We are committed to giving you the best health care to meet your needs. To help you understand the plan for your care, you may be given a copy of the patient care pathway for your diagnosis or procedure. This will tell you what to expect at each step of your hospital stay from admission to discharge.
Your primary physician leads your healthcare team and directs your treatment plan. Since MGH is a teaching hospital, doctors who are in training as interns and residents may be involved in your care.
Your primary nurse coordinates your nursing care and is the nurse who knows you best. She or he is the person to contact whenever you or your family have questions or concerns. Your primary nurse communicates regularly with your physician and all other health care team members. She/he will also educate you about your therapy and procedures and assists you in planning your discharge.
Your case manager is a registered nurse who is an expert in all aspects of insurance coverage. She/he will help you answer your health insurance questions and assist with planning your treatment after discharge from the hospital.
Other team members may include social workers, dietitians, and therapists. Members of your healthcare team may change, depending on the treatment that you need. Even if there are a lot of health care members on your team, be assured that they talk to each other regularly so your care is coordinated. It is important for you to let any of your team members know how you are feeling through out your stay.
and Registration Services
The Admitting and Registration Services Department is often the first contact a patient will have when coming to Massachusetts General Hospital. We are committed to assisting patients and their families by offering a variety of services. We hope the information below will help guide you through our department and aid you during your stay.
: Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am - 5:30pm
Prior to an outpatient visit or hospitalization to Mass General, patients should first stop at one of our Registration sites. The Registration Department will record your demographic and insurance information into our database and provide you with a MGH medical record number and an "MGH Blue Card." Outpatient Registration is located on the first floor of the Wang Ambulatory Care Center and also the Cox Lobby.
Also for your convenience, we offer Registration and Referral Center services where you may contact us from the comfort of your home with our extended hours until 8:00 pm, at (866) 211-6588. After you are registered with the Registration and Referral Center, they will mail an "MGH Blue Card" to your home address.
Phone: 617-726-2294 Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am - 5:30pm
When patients are admitted to Mass General, they can expect to be contacted by one of our staff members from the Patient Interviewers team. The patient interviewers will confirm the date of your pre-admission testing, review your demographic and insurance information, and are also available to answer any questions you may have regarding the services available to you during your hospitalization. The interviewers will also greet you and check you in when you come to the Admitting Department on the day of your admission.
Financial Access Unit
Phone: 617-726-6828 Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am - 5:30pm
When a patient has been scheduled for a procedure or hospital stay, the Financial Access Unit will verify your insurance coverage and benefits. The Financial Access Unit will also work directly with your physician's office and insurance company to ensure that all required referrals and authorizations have been approved prior to your visit. A representative from the Financial Access Services may contact you if there are any questions regarding your insurance authorization or you may contact them with any insurance authorization concerns.
Services Phone: 617-726-2171 Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am - 5:30pm
Mass General offers several programs for patients who are underinsured or without any insurance coverage. At Patient Financial Services, counselors are available to assist patients with applying for State funded programs such as MassHealth as well as several different Free Care Programs. Counselors are available who specialize with outpatients, inpatients, and emergency room visits. If you would like to apply or would like to know if you are eligible, please contact us by phone or visit one of our sites located in the Outpatient Registration Department or the ground floor of the Wang Ambulatory Care Center.
You will only need to
bring a few simple things for your hospital stay. These might include toiletries,
a robe and non-skid slippers, nightclothes, and reading material. Hospital
gowns will be provided if you choose to wear one. You should bring a list
of all the medications you are currently taking. Do not bring any medications
with you to the hospital unless your doctor tells you to do so. If you have
dentures, eyeglasses, contact lenses or hearing aids please bring them with
you. When not in use please keep these items in a safe place, like the bedside
What Not to Bring
Please do not bring any valuables, jewelry, credit cards, or large amounts of money with you to the hospital. If you do have valuables, please have your family member or friend take them home for you. If this is not possible, notify a nurse who will make sure the valuables get placed in the hospital's vault. Some small change (less than $20) may be needed for magazines and incidentals. Please do not bring any personal electrical appliances with you. A battery-powered radio or CD / Cassette player is ok, but you must assume responsibility for it and use headphones when in use.
