What Is An Emergency?
The main function of the Emergency Department (ED) is to treat patients who are suffering from an acute serious illness or injury that would lead to severe complications if not treated. The ED is not designed to provide routine medical care. Patients requiring urgent attention will always be seen first. Treatment in the ED is based on clinical need, not financial situations or whether you have health insurance.
Most emergency departments are very busy, and treat thousands of patients each year. Patients are treated in order of medical emergency, not necessarily in order of arrival. To ensure the sickest patients are seen first, a sorting mechanism called triage is used to categorize patients.
What if it is not an Emergency?
Non-emergency conditions are best treated by your Primary Care Manager (PCM). Advantages of seeing your PCM:
- You are more likely to see the same doctor each time
- You usually will not have to wait
- It frees up the Emergency Department to treat emergencies
If you feel your condition is worsening, please contact the triage nurse to be reevaluated.
Triage is performed by an experienced and licensed registered nurse and occurs very soon after arrival. Care is delivered to all patients regardless of culture, beliefs, conscientious convictions, sexual orientation, or disability and privacy will be respected at all times.
Triage is the first step in the assessment of your physical condition. A registered nurse will record your vital signs: temperature, pulse, respiration, and blood pressure. You will be asked questions about your current symptoms and medical history. At the conclusion of the triage process, you will be assigned a level of priority on a scale of 1 to 5 using the Emergency Severity Index (ESI). An ESI level of 1 is the highest priority of treatment in our department while an ESI level of 5 is considered less urgent.
Priority of patients to be seen is determined by triage level assigned to the patient, not by the order of arrival to the emergency room. This is an ever changing process.
Concerns, Compliments, or Complaints?
Patient concerns, compliments, or complaints may be directed to the Customer Service Division at 910-570-3338 located on the first floor in the patient services hall. For emergencies please call 911.