Plan Your Visit
Holidays & Special Hours
Penn State Health is committed to the safety of patients, staff, visitors and the general public. We are currently only permitting family/support persons to accompany patients within our facilities. One family/support person is permitted per adult inpatient visit per day. Two parents/guardians are permitted per pediatric inpatient visit per day. Per the visitation restriction policy, no visitors, aside from patient-designated family/support persons, are allowed at this time. View additional visitation information.
Important Phone Numbers
- Call our CareLine to make an appointment or for general questions
- TTY: 717-531-4395 or 800-731-3032 (toll-free)
Hospital operator: 717-531-0000
- Connect to hospital departments and service areas
- Find and contact a patient
Outpatient pre-arrival: 717-531-1300
- For patient registration, insurance verification, and financial evaluation
Patient concerns: 717-531-6311
- Share a concern with a Patient Experience liaison
Billing and insurance: 800-254-2619 or 717-531-5069
- Learn more about billing and insurance
Medical records: 717-531-8055
- Learn more about medical records
If you're having an emergency, please dial 911.
The Emergency Department (ED) at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is central Pennsylvania’s only Level I Trauma Center for both children and adults. We specialize in the assessment and treatment of trauma, stroke, heart and vascular, pediatric and neurosurgery patients. We also have specially trained forensic registered nurses, called Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, who provide sexual assault survivors with comprehensive, compassionate care. No matter what time of day or night, our Emergency Department is here when you need it most.
Important things to know
What happens when I arrive?
You will be greeted by our registration staff and asked to provide basic information about your injury or illness. A registered nurse will evaluate your symptoms and check your vital signs, medical history and current medications. You may be seen by a provider in triage. This will aid in beginning your workup as quickly as possible.
The triage process allows the more seriously ill or injured patients to be seen first, even if they arrive after other patients. We know that waiting can be frustrating and we want to thank you in advance for your patience.
You will either be placed in a patient care area or in the waiting area. Our ED staff may begin tests, including labs and radiology studies, if needed. It is our goal to reevaluate your condition every two hours, but if you feel your condition has changed, let one of our staff members know immediately. Please do not eat or drink anything until first checking with one of our registered nurses.
What happens in the patient care area?
You will be examined by a physician who specializes in emergency medicine. Based on your condition, you will receive additional tests and treatments. It may take two hours or more to get your test results. A registered nurse will keep you informed about what is happening with your treatment.
You may be asked the same questions by multiple members of our team so we have the most accurate information. This is done to verify your identity and provide you with safe, high-quality care.
How long does it take for specialist consultations, lab and radiologist results?
A consultation with a provider who specializes in your illness may take at least one hour, but could take up to several hours. The following times for lab and radiology results may vary depending on patient volume and the severity of your condition.
Can I have visitors?
Get the latest information about how Penn State Health is managing COVID-19.
What happens after I am treated?
Your illness or injury may require admission to Hershey Medical Center. A staff member will transport you to an available bed. If your condition requires treatment that is not available at Hershey Medical Center, you will be transferred to an appropriate health care facility.
What happens when I am discharged?
Patients who are discharged home are given complete after-care instructions and prescriptions, as needed.
What special care do pediatric patients receive?
Our Emergency Department has an area dedicated to patients under age 18 with staff members who have special training in pediatric emergency medicine. At least one parent or legal guardian must remain with their child at all times. Blue bracelets are provided to positively link the caregiver and child.
My Penn State Health is a secure website where you can schedule appointments, email your health care provider, check test results, refill prescriptions and pay your bill.
For questions about your copay or the billing process, our registration team can assist you.
We value your feedback
Our goal is to provide each patient with the highest-quality emergency medical care. If you have any questions or concerns about the care you received in the ED, please contact Patient Relations at 717-531-6311, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You may also take a few moments to answer a brief, three-question survey about your visit.
We accept a variety of health insurance plans and will submit claims on your behalf. Certain coverage restrictions may apply based on your individual benefit package.