The Emergency Department is sometimes referred to as “the other front door” of the hospital. Saint Mary’s Emergency Department is no exception, providing treatment for nearly 70,000 patients a year. To provide the best possible experience for those patients, their family members and visitors, Saint Mary’s employs a team of dedicated Customer Care Representatives.
“Their primary function is to welcome and engage people who come to our ED 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” said Nancy Feola, Service Coach. “They have a unique opportunity to give our customers something no one else can: a first impression. They set the tone for the patient’s experience. They convey warmth and empathy and serve as a point of contact. They are there to keep patients informed.”
The representatives make the rounds in the waiting room and interact with patients with the goal of improving patient satisfaction.
When you arrive in the Emergency Department (ED,) you will be greeted by a member or our health care team. They will request your name, date of birth and reason for your visit.
A Registered Nurse will ask you for a more detailed account of your personal and medical history and take your vital signs (temperature, pulse, blood pressure and oxygen saturation.) This triage process determines who should be seen first. More emergent, life threatening illnesses or injuries will be seen in the Emergent area.
Non-urgent or pediatric patients may be directed to the Ambulatory Emergency Care area to be seen.
After being triaged, please listen for the registrar to call your name. The registrar will escort you to a private area and ask for your patient insurance information.
Occasionally, patients are taken out of order because of the severity of their illness. Our staff is highly skilled in making this determination. We understand it can be uncomfortable and worrisome to patients and their families. If there are changes in your symptoms as you wait, please make the staff aware. We will do our best to keep you informed of how long you may be asked to wait.
If you choose not to stay, please make our staff aware.
Patients should not eat or drink anything while waiting to see a physician. Doing so may interfere with your examination, testing, diagnosis or treatment. Many tests or treatments may require an empty stomach to be completed and accurate.
Some patient may require extensive testing such as X-rays, MRIs or CAT scans that can lead to delays. The results of blood tests can take up to 2 hours to process. The results of some X-rays may take up to 4 hours.
At times, due to limited space, you may be initially evaluated in a hallway. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. It is our goal to provide appropriate care for every patient as soon as possible.
Once the physician determines you are to be admitted to the hospital for continued care, there are several steps that will need to be completed. We want to assure the most appropriate nursing unit will be made available for your specific needs. The emergency department staff will keep you safe, comfortable and informed while you are waiting to be transferred. If the hospital is full, you may experience a significant delay before we are able to complete steps necessary to ready you for admission. We appreciate your patience. Please speak with your care team if we can do anything to make you more comfortable during this time.
We ask that all patients please turn off your cell phones while they are receiving treatment. Cell phones may be used near the entrance to the Emergency Department.
Visitors are welcome in the treatment room upon patient request. We ask to limit visitors to 2 per patient. For safety reasons, we ask that you keep infants and small children in the waiting area with family. There may be times when visitors may be asked to leave the treatment room so that we can care for the patient, protect the patient’s safety, and provide privacy for those in critical situations.
We ask that visitors in the treatment area remain in the patient’s room to protect the privacy of other Emergency Department patients. We understand that visitors are important for the patient’s well being. Please let the staff know if you have any needs.
We encourage patients to follow all of the instructions provided by their doctor or nurse. If for any reason your condition worsens, please contact your private physician or return to the Emergency Department for follow-up care. Always ask any questions or make known any concerns you have when you talk with the physician or nurse treating you.
Our policy at Saint Mary’s is to treat all patients presenting to the Emergency Department regardless of ability to pay. Those who are uninsured or under- insured will be referred to a Financial Counselor for assistance.
Billing for emergency visits is not calculated until after your visit is complete. Please note the staff is not able to provide a ‘price list’ or ‘estimate’ of the charges.
If your insurance policy indicates you have a co-pay/ deductible due, you will be visited by a financial counselor or registrar who may request a payment the same day as the visit.
Emergency Department parking spaces are limited. If it is determined you will require admission, please make arrangements for your car to be moved to another area so that access is available for others.
Following your visit with us, you may be contacted by a professional telephone interviewer from HealthStream® Research. This call may show up on your Caller ID as “Healthstream” or
1-800-305-2522. It will only take a few minutes and your feedback will help Saint Mary’s provide exceptional care to every patient, every day.
Thank you for choosing Saint Mary’s for your healthcare needs.