Patient Experience | MedStar Georgetown University Hospital | MedStar Health

What to expect at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

Dr Keith Unger consults with a female patient in the Proton Therapy center.
Thank you for choosing our hospital for your healthcare needs. At MedStar Georgetown, we maintain a rich Jesuit tradition of cura personalis–care of the whole person. This is our commitment to the physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being of others. We are dedicated to focusing on the full needs of our patients and their families that go beyond immediate healthcare needs by providing the comfort our patients need to heal.

MedStar Georgetown is a world-renowned academic medical center, committed to providing the safest, most high-quality patient care available. To do this, we use the skills and expertise of a large healthcare team, and at the same time, educate the next generation of clinicians. In addition, we encourage and depend on our patients and families to actively contribute to the process of planning and delivering care. Research shows that when you have a positive experience, you're more likely to experience better health outcomes. By knowing what to expect, you can better advocate for yourself and your loved ones.

Before you arrive

Your pre-admission checklist

A member of the admissions team will contact you to let you know what time you should arrive.

To ensure a smooth experience, here are several things to do before you are admitted:

  • Be sure to bring a government-issued ID and all your insurance information and cards

  • Bring with you additional pertinent documents such as Advance Directive, Living Will, and Power of Attorney

  • Get pre-admission tests: Be sure that copies of X-rays, blood work, or other tests taken at other facilities are given to your doctor or nurse. Your health coverage may require that you have your outpatient and pre-admission radiology and/or laboratory services performed at another facility. Contact your insurance company for details.

  • Name your doctors: The doctor who admitted you to the hospital is your primary care physician and should be identified as such for all insurance purposes. Be sure to tell our admissions office the name and contact information of your other doctors (for example, internist, pediatrician, gynecologist) so we can communicate with them as necessary.

  • Sign agreements: You will be asked to sign an agreement regarding treatment consent and financial responsibility for expenses for which you are responsible, including services not covered by your insurers. Please read it carefully.



Pre-registration may be available for some scheduled appointments or procedures. It allows us to make better use of patients' time when they arrive for scheduled services. 

We’ve recently moved to an automated system to simplify the pre-registration process. You may receive an automated message to your email or phone number on file verifying your information, insurance, and financial responsibility.

If you have additional questions, you may reach the Patient Financial Services Department at 410-933-8200 or toll-free at 866-423-2734

Preoperative surgery instructions

If you are undergoing surgery, your healthcare provider will give you detailed instructions regarding how to prepare for your procedure, including when and what you should eat, medications that you can take the day of surgery, and any specific instructions. Please follow these instructions and reach out to your healthcare team if you have any questions.

Please note that depending on your medical history, you may be asked to see your primary care provider or other specialist to complete preoperative testing offsite.

One visitor is permitted to accompany you on the day of surgery. Please read our most up-to-date visitor policy for more details.

Please only bring essential items with you on the day of surgery (ID, insurance cards, co-pay, eyeglasses, etc.). These items will be securely stored during your procedure and returned to you afterward. Please leave all large items, luggage, and any valuables at home.

Arrival and parking

Patients and visitors will arrive at the hospital at 3800 Reservoir Road, NW. Signs will direct you to drop-off or park via our patient and visitor parking garages, depending on where you are going in the hospital. It’s important to know that the Entrance 1, Parking 1 garage is self-parking only. If you need valet or wheelchair assistance, please use the Entrance 2, Parking 2 garage.

Not sure which parking garage to use?

Learn More About Parking at MedStar Georgetown


For surgical patients

Beginning Dec. 11, 2023 patients undergoing surgery must be dropped off at the main entrance to the Verstandig Pavilion (Entrance 1), where all inpatient and outpatient procedures are performed. Surgical patients may be dropped off at the Ground/Street Level, or patients and their visitors can self-park in our Parking 1 garage (Verstandig Pavilion Parking 1). Wheelchairs are available for use, and we encourage patients who need wheelchair assistance to bring a capable adult to push the wheelchair.

Patients and visitors can park on any level of the parking garage and take the elevator to the Ground Level where they will check in to guest services. There, you will be directed to the 1st or 2nd floor, depending on your surgery. Upon arriving at the correct surgical floor, you will check in with the nurses’ desk for your procedure. Once you are taken back to the preoperative area, a member of our registration team will complete patient registration onsite. Please plan to arrive at least two hours before your scheduled surgery or appointment time.

First Floor atrium lobby at the Verstandig Pavilliong at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

During your visit

Medications and allergies

Upon admission, you will be asked to list all the medications you are taking, the date and last time your medications were taken, as well as the doses prescribed, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, diet supplements, herbals, and/or vitamins.