We have both private and semi-private rooms. All have a bedside table for toiletries and a closet for personal belongings. All hospital beds have a bedside control panel to call a member of the staff. You are assigned a room based upon the type of care your doctor recommends. If you request a private room, we will make every effort to honor that request. You will be asked to sign a form stating you agree to pay the entire difference between the cost of a private room and the amount reimbursed by your insurance company.
Massachusetts General Hospital has a smoke-free policy. If smoking is absolutely necessary and you obtain permission from your physician or nurse, there is a smoke room located on the first floor of the Ellison building for patients only. Other designated smoking areas for family and visitors include an area across the street from the Wang Ambulatory Care Center.
Each hospital bed has its own telephone number, which you will receive at the time of admission. If you are moved to another bed during your stay, your telephone number will change. There is no charge for local telephone calls. Long distance calls must be billed to your home or business telephone number, a telephone company credit card, or made collect.
To place a call:
Local Call (within 617
area code) Dial 9, 617 and the 7 digit telephone number
Long Distance Call Dial 9, then 0, then the area code and the 7 digit telephone number
Long Distance Using Own Carrier Dial 9, then your long distance company phone number
International Call or Cablegram Dial 0 and the MGH operator will assist.
There is no charge for calling within the hospital. Simply drop the "72" at the beginning of the telephone number and just dial the remaining 5 digit extension.
TDD equipment is available on loan for the hearing impaired. Please ask your primary nurse.
After 10:30pm, calls coming in to patients are automatically diverted to the unit's nursing station and will not ring through to you. To stop incoming calls during the day, ask your primary nurse to unplug your phone.
Cell phone use is restricted in certain areas of the hospital. Please read and follow posted signs for cell phone use.
Public telephones are available throughout the patient care areas and are also located in the Cox building first floor lobby level; Wang Ambulatory Care Center Lobby; Warren Lobby; Gray Lobby; and the Main Corridor.
Basic television service is offered to patients free of charge. This includes channel 2,a public broadcasting channel; channel 4, CBS; channel 9, a Spanish language channel; channel 10, PAX TV; and channel 29, the patient education channel. For an extended selection of cable stations, a daily rental fee of $5.00 is required. To order this service, call 6-8888 and leave your name, room number and the name of your building. Television representatives visit the patient care units every afternoon and evening and request payment in advance by cash or check.
For family members and friends, there are a variety of options near the hospital to stay overnight. For information about luxury hotel accommodations go to www.boston.com/travel/hotels.
It is important for our patients to visit with friends and family. Visiting times are flexible. There are no set visiting hours or age limitations. Visitors should speak with your nurse to determine the best time to visit. Visiting arrangements are patient-specific, based on your individual needs.
Visitors who have been exposed to Chicken Pox, TB, Mumps or Measles or any other infectious disease within the past three weeks should speak with your nurse before visiting. In some cases, they may not be allowed to visit as it might pose a risk to you.
Visitors are invited to share meals with you if they wish. To order a guest tray, tell a nutrition assistant before 11:00 AM. for lunch and before 3:00 PM for dinner or for breakfast the next day. The charge is $4.00 for breakfast and $6.00 for lunch or dinner. There are also several cafeterias in the hospital (listed below). Any staff member would be happy to direct your visitors to the one closest to your unit.
Waiting Rooms for Families
There are non-staffed waiting areas located on each unit. In addition, if you are in surgery, your family may wait in a quiet are located on the first floor of the Gray Building. There is a small consultation room for family members to speak privately with your surgeon. Volunteers staff the reception desk from 9:00 AM until 8:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Complimentary beverages are available in this area.
Patient Status Inquiries
Family and friends may
inquire about your status at any time by calling 617- 726-2070. An
operator will forward the call to your unit and they may speak directly to
If you are a patient in one of the Intensive Care Units, only calls from your immediate family will be forwarded.
