Exterior photo of the WHS Emergency Department

WHS Washington Hospital has been caring for our community for over 125 years. Our Emergency Department is one of the busiest Emergency Departments in Southwestern Pennsylvania, providing emergency medical care 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week/ 365 days a year.

We are committed to providing great patient care as efficiently as possible to our patients regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, language, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, religion, physical or mental ability.

This web page was set up to answer several frequently asked questions and to help alleviate any concerns you may have as you await treatment. If you are inside one of our Emergency Departments now and have additional questions or concerns, or you feel your condition is worsening, please speak to one of our team members.

Thank you for trusting us with your care.

Patient Belongings

Patients and visitors are responsible for all personal belongings. We highly recommend you bring only essential items into the hospital and urge all patients to send personal belongings, medications (after a WHS team member helped you make a list of them), and valuables such as pocketbooks, watches, jewelry, and cash home with a family member or friend or leave them safely in your vehicle. WHS is not responsible for replacing lost or damaged items.

        Items you should bring in with you if you have them:

Photo ID, insurance card, copay, and a list of medications or supplements.

       Other items that you might find helpful to bring with you:

A book to read and a cell phone charger.

Zero Tolerance

WHS Police are always on site to ensure the safety of our staff, patients and their families. WHS does not tolerate violence of any sort. Under PA Law, it is a felony to assault a healthcare worker performing their duties. Please see our code of conduct posted throughout this unit.

Pain Medication Guidelines

  • We DO NOT provide replacement prescriptions for controlled substances.
  • We DO NOT dispense or prescribe methadone or suboxone.
  • We DO NOT write you refills for certain prescriptions. Some medications are only safe with close supervision of a primary care physician.


Below you will find a number of frequently asked questions. Please click on the question to ready the answer.

Triage assessments help us determine the severity of each patient’s condition. In the triage area, a highly trained emergency department team member will assess your situation. They will ask you several questions about your illness or injury while obtaining your vital signs including temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiratory rate. Remember to let the triage team member know about all medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, or substances you may be taking along with any allergies or other recent health problems. This information is important in providing you with the best possible care.

After checking in at the reception desk you may be asked to take a seat in our waiting room prior to being triaged. If you are waiting to be seen, please check with a triage team member before using the rest room, because in most cases a urine specimen will be needed for your care. Also, do not eat or drink anything as this could affect your care and possibly delay treatment.

We are equally concerned for everyone’s care, and we make every effort to get you into a treatment area as soon as possible. We must care for critical patients with life threatening conditions first. If you have a minor illness or injury, you may have to wait while those with more severe illnesses or injuries are treated first.

There are several reasons you may be waiting throughout your visit:

    • Patients with the most severe and life-threatening conditions need to be treated first
    • You or other patients ahead of you may be waiting for: test results
    • a consult by a physician specialist such as orthopedics (bone doctor), cardiology (heart doctor), etc.
    • availability of an open emergency room bed
    • availability of an inpatient bed for admission to the hospital, if necessary

These and other factors contribute to wait times and your length of stay in the ED. We know it can sometimes be frustrating to wait, but we appreciate your patience and understanding.

Our team is dedicated to giving high quality care to every patient that walks through our doors and this takes time. Your visit is dependent on several factors including but not limited to:

  • total number of patients in our ED that day
  • the number of patients with serious conditions
  • the type of illness or injuries you are here for
  • the type(s) of testing ordered for your care
  • availability of beds
  • whether you’ll need to be admitted to the hospital for further treatment

While you wait, we will do our best to make you as comfortable as possible.

We realize that it is important to our patients to have the support of a friend or loved one during a stressful emergency. For various safety reasons we must limit the number of visitors for each patient:

  • Patients ages 18 and over are permitted one support person at the time of care
  • Patients under 18 are permitted two support persons at the time of care

In the treatment room, you will be cared for by several skilled staff members including nurses, ED technicians, and care partners. This team will put together a treatment plan to diagnose and treat your ailments as well as order any additional necessary testing.

Depending on your ailment you may be seen by a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner, a Physician’s Assistant, or a Physician. All WHS ED staff members are highly qualified, and we care for our patients as if they are one of our loved ones.

When you are discharged, we will provide clear instructions for any additional outpatient testing, appointments, or follow-up care that is required. If you have question prior to leaving our facility, please don’t hesitate to ask.

If you are advised to follow up with your primary care provider after your visit and you don’t already have a provider, you can call our physician referral line at 724-250-4310.

As a reminder: if you have a co-pay and you pay before leaving you will receive a 10% discount.

Many times, we can treat your illness or injury and then send you home. In other instances, you may require further testing or observation and need to be transferred to one of our inpatient units. When continued care is necessary, our department will begin the admission process, but it’s possible there may be a wait for an available inpatient bed. While you are waiting, we will continue to care for you in the ED exactly as the team would on the inpatient unit. Your care is not being delayed.

PressGaney Surveys

After your Emergency Room visit you may receive a survey by mail, text message or e-mail from the PressGaney Corporation. Please take a few moments to complete this survey to let us know how we are doing. Good or bad, it helps us take better care of you and the community we serve.

Patient Portal 

Female looking at computer screen, smiling

The myWHS patient portal is a secure, online tool for you to access your personal health information including your hospital visit summary and testing results.

Are you a current myWHS hospital portal member?

If you are already enrolled as a member of the hospital’s portal (not the Physician office portal) you will have direct access to your testing results and this information may include notes, laboratory results, imaging studies, pathology reports, and procedure notes.

These reports are sent to the portal as soon as they are finalized by the reviewing or ordering provider. It is very possible that you will see a result before your emergency room provider has had an opportunity to review them because they are posted immediately.

Be aware that you may see results that are difficult to understand, indicative of an illness, or perhaps even a diagnosis that you were not expecting. For that reason, you may want to wait to learn your results until your provider can interpret and explain them.

Be aware that not all results marked as “abnormal” are of clinical concern. It is important to understand that your provider will discuss all relevant information with you when they have had the opportunity to review it. This may require additional office visits, televisits or consultations to provide you with the most comprehensive care for your medical needs.

Don’t have a myWHS patient portal? Sign up today by scanning the QR code below or by visiting whs.org/mywhs and click on the hospital portal link. After registering, the portal takes approx. 24-48 hours to activate your account. Once you become a myWHS portal member, you will have access to any of the available information 24/7.

For additional support regarding the patient portal please call 1-888-670-9775.

Thank you for choosing WHS Emergency Department for your care.