A visit to the emergency department (ED) can be frightening and confusing, so we hope to make your visit as comfortable as possible. We want you to have the information you need, and we suggest you read the following information explaining the process. Please ask questions and let us know how we can make your experience better.
When you arrive and register in the ED, you will ﬁrst see a specially trained triage nurse. The triage nurse may conduct a brief medical history and exam to determine the severity of your condition. Registration information will be taken by an admissions and registration counselor.
Depending on the seriousness of your injury or illness, you may be taken directly to a treatment area, or you may be asked to wait until a treatment area is available.
We must care for critical patients with life-threatening conditions first. If you have a minor illness or injury, you may have to wait while sicker or more severely injured patients are seen first. Other common reasons for delays may include:
In the treatment area, your care team:
If your condition changes, notify the triage nurse immediately.
Ask our staﬀ before you eat or drink anything. You may need a procedure or a test that requires an empty stomach.
Restrooms are available for your use. If you need assistance, please ask our staﬀ to escort you. BEFORE using the restroom, please ask a health care provider if a specimen is needed to assist in your diagnosis.
Please provide an accurate list of home medications, allergies, or herbal supplements to your health care providers so that we can ensure your safety and prevent interactions with medications during your stay.
Cell phones may be used while in the ED. Please be considerate of others by keeping volumes down when talking on the phone.
UPMC is not responsible for any personal belongings during your stay. Please have family take unnecessary belongings (including medications) with them to prevent loss.
If you or a loved one has any special needs, please let our staﬀ know so that we can get the appropriate personnel involved in your care.
Our physicians and nurses are specialists in emergency medicine. They will examine you and create a plan of care based on your individual treatment needs.
We know how important it is for family and friends to be involved and support you in your care, but for safety and privacy, the number of visitors is kept to a minimum. Every eﬀort is made to keep your loved ones informed of your condition and allow them to be with you when possible.
UPMC hospitals are tobacco-free facilities. To eﬀectively care for your health care needs, we do not permit patients to leave the department to smoke.
We adhere to the following guidelines for opioid administration. Any exceptions to these guidelines are by physician discretion.
Leaving the ED without being screened is a serious, perhaps life- threatening, decision. If you have been waiting a long time, you may feel tempted to leave the ED before you receive a medical screening examination by a physician or advanced care provider. Please speak with a health care provider ﬁrst, so that we can fully inform you of any possible complications you may face.
If you need to be admitted to the hospital, please allow time for us to place you in the right bed the ﬁrst time. There may be delays due to bed availability and hospital census. This may take a few minutes to several hours to complete.
For any immediate concerns or needs, please ask for the administrator on duty or the customer relations representative. They will assist you promptly.
Our goal is to provide you with high-quality care and friendly service during your visit. In the next few days, you may receive a Patient Satisfaction Survey at home. Please complete the survey and let us know how we did. Your feedback helps us make improvements.
Susan Comp, MBA, MHA, BSN, RN, CNOR
Chief Nursing Oﬃcer
Craig Skurcenski, MD
Vice President, Emergency Medicine
Vice President, Patient Service Coordination
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