Emergency Medicine


GW’s Emergency Room: FastTrack Helps Minimize Wait Times

The George Washington University Hospital has one of the premier emergency departments in the country, with a long history of providing leading edge medicine in a quality, caring and efficient environment.

Only minutes away from Washington, D.C.'s downtown tourist sites and just six blocks from the White House, the Emergency Department at GW Hospital plays an essential role in caring for the urgent health needs of the District of Columbia. The department cares for nearly 75,000 patients each year, including serious injuries, as a Level 1 Trauma Center.

The George Washington University Hospital works to provide every patient who enters its Emergency Department with the best possible experience. Its FastTrack program, for example, helps minimize wait times for patients by managing exam room availability, registering patients at the bedside and expediting test results. This streamlined process allows doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to better collaborate and deliver care that has been tailored for each patient.

The Emergency Department serves as a local medical resource to the Foggy Bottom community, while also serving the healthcare needs of visitors to the nation's capital. The hospital is the primary receiving center for emergencies that may occur in the nation's monuments and government complexes in downtown Washington, D.C. In 1981, GW's Emergency Department played a major role in saving the life of then President Ronald Reagan, after an assassination attempt left him severely wounded. More recently, in July 1998, the department took care of two victims of the tragic shooting at the United States Capitol.

A team of physicians, board certified in emergency medicine, work in cooperation with other in-house specialists to provide efficient, quality treatment as follows:


The Emergency Department plays a pivotal role on the hospital's brain attack team, which is devoted to rapid intervention for acute strokes.

If a stroke is suspected, time is of the essence. It is now established that patients who suffer acute strokes can benefit from thrombolytic therapy if the medication is administered within three hours of the stroke. Together with area ambulance services and the emergency, radiology, and neurology department have organized a rapid response 24 hour brain attack team to evaluate and treat acute stroke patients who are brought to the hospital's Emergency Department.

Heart Attack:

Emergency intervention for heart attacks is coordinated with cardiologists, radiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons. Our physicians are known for their success in treating individuals experiencing a heart attack and has been reported to have one of the country's lowest mortality rates for heart attacks.

Time is critical for anyone experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack. Waiting too long before going to the emergency department may increase the amount of heart damage. Seeking immediate treatment can make a big difference in the quality of life after recovery.

Depending on the type and severity of the heart attack, the cardiac team takes patients from the emergency department directly to a catheterization lab to administer treatments to clear blocked arteries and restore blood and oxygen flow to damaged heart tissue. At The George Washington University Hospital, a cardiac team and fully equipped cardiac catheterization suite is available 24 hours a day. Patients are rapidly evaluated and a course of treatment is begun.

This Draft Has Sidebar Blocks
Sidebar Block 1

If you are having a medical emergency, don't wait. Go to the nearest emergency room or call 911!

Sidebar Block 2
Accessing the
GW Emergency Department

The walk-in entrance is located just south of Washington Circle on 23rd Street on the west side of the street.
View Hospital Map >

Emergency Department Billing
You will receive a bill from the hospital for services rendered. You can expect to receive a separate bill from the physician who treated you.

Sidebar Block 3
Department of
Emergency Medicine

The Department of Emergency Medicine at the George Washington University Medical Center was the seventh academic Emergency Medicine Department in the country. The Department sponsors a broad range of clinical, educational, research, and consulting initiatives in the areas of Emergency Medicine and Emergency Management. To learn more, visit: Department of Emergency Medicine

Sidebar Block 4

The Trauma and Acute Care Surgery team at The George Washington University Hospital provides premier academic trauma care in the DC metropolitan area.

Learn more >


The George Washington University Hospital is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc.(UHS), a King of Prussia, PA-based company, that is one of the largest healthcare management companies in the nation.          

The George Washington University Hospital

900 23rd Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037

© 2015 The George Washington University Hospital. All rights reserved.

Note:The information on this Web site is provided as general health guidelines and may not be applicable to your particular health condition. Your individual health status and any required medical treatments can only be properly addressed by a professional healthcare provider of your choice. Remember: There is no adequate substitution for a personal consultation with your physician. Neither The George Washington University Hospital , or any of their affiliates, nor any contributors shall have any liability for the content or any errors or omissions in the information provided by this Web site.            

The information, content and artwork provided by this Web site is intended for non-commercial use by the reader. The reader is permitted to make one copy of the information displayed for his/her own non-commercial use. The making of additional copies is prohibited.