How to Get Admitted to the Hospital

iTake personal ID and insurance information with you to the hospital.

Getting admitted to a hospital involves a serious medical condition or specific diagnosis that warrants immediate and overnight care. In a non-emergency situation, bringing complete personal information and an advocate to speak on behalf of the patient can result in a faster admission. In an emergency situation, the attending physicians will make a decision on admission during the triage stage when a patient arrives for initial evaluation.

How to Get Admitted to the Hospital

Expect a doctor to make the decision on admittance if you go to the hospital emergency room.

Get a referral from a personal physician and approval from the insurance company to increase the likelihood of a swift admission to the hospital. Take these documents to the hospital.

Bring to the hospital your identification, insurance card, Social Security number, home address, telephone numbers and contact information for a relative or friend. In a non-emergency, bringing all personal information should speed up the admissions process.

Consider getting a second opinion from another doctor if an initial visit for a medical complaint fails to result in a hospital admission. A second opinion will be less expensive than a trip to the local emergency room.

Know that a complaint of chest pains often leads to hospital admission, monitoring and observation. Hospital admissions for chest pain and angina climbed 110 percent since 2000, according to, a website that tracks medical statistics. Complaining of chest pains may result in admission, but after running a series of diagnostic tests, the physicians may send a patient home if the results show nothing or are inconclusive. Such an effort could result in nothing more than a large medical bill.


While legal procedures vary by state, a suicide threat virtually guarantees a 72-hour admission to a medical facility: specifically a psychiatric ward for secure observation. Automatic admission for suicide threats is a policy intended to protect the patient from self-harm while protecting the public as well. Such policies also protect medical providers from potential legal liability. For example, Florida law states that "when a patient goes beyond verbalizing thoughts of suicide to verbalizing an actual plan for suicide, caregivers have an immediate legal responsibility to seek admission of the patient for inpatient psychiatric care." Using a threat of suicide to gain admission to a hospital for other medical reasons is unlikely to be effective, since the patient will probably be sent to a mental-health institution for evaluation, observation and either treatment or discharge if doctors determine the suicide threat is an attempt to manipulate a hospital admission.