You have the right to limited access and confidentiality. You may indicate to the admissions or nursing staff that no information is to be shared about your condition or that you wish not to have visitors.
The Eat Street Café located on the ground floor of the White Building. Open Mon-Fri 6:30 AM to 8:00 PM, weekends and holidays 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Offers food court variety of entrees, salads, sandwiches, pizza, grill items, desserts and ice cream.
Coffee Central: located in the Main corridor, open Mon-Fri 6:00 AM to 12 midnight. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, frozen drinks and baked goods are available.
Blossom Street Café, open Mon-Fri 7:30 AM to 3:00 PM, offers foods that are easy to digest and nutritious and focus on the needs of patients with cancer. Choices include nutrient fortified soups, sandwiches, beverages and desserts
Tea Leaves and Coffee Beans Cafeteria, located on the lobby level of the Wang Ambulatory Care Center, open Mon-Fri 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM, offers breakfast pastries, light lunches, soups, desserts and beverages.
Vending Machines located on the first floor in the lobby of the Gray building. Accessible 24 hours a day, offer hot and cold beverages, snacks, sandwiches, soups and breakfast items.
The Fruit Street and Parkman Street garages are located outside of the main entrance to MGH. The maximum daily charge for patients/visitors is $8.00. Your parking ticket must be validated at the kiosk located on the first floor Wang Ambulatory Care Center to get this rate.
Valet parking is located at the entrance to the Wang Ambulatory Care Center off of Parkman Street and is available at a cost of $8.00.
Additional parking spaces are available on Blossom Street and Charles Street on a first-come, first-serve basis for Cancer Center patients. A pre-paid permit is required and can be purchased at the Cox Concierge Information Desk, first floor Cox building.
The MGH Commuter Services provide a customized profile of available transportation options to MGH by bus, train, boat, car routes and parking. Call 617-726-2390 for information.
MGH Shuttle System helps patients with special physical needs. A campus route connects the Professional Office Building, the parking garages, Mass Eye and Ear, the Cox building and the Jackson building. Shuttle routes also run to Brigham and Women's Hospital, Charlestown Navy Yard, and 850 Boylston Street. The shuttle runs on a 30 minute schedule weekdays from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Shuttle schedules can be picked up at the main information desk, White Building or the Patient and Family Learning Center, first floor White Building.
Boston Senior Shuttle is a free service for Boston residents over age 59. You need to make arrangements three working days in advance for this service. Call 617-635-3000.
Disabled Medicaid Patients should call their local welfare office for transportation assistance.
The Ride is available for disabled patients at $1 per ride by calling 617-222-5123.
MBTA, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, is the public transportation system in Boston for bus, subway and commuter trains. For more information call the MBTA at 617-222-3200, or visit the website http://www.mbta.com
Taxis are available at the main entrance to MGH. Also, the volunteer at the Cox Concierge Desk, lobby level Cox building, can call one to come to the Cox building.
ATM machines are located on the first floor, main corridor of the White Building and the first floor of the Cox Building.
The MGH Blood Donor Center is located on the first floor off the Gray Lobby, and is open Monday-Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM. The blood donor program services MGH, Shriners Burn Institute for Children, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Call 617- 726-8177 for more information.
Concern for the whole person - physical, emotional and spiritual is basic to patient care. Our chaplains, representing all religions, can offer you spiritual support and counseling. Let your nurse know if you would like this service, or call 617-726-2220.
For more information, please visit the Chaplain website.
The Backup Day Care Center
was established to help families who need temporary child care. It is located
on the first floor of the Warren building, hours are Monday - Friday, 6:30am
- 6:00pm. Patients interested in using the service must pre-register. Phone
Massachusetts General Hospital has many resources and structures in place to help patients, families and staff address ethical issues that may arise while receiving care and treatment. The "MGH Guide to Hospital Ethics Resources" is an informative booklet that outlines these resources and is available in the Patient and Family Learning Center.
