return to one of our outpatient clinics for follow-up care. Your nurse can help you make an appointment, or you may call 206.520.5000.