Your practitioner and healthcare team need this information because even the most common drugs can cause complications when taken with other medications or treatments.

It is also essential to inform your healthcare professionals about any allergies or adverse reactions to foods, drinks, medications, or sensitivity to latex.

If you have any questions about this information, please reach out to your healthcare provider.

Test and diagnostic procedures

During your inpatient stay, you may be asked to undergo various tests. Due to the nature of certain tests, you may be asked not to eat or drink during particular time periods. For other tests, you may be asked to undergo special preparations or drink specific liquids prior to the test being performed. Some tests may even take longer than one day to complete. Following all the instructions will help to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the test results. Regardless of what tests you may have, we will fully explain each one to you and inform you of any special preparations or restrictions required.


Personal items

All surgical patients will be assigned a secured locker upon arrival, where they can safely store personal items such as dentures, eyeglasses, or mobile devices. Please do not keep these items at your bedside.

Please remember to wear your identification sticker and/or other hospital-issued pass during your entire stay. If you receive a color bracelet, keep that on as well.


To ensure everyone’s safety, all patients and visitors must present a valid photo ID upon check-in at the main entrance. Visitors will be given a sticker with their name and photograph, which they must wear throughout their stay.


We are pleased to offer quick and easy Wi-Fi access for your convenience. Simply select “MedStarGuest” as your Wi-Fi resource and connect by accepting the Acceptable Use Policy.


Wheelchairs are available at each of our entrances. If you need wheelchair assistance, please use the Parking 2 garage.

Infection prevention

Our Infection Prevention program is doing everything possible to prevent the spread of infections among patients, healthcare workers, and visitors. The best way to do this is through hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds or by rubbing your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

You should wash your hands:

  • After using the toilet, blowing your nose, or sneezing
  • After handling dirty items
  • Before and after eating, drinking, or handling food
  • When your hands look dirty

Everyone should wash or sanitize their hands before entering and after exiting your room.


Nutrition services

Patient meals

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Food and Nutrition Services Department is dedicated to providing high-quality, satisfying, and nutritious meals to all patients and visitors. Excellent nutritional care is essential to your speedy recovery. Your specific diet is ordered by your physician and depends on your medical condition. Our registered and licensed dietitians are available to evaluate your nutritional needs and provide nutrition counseling to individual patients.

  • Your Food and Nutrition associates will take your orders for each meal period and deliver patient meals to your room.
  • We also offer a limited late-night menu for newly admitted patients and those with changes to their diet orders from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Kosher meals are available upon request, and nourishments and snacks such as graham crackers etc. are also available, just ask your nurse.

Guest meals

  • Guest meals are available for breakfast, 8 to 9:30 a.m., lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and dinner, 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

  • We also offer meal trays for up to one guest of Pediatrics patients. Meal trays will be delivered to the patient room.

  • To order your meals, please call 202-444-6424. Prepayment is required for all guest meals. To pay for guest meals please proceed to the cashier's window on the 1st floor of the Main Building (hours of operation: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).

After your stay


Your doctor will tell you when you will likely be discharged. A timely discharge is as important as a timely admission, in order to speed your recovery in the familiar surroundings of your home. The actual time of departure often depends on laboratory or radiology test results and an assessment of your physical status by your doctors. We are very sensitive to the inconvenience that this may cause, and we will make every effort to keep you informed on the progress of your hospital discharge. 

After your physician has written your discharge orders, the nurse will review your discharge instructions with you and provide any prescriptions ordered by your physician. When the nurse is reviewing your discharge instructions it would be helpful to have a family member or friend available by phone (or in person depending on the visitor policy) so that they may be included in the teaching. Be sure you understand these instructions and have contact names and phone numbers in the event you have questions or need to make follow-up appointments.

We ask your assistance in arranging transportation home, such as a ride home. We will assist you with these arrangements as needed.

The outpatient pharmacy is located on the ground floor of the Pasquerilla Healthcare Center (PHC). The outpatient pharmacy is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and
Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Phone: 202-444-3772.


Need more care?

After your stay at MedStar Georgetown, you may need additional follow-up care to help you reach your full potential for recovery and independence. If so, consider the following options:

Thanks for saying thanks

Patients and families frequently ask how they can best express their gratitude for the compassionate care they receive at our hospital. Staff members are not permitted to accept tips or gratuities, and gifts are discouraged. To express your gratitude, we invite you to: 
  • Mention a staff member by name in a letter to our hospital president.
    c/o Main Administration
    MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
    3800 Reservoir Rd.
    NW Washington, D.C., 20007
  • Make a tax-deductible contribution to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.  

  • Share your experience or honor a caregiver by clicking here

  • For questions or to learn more about philanthropic opportunities contact the philanthropy office at 202-444-0721.