This service is located inside the MGH General Store on the first floor of the Ellison Building. Upon request, flowers can be delivered to hospital rooms. For more information, please call 617-726-4500.
Gift Shop - The MGH General Store
Located on the first floor
by the Ellison elevators, this store has many novelty and must-have items.
Services include a florist, dry cleaning, and photo development.
The gift shop is open Mon-Fri 8:30 AM to 7:30 PM, Weekends and Holidays 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Visit the web site at www.mghgeneralstore.com/.
Images - MGH Hair and Skin Care Center
Images is a full service, non-profit hair and skin salon which patients and visitors can use. Images specializes in services and products for adult and pediatric patients with cancer. Services include: breast prosthesis fittings, hair alternatives, skin and cosmetic services, plus a variety of products including scarves, skin care and lotions. Images also offers individual consultations as well as a group program "Look Good, Feel Better". Images is located on the first floor of the Blake Building, between the Cox Building and the General Store. For an appointment, please call 617-726-3211.
Fore more information please visit the Images website.
There are information desks on the first floor in the Main Lobby, Gray Lobby, Wang Lobby and the Main Corridor across from Coffee Central.
International Patient Center
Located on the first floor of the Blake building, across from the O'Keeffe Auditorium, the International Patient Center offers services to international patients to help meet their medical and personal needs prior to their arrival at MGH and during their stay. Call 617-726-2787 for more information.
Visit the International Patient Center website for more information.
Medical interpreters are available to facilitate communication between non-English speaking patients and the MGH clinical staff. The service is always available, with staff at the hospital and on page, 617-726-6966. In an effort to best meet all of your needs, it is recommended that interpreters be scheduled in advance.
Interpreters for the deaf and hard of hearing may also be booked through the Office of Interpreter Services or through your medical team (nursing, social service or case management). Advance notice is required in all instances, except in emergency situations.
Lost and Found
Lost and found is located in the Police and Security Office in the basement of the Clinics Building. Please call 617-726-2121.
All deliveries and mail should include the patient's name, unit/building name, room number and hospital address: Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114
There are newspaper vending machines on the lobby level in the White, Gray and Warren Buildings.
A Notary Public is available through the Office of Patient Advocacy, located in the lobby of the Wang Ambulatory Care Center, Monday - Friday, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM. Call 617-726-3370.
Office of Patient Advocacy
The Office of Patient Advocacy is responsible for managing the hospital's patient complaint process. Patient Care Advocates serve as liaisons between patients and the hospital and are available whenever you need assistance. The office is located in the lobby of the Wang Ambulatory Care Center, Room 18. It is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Call 617-726-3370 for assistance. For more information, please visit our Patient Advocacy website.
Information about organ
donation can be obtained by calling the New England Organ Bank 1-800-446-NEOB
(6362) or by visiting their web site at http://www.neob.org/
The outpatient pharmacy is located on the first floor of the Wang Building and fills prescriptions from MGH and Partners doctors only. You will need a blue hospital card to have your prescriptions filled. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM and weekends, 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM. Call 617-724-3100.
Outpatient registration is located on the first floor of the Wang Building, next to the outpatient pharmacy. It is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Please call 617-726-2702 for more information.
Patient Financial Services
The Patient Financial Services Office provides information about hospital billing and is located in the lobby of the Wang Building. The customer service department answers questions by telephone at 617-726-2181.
Social workers help you
and your family cope with the stress of illness and being in the hospital.
Social workers provide you with emotional support, short-term counseling,
and information and referral to resources in your community. Social workers
can also help with practical matters such as finding a place to stay, financial
concerns and transportation. To see a Social worker, ask your nurse or doctor
to arrange a meeting, or call the department directly at 617-726-2640.
Visit our web site at http://healthcare.partners.org/Ss/ssframebottom/main.htm.
The Volunteer department is an organization of 1600 individuals carrying on services that make a difference in the lives of our patients. To explore volunteer opportunities at MGH, stop by the office on the first floor of the Clinics Building, Room 143, Monday through Thursday, 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM; or Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. For more information call 617-726-8540 or go to our web site at www.mgh.harvard.edu/depts/vol/index.htm.
