Your Health Is Our Top Priority

Learn what to expect when you arrive at a Northwestern Medicine facility for care, including safety measures in place for your health and well-being.


Here is a look at the extensive measures in place at our facilities to help avoid the spread of infection.

Visitor Restrictions

Visitor restrictions remain in place at all Northwestern Medicine inpatient and outpatient facilities. We continue to evaluate restrictions at each Northwestern Medicine facility. Please be sure to check the visitor policy at your local hospital or outpatient clinic.

We understand that coming to a medical appointment alone may cause some concern. To help you feel more comfortable as you prepare for your visit, please review the tips below.

Screening for Illness

Everyone entering Northwestern Medicine hospitals and outpatient centers will be screened for fever and asked about COVID-19 symptoms. Some patients who are having surgeries or procedures also undergo more thorough testing prior to their arrival. Anyone exhibiting symptoms will be triaged for care or asked to return home.

Physical Distancing

Everyone must maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from each other unless they are giving or receiving direct patient care. This policy is supported with:

  • Modified seating plans in waiting areas, cafeterias and common spaces.
  • The placement of signs in waiting areas to indicate appropriate spacing.
  • Restrictions on elevator use. Where elevators are required, use is limited to no more than two persons at a time. Please allow additional time to get to your destination.

Universal Masking

With the exception of inpatients who are in their hospital rooms, everyone is required to wear a mask while in our facilities.

Extensive Cleaning Process

Our Environmental Services teams continue to perform rigorous cleaning of our hospitals and physician offices, and have increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces.

Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer dispensers are available throughout our facilities.

Tips for Patients Arriving Alone

As patients return to Northwestern Medicine for important medical appointments and procedures, we will continue to maintain a no-visitor policy with limited exceptions. We understand that you may feel uncertain about not having a companion with you for a medical visit. The following tips may help ease your concerns.

  • Let your caregiver know if you are feeling uneasy or stressed. This is a common response to any medical appointment, and discussing these emotions can be helpful.

  • Familiarize yourself with your destination before arriving at the Northwestern Medicine building. Campus maps are available on nm.org by searching for the name of the location. You can also call ahead for specific directions. Once on-site, Northwestern Medicine employees will gladly provide assistance in locating a particular building or office.

  • Make sure your phone is fully charged and bring a charger along if you anticipate spending several hours in our facility.

  • Bring a list of questions for your provider. If you have a companion who typically joins you for your appointments, you can work together to make this list before you leave home.

  • If you have a companion that typically joins you during your medical visits and you would like them to participate remotely via telephone, please discuss that with your provider.

  • Be prepared to take notes during your appointment and remember to read any notes you receive at discharge. These notes may contain detailed information about treatment recommendations and future appointments.

  • If you are expecting to have a longer procedure or infusion, consider downloading music, a television show, a podcast or game apps, or bring a magazine/book or other distraction to pass the time.

  • If you will need an interpreter during your appointment or procedure, notify your provider’s office ahead of time.

  • After your appointment, use the hand sanitizer available on-site. When you get home, wash your hands. Wipe down your phone, tablet and/or earpieces.