Make a Referral

Below is information physicians and advanced practice providers will need to make a patient referral to UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. UPMC Children's accepts patients until the age of 26.

Outpatient Referral

If you would like to make an outpatient referral and know the department you’d like to reach, we’ve assembled a list of phone numbers that will give you direct access to our specialists and departments.

Inpatient Referral

There are a variety of procedures available to referring physicians in order to make inpatient referrals as seamless and efficient as possible.  Many of these channels include the physicians of the Paul C. Gaffney Diagnostic Referral Service (DRS).

The DRS is a team of highly-skilled hospitalists who are often a referring physician’s first point of contact.  In addition to acting as patients’ attending physicians during their stay at Children’s, these physicians update referring doctors regularly on their patients’ progress while in the hospital.  DRS physicians also provide comprehensive discharge letters outlining the care rendered during the patients’ hospital stay and facilitate post-hospitalization care, including outpatient follow-up and clinic visits, if required.
If you are among the 325 referring physicians who are a Hospitalist Care Partner, please follow the steps below to make an inpatient referral:

  • Call the Diagnostic Service Group at 412-692-5135 and ask for the physician on call.  He or she will immediately act as your patient’s advocate and make all necessary arrangements for transport and admission.
  • If you are a Hospitalist Care Partner and instead wish to reach a specific department,  please call 412-692-5325 and ask to be connected to the specific department.

If you are a referring physician who is not a Hospitalist Care Partner, you may refer one of two ways:

  • If your patient requires emergency transport, please call  412-692-9989.
  • If your patient is a non-emergency referral, please call the hospital operator at 412-692-5325.  The operator will connect you to the appropriate department or physician who will expedite care arrangements.

ED to ED Transfer

Children’s Hospital is proud to be the region’s only Level 1 Regional Resource Trauma Center for children.  Each year, our Emergency Medicine Department cares for 60,000 children from Western Pennsylvania, Northeastern Ohio and Northern West Virginia and beyond.  Our Emergency Department offers attending level coverage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you are an Emergency Medicine physician who would like to make a trauma or non-trauma referral to Children’s Emergency Medicine Department, please follow the following procedure:

  • Call Children’s Dispatch Center at 412-692-5000.  Our dispatch team will record all pertinent information into our database, assess level of severity and discuss transportation arrangements with you.  Once that information is obtained, you will be connected to the trauma surgeon on call or an Emergency Department physician to complete referral arrangements.

Why are Transportation Arrangements Necessary?

During the initial referral call, Children’s strongly encourages referring physicians to discuss transportation arrangements with our staff since a child’s condition can deteriorate rapidly.  Our staff is happy to serve as a resource to help referring physicians determine if emergency transportation (by air or ground) is necessary.  If emergency transportation is required, our dispatch center will make all necessary arrangements.

While Children’s is not part of the UPMC MedCall system (toll-free: 800-544-2500), MedCall dispatchers will often determine if a patient should be transferred to Children’s.  In rare pediatric cases, patients may require admission to another UPMC hospital.  Be assured that your patient will be placed appropriately to ensure the best outcome possible.

When arranging a transfer to Children’s, please include essential information:

  • Patient’s name
  • Age
  • Date of birth
  • Mechanism of injury (if trauma)
  • All radiographs, CT and MRI scans
  • All laboratory results
  • Record of treatment received prior to transfer
  • Pertinent patient records
  • Insurance pre-authorizations 
  • Name and phone number of child’s primary care physician

Children’s will also need pertinent records to travel with the patient including all radiographs, CT and MRI scans, and laboratory results.