Cancer Resource Room
The Cancer Resource Room (CRR), located on the first floor of the Cox Building, is a comfortable place, a touchstone, for cancer patients, their families and friends. It is a place to find patient education materials on all aspects of cancer care, health and wellness as well as hospital and community resources. CRR Staff welcome patients and family members to make repeat visits, to relax between appointments, watch an educational video, search the Internet or E-mail family. Other services available through The Cancer Resource Room are:
Patient and Family Learning Center
Patients and families can use the comprehensive resources of this consumer health information library located on the first floor of the White Building in the main corridor. The PFLC offers information searches, and a variety of pamphlets, periodicals, books and videos that cover many health and disease related topics. Computers are available for Internet access and email. The PFLC is open Monday through Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and closed on all hospital holidays. Call 617-724-7352 for more information. Also, visit the PFLC web site http://www2.massgeneral.org/pflc.
Transplant Unit Resource Room
Located on Blake 6, the resource room offers printed materials, computer access and videotapes for patients and families who are admitted to the service for a transplant.
The MGH Health Sciences (Treadwell) Library
Treadwell Library is one of the oldest and largest hospital health science libraries in the United States. Located in Bartlett Extension 1 on the main campus, the library is open Monday through Thursday, 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM; Friday, 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM; Saturday, 10:00am to 4:00pm; Sunday, 2:00pm to 8:00pm; and closed on all hospital holidays.
Treadwell Library offers many excellent on-line resources through their web page (http://www.mgh.harvard.edu/library/library.htm) including the "Well Connected" consumer health reports edited by MGH physicians. Use the on-line catalog "Magic" to search through the collections of Treadwell Library and the Partners HealthCare System affiliated libraries. Link to the "Electronic Library" and gain access to many on-line resources including "STAT! Ref" a collection of over 30 major medical texts that can be searched by subject or text word.
The library's comprehensive text book collection includes a consumer health section, and an expansive journal collection provide valuable resources for patients and families to use when conducting in- depth research on a medical illness. The librarians at Treadwell's Reference Desk perform computerized literature searches for patients and their families and providers.
The Warren Library, established in 1841, is the oldest general hospital library in the country. Patients and staff are welcome to visit the library in the Bulfinch Basement on Monday through Friday, 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM. The library is non-medical and offers seven daily newspapers, a large selection of magazines, videotapes and cassettes. You will also find over 10,000 books of all types, including best sellers available for borrowing free of charge. An off-hours book return is available. The library's phone number is 617- 726-2253.
Patient Education TV Channel
The TV channel offers over 100 educational health videos on topics such as cardiac surgery, maternity, diabetes, and so much more. The TV channel can be accessed from any inpatient room simply by:
There is no fee for this service and it is available 24 hours a day.
Bill of Rights
Our goal is to provide you with the care that is right for your illness and to help you get well as soon as possible. The hospital aims to deliver this care with a clear understanding of and respect for your individual needs and rights as outlined in the Massachusetts law, the Patient Bill of Rights. The Patient Rights and Responsibilities brochure is available for adults and children and will be given to you upon admission to the hospital.
Please visit the Patient Advocacy website to review the Bill of Rights.
Making Decisions about Your Care / Advance Directives
A time may come, because of an illness or accident, when you are no longer able to make your own decisions about your medical care. In such an event, you do not lose your right to accept or refuse treatment. To ensure your wishes are respected, you can complete and "Advance Directive". This is a document that gives instructions, in advance, about your wishes regarding your health care. The two advance directive forms you need to know about are the "Health Care Proxy" and the "Living Will".
