What to Expect
From the moment of arrival at the Silver Cross Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED). Following this initial interview, you are directed to the triage area, where a registered nurse, often aided by a trained technician, gathers information on your medical history and performs an initial assessment, including vital signs and a limited examination.
Because pain management is a priority at Silver Cross Hospital, and if deemed appropriate, the triage nurse may administer pain medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen (i.e. Tylenol and Motrin) before you leave the triage area. Following triage, you may be directed to the lounge or taken to a treatment room. Please be assured that our goal is to put every patient into a treatment room as quickly as possible, but you may experience a wait depending on how many other patients we are evaluating. We do not accept appointments and cannot always predict how many patients will register to be seen.
Patients are seen based on the severity of their illness, not just based on their time of arrival, and the most seriously ill and injured patients are seen first.
Those required to wait for an examination room are re-evaluated routinely by the triage nurse. If you feel that your condition has changed, please ask the triage nurse to re-evaluate you. While you are waiting, please refrain from eating or drinking until you are evaluated by a physician. Eating could delay your treatment and can worsen some conditions. To expedite your care, some testing such as simple x-rays and specimen collection may begin as soon as you are registered.
Once transported to the examination room, you will undergo thorough assessments by both registered nurses and Emergency Department independent physicians. If testing is needed, a technician may draw blood or transport you for an X-ray, MRI or CT scan adjacent to the ED. Please be aware that it may be necessary to order advanced testing, which could prolong your stay in the Emergency Department. In particular, many CT scans require you to drink a contrast medication that will take up to 3 hours to complete. We will inform you about delays whenever possible.
Once an evaluation is made and treatment is administered, the ED staff works to coordinate care with your primary care physician and other specialists involved in your care. If you do not have a primary care physician or your physician does not maintain admitting privileges at Silver Cross, your care is overseen by a physician with ED strategies and communicated to an on-call physician who will care for you in the hospital. A hospitalist is a licensed and trained physician who serves as your personal physician throughout your hospital stay. If you are discharged from the ED, the hospital staff will provide you with information about how to obtain a primary physician or specialist to provide the follow-up care necessary for recovery.
Specialty Trained Experts
At Silver Cross Hospital, only experts trained in the field of Emergency Medicine provide medical care for patients.
All independent physicians caring for patients at Silver Cross Hosplital are trained in the specialty, having completed Emergency Medicine residency programs, and are board certified in Emergency Medicine. In addition, physicians trained in other specialties are available for consultations as needed. Nurse practitioners (NPs) provide care in the Emergency Department, and they also received extensive training in the specialty of Emergency Medicine. They have received a minimum of two years of training and are well versed in the care of minor injuries and illnesses. In ED, they operate independently but coordinate the care of every patient with the emergency physician on duty.
Nurses in the Emergency Department are licensed registered nurses and are required to take specialty classes related to emergency nursing care, triage and Advanced Cardiac Life Support. Newly hired nurses undergo extensive training and supervision to ensure that they provide the highest quality of care.
Technicians assist physicians, NPs and nurses in all aspects of providing care. Emergency Department technicians have undergone training in drawing blood, and operating EKGs and other medical equipment. They also may transport patients for testing or appear in patient rooms to restock supplies.
A visit to the Emergency Department can be inherently stressful for patients and their loved ones. At Silver Cross Hospital, we will make every effort to respect your wishes about visitation. We generally require 20 to 30 minutes alone with a patient after he or she is placed in a treatment room. After the initial evaluation, we make every effort to allow appropriate visits from family or friends. Because of the nature of an Emergency Department, we allow two visitors per patient at a time. Visitors must be at least 16 years of age unless special arrangements have been made. Also, please note that there may be times that visitation will be prohibited, but we will provide frequent updates to keep you informed about your loved one’s care and condition. We appreciate your understanding as we try to provide the best possible care for our patients in an environment that respects every patient’s rights to privacy and comfort.
Following your visit to Silver Cross Hospital’s Emergency Department, you will receive at least two bills. The physician with EM strategies that you see in the ED will send you a bill for the physician’s care provided to you and Silver Cross Hospital will bill you for your hospital visit. Additional billing will be completed for test reading from Radiology and pathology. Silver Cross works with most insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid. Our billing department will file claims on your behalf. However, patients are responsible for a portion of the bill, based on the rules determined by your insurance company. If you do not have insurance, you will receive bills for the full amount. To initiate a payment plan, call 815-300-7087 for hospital billing.
Patient Satisfaction Survey
Shortly after being released from Silver Cross Hospital, you may receive a survey asking you to rate your experience at our hospital. The survey helps us gather feedback from patients so we can improve our performance and provide the highest quality care to patients. On the survey, “5” is the highest possible score you can assign us. As we “strive for all 5s,” please let us know how we did and we can better meet your health care needs.