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Your Emergency Care Visit: What to Expect

Please go to the registration window as soon as you arrive. The staff at registration can answer your questions and need you to fill out a form that allows us to treat you.

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TriageEmergency entrance

Triage is a life-saving system that ensures the most serious medical problems are treated first. A Triage Nurse will ask you about your medical problem and do a short exam. They will also ask you about your medical history, allergies, and current medications. We will not delay life-saving treatment. If a patient is critically ill, we may need to ask required questions of the patient’s companion or ask the patient once they are stable and able to answer.

How long will my wait time be?

Several factors determine wait times. These include:

  • how busy the department is at the time
  • how serious your condition is
  • how serious other patients’ conditions are

Ambulances frequently arrive at the bay in the back of our Emergency Department. If the medical needs of those patients are more urgent than those of the patients in the waiting room, then the ambulance patients will be seen first.

Treatment

An emergency medicine doctor will do a thorough exam. They may order additional tests and procedures so you can get the best treatment for your problem. There may be a wait for lab tests and X-rays, and it takes time for us to process and review the results. We will do our best to keep you informed on wait times.

Telemedicine and Stroke Care

If a patient is suffering a stroke or some other serious medical problems, we may team up with specialists at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) through the Connected Care video conferencing and monitoring system. For example, any time of day or night, a neurologist from DHMC can assess patients in real-time. This often allows us begin urgent treatment fast when you need it the most.

Next steps based on your condition

Discharge

You may be discharged from the Emergency Department. We will give you written instructions before you go home. It is very important that you understand and follow your discharge instructions, so please us know if you do not understand any of the instructions or if you have any questions.

If you are given a prescription, there is a pharmacy in our medical center where you can pick up your medication during business hours. You may be asked to follow up with a specialist to make an appointment for care after you go home. The Emergency Department providers will issue a referral.

You can call the number on your printed instructions or use myD-H though the computer or MyChart mobile app to schedule your appointments.

Admission to the hospital

You may need to be admitted to our hospital for further treatment. Some patients are admitted to the Operating Room, Intensive Care Unit, or the appropriate Medical-Surgical floor for continued care. Cheshire has many specialists, all credentialed by Dartmouth-Hitchcock, ready to provide you excellent care.

In Cheshire’s Inpatient Acute Physical Rehabilitation Unit, patients receive treatment from rehabilitation professionals like physical, occupational, recreational and speech therapists. Inpatient rehab helps people who have experienced major medical events like a stroke or spinal injury recover and regain the best function so they can live a full life.

How will I be billed for my visit to the emergency department?

Most insurance policies require a co-payment for use of Emergency Services. The charge you receive will vary with the level of care provided. Lab tests, x-rays, medications, and other supplies will generate additional charges if they are required. A separate bill may also come to you from your private physician, any consultants, and/or the radiologist if their services are necessary.

If you think you cannot pay for the emergency services you received, please tell the staff at registration so they can help you with Financial Assistance.