Preparing for your visit

We're honored to care for you

If you have any questions, compliments or concerns about your care or safety as a patient of UW Health, we encourage you to talk with your doctors and nurses. If you feel your concerns are not adequately addressed, please contact Patient Relations using our form or by calling (608) 263-8009.

Patient guides

To view a pdf version of the patient guides, please select from the following:

Additional patient guides

Visitor guidelines
For details about our visitor guidelines including policies on the number of visitors and hours, please review our Patient and visitor guidelines.

When you arrive

Preparing for your hospital stay or visit

University Hospital

Valet services and patient drop-off

  • Valet services are open for golf cart parking assistance, Monday-Friday, 5:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

  • Patients can be dropped off and picked up at the front entrances, Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

  • Wheelchair assistance is available

East Madison Hospital

Patient drop-off

  • Patients can be dropped off and picked up at the front entrance

  • Wheelchair assistance is available

  • Call Guest Services for any assistance: (608) 440-6242


Parking is available in parking ramps or parking lots.  

East Madison Hospital

Parking is available in front of the facility. Additional parking is available in the parking ramp on the east end of the facility.

Madison Metro Bus Service Route 26 might be operating reduced schedules. Please visit

University Hospital

One primary visitor per patient receives complimentary parking. For assistance, please visit an information desk, 2nd floor (Main Street), 7:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.

RVs can park for free in Lot 131, located on University Bay Drive. Electricity is provided. To obtain an RV pass, please go to one of the information desks or call (608) 263-0315.

During your stay

Services and amenities for a comfortable stay

A garden courtyard surrounded by buildings

A space to promote healing

A healing environment for rest and recovery

If you are feeling stressed by being in the unfamiliar environment of a hospital or by life events, please talk with your care team or check out online resources that are available.

If noise is a problem, please speak to your nurse about options to minimize sounds, such as requesting a sleep kit, wearing earplugs or listening to peaceful nature sounds on your television.

Pain control and comfort options

Preventing and managing pain can help you get well faster

This can help you enjoy greater comfort and improve results of your care. If you are feeling pain from lying in a hospital bed, please talk with your nurse or care team how to be more comfortable, such as:

  • Extra pillows for neck, knees, ankles

  • Fan or sound/white noise machine

  • Machine that stimulates nerves (TENS unit)

  • Warm pack/cold pack (heat/ice) or warm blanket

A woman reading a book to a young boy inside a cluttered gift shop aisle

Passing the time

Things to do during your time with us

To help pass the time, you can watch mindfulness activities, games, movies or listen to music on MyChart Bedside.

Our gift shops can deliver these items to your room:

  • Books and magazines

  • Coloring books, notepad, pen

  • Crossword puzzles and Sudoku

  • Deck of cards

  • Games

University Hospital's outdoor rooftop gardens and patios:

  • 1st floor: Atrium Patio, located at J3/1

  • 1st floor: Health Sciences Learning Center patio, located past the K elevators

  • 3rd floor: Patio, located at C4/3

  • 4th floor: Hilary Grace Healing Garden, located at E4/4

UW Health East Madison Hospital outdoor rooftop gardens and patios:

  • 1st floor: East Wing Turf-side Patio

  • 2nd floor, Bistro Rooftop Patio

Internet access, television and movies

UW Health facilities provide complementary internet access during your stay. Connect your smartphone, tablet or laptop to "UW Health Guest"

Watch movies, television shows or one of our relaxation channels. Our streaming movie service allows you the flexibility to start, pause or stop programming around your schedule. Please set your television volume at a comfortable hearing level so as not to disturb other patients. Most patient rooms have televisions equipped with closed captioning. If you require assistance, please ask your nurse. 

Watch on your bedside tablet

  1. On your MyChart Bedside tablet, open the MyChart Bedside app

  2. Login to MyChart Bedside with your PIN

  3. From the menu on the left, tap "Watch Movies"

  4. Browse movies, television shows or other content and tap to start

Watch on your personal mobile device

  1. Connect to "Free WiFi UW Health" on your smartphone, laptop or personal tablet

  2. Download the "Swank Media Player" app from iTunes or Google Play store

  3. Open your web browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.), type in the URL text box and click enter

  4. Browse movies, television shows or other content and tap to start

Watch on your television

Local and cable channels are listed on Channel 1.   