You are not required to complete an advance directive and you will receive the same quality of health care whether or not you complete one. If you become unable to make your own decisions and do not have an advance directive, your family or others close to you may be asked to make decisions for you based on what they believe you would want. If you are under age 18, your parent or guardian usually would make decisions about your medical care
If you have a completed Health Care Proxy form or another type of advance directive, please give your doctor, nurse, or admitting officer a copy to be placed in your medical record. If you would like more information about Advance Directives or about the hospital's policy regarding decisions about your medical care, please call the Office of Patient Advocacy at 617-726-3370.
Health Care Proxy
Under Massachusetts Health Care Proxy Law, you can name another person to make decisions about your health care for you. This person becomes your health care agent. He or she may act for you only if your doctor determines in writing that you are unable to make or communicate your own health care decisions. Your agent would then have the legal authority to make all health care decisions for you, including decisions about life support treatments. He or she would be entitled to information and records from your doctor to help make decisions. The Health Care Proxy Law also allows you to put limits on your agent's authority, such as specifying what types of medical care you would or would not want. You can name and agent by completing a Health Care Proxy form, which is available in the admitting department or through your Primary Care Nurse. Before you complete the form, we urge you to discuss the matter with your doctor, your family, and the person you want to name as your health care agent.
A Living Will provides your doctor, family, and others close to you with written instructions that describe your views and choices about possible future medical treatment. The Living Will provides evidence of your wishes' however, it may not necessarily carry the same legal authority as a health care proxy who can carry out your wishes for you.
Your Medical Record
Your medical record serves
as a basis for planning your care, provides a means of communication between
you and the professionals taking care of you, and gives documented evidence
of the course and treatment of your illness. The contents of your medical
record are confidential and are released to third parties, such as insurance
companies, government agencies and employers, only if the hospital has your
written permission to do so. Information from your medical record may be released
to other doctors, health facilities or professionals concerned with your future
care without your permission, unless you specifically tell us not to release
information to anyone.
You may read your medical record by requesting to do so from either your primary nurse or your doctor.
Discharge Plan Massachusetts
General Hospital - Discharge Guidelines
The staff at the Massachusetts General Hospital want to give you the best quality health care. We know there is truly, No Place Like Home so we have designed a program to make your discharge from the hospital as smooth as possible.
On the Day of Discharge
We will work to have you discharged by 10:00 AM, please have your escort at the hospital before 9:30 AM. In some special cases, discharge may be after 10:00AM.
Every member of your health care team will work with you to plan your discharge.
Your nurse will work with you and the team to make sure that your discharge goes smoothly.
If you have any questions,
please ask a member of your health care team. We wish you well and hope your
MGH hospital stay and discharge go as smoothly as possible. Please let us
know if you have any suggestions about how we can make things better.
Managed Care and Prior Approvals
Please be aware that if you belong to a managed care group, you need to obtain prior approval from your primary care doctor and insurer if you are coming to the hospital for an elective procedure. If you are an urgently admitted or emergency patient, you must notify your primary care doctor and insurer, as soon as possible, that you are in the hospital. If you fail to do this, your insurer may not agree to pay your entire bill. We will make every effort to notify your insurer that you are in the hospital, but this is ultimately your responsibility.
Your Hospital Bill
Generally, insurance plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross and HMO plans cover patient's bills. However, these plans are agreements made between you and your insurer. The hospital is not involved in these agreements, so we cannot state whether an insurer will pay for care given at Massachusetts General Hospital. In some cases, insurance plans do not cover the entire stay or certain forms of treatments. Some plans include deductibles and exclusions, and occasionally, insurance companies will decline payment of a bill after care has been given and the patient has been discharged. We will send your final bill as soon as possible after discharge. Please note that doctor's bill separately for their services.
If you are from outside the United States, please be prepared to settle your account at the time you are discharged.
If you have any questions
about your bill after you leave the hospital, you can visit the Patient Financial
Services Office in the lobby of the Wang Building. You can also call the Customer
Service Department at 617-726-2181.
Parking and Transportation
Parking and Transportation
Parking and Transportation
Parking and Transportation
Parking and Transportation
Parking and Transportation
Parking and Transportation
Parking and Transportation
Parking and Transportation