Beth Israsel Deaconess Hospital - Plymouth


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What will happen during a visit to the Emergency Department?

Our goal is to make your visit as pleasant and comfortable as possible during what can be a stressful time.

When you arrive, a nurse asks patients to complete a personal information form, which includes your name, date of birth and primary complaint. This begins the “triage” process, whereby patients are prioritized based on the severity of their situation.

A specially-trained triage nurse will perform a brief evaluation, in a private setting. A full set of vital signs is performed, along with weight for pediatric patients. The nurse will also ask about your medical history, any medications you are taking or may have taken and a history of any allergies.

If you are determined to be stable, you will be moved to a separate area where you are registered as a patient and a record is generated. Once this process is complete, you will be moved as quickly as possible to the ED or the fast track area and assigned a nurse.

Ambulance patients are triaged by the charge nurse, where a determination is made if the patient requires an immediate bed assignment or can go through the normal triage process.

How long should I expect to wait for attention?

During the past several months, Beth Israel Deaconess - Plymouth has made tremendous progress in greatly reducing patient waiting times.

While the nature of emergency medicine is unpredictable, it is now very rare for non-critical patients to wait more than 45 minutes before being seen by a treating professional. While you are waiting, make a note of your medications and symptoms so that when you see a physician the information is readily available.

Of course, patients with the most serious conditions are treated first, but we always do our best to care for all patients as quickly as possible.

What happens if blood work or x-rays are ordered? When are results delivered?

The nurse caring for you will draw a blood sample. The sample will be sent to the lab and analyzed. The turn-around time for blood tests is approximately one hour (specialized tests may take longer).

If the physician has determined that you need x-rays, the nurse will order the X-ray. The X-ray technician will come to the department and escort you to the Radiology Department. The turn around time for a simple X-rays is approximately 30 minutes. The ED physician will do a preliminary reading. The official reading of your x-ray, however, will be done by a radiologist. Follow up will be done if there are any differences between the readings. Speciality radiologic studies like cat scan and ultrasound can take 2-3 hours because of the preparation needed to perform the study correctly. These studies are read directly by the radiologist and results are called to the ED physician upon completion of the radiologist’s interpretation.

Are visitors permitted in the Emergency Department?

We understand that the support of family and friends is important during an emergency. We will make every effort for your family to see you briefly during your visit. We must, however, preserve all patients’ rights to privacy and confidentiality. Therefore, there are times that we may ask your visitor to return to the waiting area.

We will do our best to consistently keep family members informed of the patients’ condition and progress. Visitors who wish to see a patient in the treatment area should speak to the receptionist or the triage nurse.

What if I require hospital admission?

If you require admission, as determined by the ED physician in consultation with your primary care physician, you will be seen by the house physician (hospitalist) or your own primary care doctor. The nurse providing your care will arrange for a bed. Occasionally there will be a wait while the room is prepared. We ask your patience in regard to wait times as these may vary based on hospital daily census.

How do I pay for Emergency Department treatment?

In the weeks following your visit, you will probably receive invoices from a number of individuals or medical groups who were responsible for your emergency care. (e.g. Beth Israel Deaconess - Plymouth, your emergency physician, your primary care physician, the radiologist who read your x-rays and any consulting physicians.) If you have any questions regarding your Beth Israel Deaconess - Plymouth bills, please contact the Patients Accounts Department at 508-830-2046.

Emergency Deptartment
275 Sandwich Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
(508) 746-2000

We are open 24 hours
a day.

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