Therapeutic and peaceful TV channels

To help you rest and recover, you might prefer to watch or listen to peaceful and comforting TV channels instead of regular TV programming.

View a listing of our channels (pdf)

Three UW Health culinary services employees standing at a prep table

Patient meals and room service

Providing a quality stay or visit

Patient meals and room service
Salad with eggs, turkey, cucumbers, onions and a green vinaigrette dressing in a white bowl

East Madison Hospital and University Hospital and American Family Children's Hospital room service dining menu features made-to-order, freshly prepared food, allowing for more personalized service.

Please check out the patient and family guides for the room service menus:

Every surface in your room has been thoroughly cleaned with hospital-grade cleaning products. We also use a UV disinfection robot to make sure your room is germ free — from top to bottom.

If your room needs cleaning, it is too hot or cold or if a feature of your room (television, bed, lights, etc.) does not work properly, please talk with your nurse or call:

Information for visitors

Visits from family and loved ones

Visiting hours

View our UW Health visitor guidelines for the latest updates including visiting hours.

Virtual visits

Family and loved ones provide emotional support and comfort to you. Even though we are limiting the number of visitors in the hospitals, we encourage you to stay in touch virtually with friends and loved ones. We are pleased to offer Webex Meet (Virtual Visitor) technology if you do not have a personal device or if you want a secure, private connection that allows your family to be involved in your care. You can access Webex Meet from your MyChart Bedside tablet. Please talk with your nurse.

We will provide your room number and phone number to people who call the hospital’s information desks. Please tell us if you do not want this information released.

Learn how to use a virtual visit with the Visitor Quick Reference Guide for Webex Meet (Viritual Visitor) (pdf) | Guía de referencia rápida para Webex Meet (Visita Virtual) (pdf) .

Your healthcare team

Working with your healthcare team

Our healthcare team members partner with you to achieve the best possible outcome for your care. We want you to feel informed and cared for during your hospital stay. If you have questions about the roles of your care team, or wonder why certain medicines, tests or therapies are being ordered, please ask us.  

UW Health is a teaching hospital. Our faculty physicians provide patient care and often conduct leading-edge research to improve medical care. They also serve as teachers and mentors for medical students and residents to train the next generation of doctors. 

Different care team members may ask you to answer many of the same questions. The information you provide is essential in helping us provide the best and safest care for you, and we thank you for your patience.

Your care team and their roles

The core members of your care team are:
A physician talking to a couple next to a hospital bed
  • You and your family

  • Your primary support person can be a family member, partner or friend, at least 18 years old, who provides you with significant emotional support.

  • Your nurse is your main caregiver and point of contact.

  • Nursing assistants work alongside your nurse to ensure you receive all of your care.

  • Your providers (doctor, nurse practitioner or physician assistant) partner together and provide care on your treatment plan with input of other care team members.

  • Health unit coordinators (HUCs) assist with communication between you and your healthcare team.

  • Hospitalists are physicians who specialize in internal medicine and the general medical care of hospitalized patients.

  • Medical interpreters

  • Nurse case managers assist your healthcare team to develop a discharge plan of care and arrange for home care, medical equipment or therapies outside of the hospital.

  • Social workers provide support to help you with the stresses associated with sudden and chronic illnesses and their impact on everyday life.

  • Patient care technicians are certified nursing assistants who work alongside your nurse to ensure you receive all of your care.

  • Pharmacists review your medicines and teach you how to take them properly so you get the best results.

  • Registered dietitians help you learn what foods and beverages promote healing and recovery as well as meet your nutritional needs based on your personal health concerns.

  • Therapists are skilled in specialized treatments help you develop skills to recover from illness or injury.

  • Various support services including environmental services, security, culinary, patient access, guest services, materials management and others also partner with your care team to ensure your stay meets your expectations.

Care team visits

Every day, your care team will discuss your goals, answer your questions and confirm next steps in your healthcare plan (tests, treatments and discharge plans). To limit the number of staff in the hospital and in your hospital room, your care team may meet virtually. Family can also be involved virtually in care team visits using Webex Meet technology. Please ask your nurse for assistance.

