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 the most critically ill and severly injured treated through The Center for Trauma and Critical Care. The Trauma Center is a Level I American College of Surgeons (ACS) verified facility where trauma surgeons, emergency medicine physicians, trauma-trained nurses, anesthesiologists and operating room personnel are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to evaluate and treat any injury. 

GW 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.


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

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 for conditions that require a quick response including:


If a stroke is suspected, time is of the essence. Patients who suffer ischemic or acute strokes can benefit from thrombolytic (clot dissolving) therapy if the medication is administered within three hours of the event. Together with area ambulance services, the emergency, radiology and neurology departments have organized a rapid response 24 hour brain attack team to evaluate and treat acute stroke patients brought to the GW Hospital's Emergency Department.

Heart Attack

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.

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.

Depending on the type and severity of the heart attack, the cardiac team takes patients from the emergency department directly to GW Hospital's fully equipped cardiac catheterization suite, which is available 24 hours a day, to administer treatments to clear blocked arteries and restore blood and oxygen flow to damaged heart tissue.

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.

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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 yo