Preparing for Your Appointment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Preparing in advance for your appointment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital will help you feel more comfortable when the day arrives. Take the time to gather personal and medical information, and write down any questions you have for your physician prior to the visit. Advance planning can make your hospital visit go smoothly.
If it is your first appointment, please arrive a half hour before your scheduled appointment. This allows time for patient registration.
Patient and Visitor Screening
Knowing that COVID-19 is with us for the foreseeable future, all patients and visitors are screened for symptoms of respiratory illness before they can enter our facilities. We ask patients and visitors to use our Mass General Brigham Prescreen app at prescreen.massgeneralbrigham.org before their arrival. The app is available in English and Spanish. It walks users through a series of questions to screen for symptoms of illness. Screening questions must be answered on the day of your appointment or visit. Learn how to use the app before your visit.
The app will help reduce wait times for entry into the hospital; please be sure to factor in extra time for screening if you do not use the app. Please note: All patients and visitors must enter the hospital at 45 Francis Street, 75 Francis Street or 60 Fenwood Road (the Hale Building).
After answering the screening questions, patients and visitors will receive a digital pass on their phone that provides faster entry to our facilities. Patients who may have completed a phone screening prior to their visit still need to answer questions on the prescreen app before entry.
For patients and visitors who need help in other languages, staff are available to assist at our entrances. If you need directions to your destination within the hospital, use our Maps app to plan your route.
Who to Bring with You
You will receive a lot of information at your first appointment. A friend or family member can write down details during the visit as well as ask questions of your providers. They can also transport you to and from the hospital.
To verify your identity, we may ask for photo identification (driver’s license, military or government-issued card).
You should always check with your own health insurance plan before getting care to make sure you understand your covered benefits and costs.
For patients who would like to request a cost estimate for healthcare services at BWH you can find more information about how to do so on the Mass General Brigham website.
Be prepared to pay by cash, check or major credit card for any required co-pay. If a spouse or parent is the primary carrier, have his or her information ready, including the employer’s name. Bring your insurance card with you.
Your BWH physician will want to review your medical records prior to or during your visit. Records include laboratory tests or diagnostic imaging tests done in connection with the reason for your visit. When requested, please provide written pathology reports and CDs of X-rays, scans or MRIs.
We will ask for your referring doctor’s name, address and phone number.
Be prepared to discuss your past and current health issues, such as hospitalizations, surgeries and allergies. You may be asked questions about your family’s health history and your diet, exercise and sleep habits.
Always bring a list of your current medications (prescription and over-the-counter drugs, supplements and vitamins) including the dosage and frequency. We will need the name and contact information for your pharmacy.
Bring a copy of your advance directives (health care proxy or living will) if you already have one. If you don’t, you can access information about advance directives in English or Spanish.
Depending upon the department or service you are visiting, you may be asked to complete forms or documents prior to your scheduled visit. Some clinical areas will have specific forms to download on their websites for you to prepare and bring to your appointment.
Once you are a registered patient, you can set up a Patient Gateway account, allowing you to communicate with your physicians and access your test results.
Please familiarize yourself with the location for your appointment, and secure directions and parking information. If your appointment is at the main hospital during the hours of 10 am – 3 pm, please allow extra time for driving and parking as these are the busiest times of the day at the hospital.