Please have your medication schedule available (see MyChart Bedside or ask for a printout), keep us aware of any sensitive issues and write down questions as you think of them so you can discuss them all with your care team.

You and your family members may be the first to notice a change in your condition. Please tell nursing staff if there is a change in your condition, such as high or low blood pressure, high or low heart rate, breathing problems, chest pain, facial droop, arm or leg weakness, problems speaking, new or increased confusion or inability to waken.

To ensure your safety, every time there is a change of shift, the off-going nurse will introduce you to the on-coming nurse. Together, both nurses will perform a safety check that includes a brief summary about your medical condition and a review of equipment and medications.

  • MyChart Bedside Gives you and your designated caregivers access to real-time information about your health, your care team, and what to expect during your hospital stay. Please talk with your nurse to request a tablet or if you need assistance.

  • UW Health MyChart

  • You may request copies of your UW Health medical records, radiology images and pathology reports and slides. Forms are available at check-in desks or at

Everyone is at risk for falling while in the hospital: Call, don't fall.

Before getting up, please check with your nurse first about assistance you may need.

Honoring your healthcare wishes

Completing advance care planning and an advance directive can give you and your loved ones the peace of mind that your current and future healthcare preferences are known and will be honored if you are not able to make decisions for yourself or not able to communicate your wishes. Advance directive forms are available online or staff can provide them for you.

Expressing gratitude

Some people find expressing gratitude to be emotionally healing as they reflect on challenging experiences.

Patients and families often ask how they can express their gratitude to our providers and staff. We appreciate your kindness and offer several ways that you can recognize members of our UW Health team.

If you wish to recognize:


You may submit a message for a physician for National Doctors’ Day, which is celebrated annually on March 30.


You may submit a nomination for a DAISY award, which is presented monthly.

Nursing assistants

You may submit a nomination for a Sunshine award, which is presented monthly.

Medical assistants

The Sunflower award recognizes medical assistants for extraordinary care.

Respiratory therapists

You can nominate a respiratory therapist for a PHIL award for exceptional care.

UW Health staff or providers

You may submit a note of appreciation for our patient experience recognition program. This is a great way to recognize any provider or staff member year-round.

Thank you for taking the time to recognize our remarkable providers and staff – in your own words, which is especially meaningful.

To make a donation

For those interested in making a philanthropic gift to support the care, research or services at UW Health, there are many ways to give.

Support services

Services to support your health and healing

A patient being helps with directions on a card

A chaplain can provide a supportive, caring and compassionate presence to you and your family, especially during worrisome times of being in the hospital. We respect the spiritual beliefs and needs of everyone. Call (608) 263-8574 if you would like to talk with our chaplains or have us contact your faith leader.

View a list of virtual religious gathering resources

You can find a wide array of gifts for all ages at our gifts shops. You can place orders for delivery of personal care items, such as phone chargers, reading glasses, toothbrushes, postage stamps and more. Visit the Flowers and Gifts main page for hours and information.

Mendota Market is University Hospital's on-site convenience stories with groceries and convenience store items, prepared food, beverages, specialty teas and Starbucks, Barriques and Cadence Cold Brew coffee on Nitro Tap. The Mendota Market might have limited hours or be closed temporarily due to COVID-19; signs will be posted in any affected areas.

  • University Hospital, 1st floor, near the cafeteria, open overnight - hours could be altered due to COVID-19 safety measures.

We are pleased to offer a "patient and family rate" at the Best Western Plus InnTowner hotel near University Hospital and hotels close to UW Health at the American Center. Reservations must be made through UW Health Guest Services by calling:

Medical bills from an unexpected accident, illness or hospitalization can cause financial stress. If you find yourself without a plan to pay medical expenses, our financial counselors will help you understand and manage your UW Health bills.

We can assist you with setting up payment plans, providing estimated costs for upcoming services, exploring other coverage options such as governmental programs or plans on the Healthcare Marketplace, and if applicable, applying for UW Health's Financial Assistance Program.

Please contact us if you have questions about your health insurance coverage, your medical bills, or if you would like to discuss payment options or financial assistance.