Welcome to Saint Vincent Hospital Emergency Department
The Emergency Department, open 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, is staffed with a team of doctors from Associated Physicians of Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
The Medical Team
The HMFP-BIDMC physician practice consists of well-trained board certified emergency medical physicians, some of whom are nationally renowned in specialties such as toxicology, emergency medical services (EMS) and 911 directions, cardiac emergencies and trauma. They work collaboratively with the on-call hospital physicians and a team of registered nurses highly skilled in the ED with expertise in all areas of emergency care; including cardiac monitoring; trauma, orthopedic and pediatric care. All the nurses are educated in triage skills to provide a quick, accurate assessment of the patient upon arrival.
Important Phone Numbers: Emergency Department:
Main Hospital Switchboard:
Saint Vincent Hospital
123 Summer Street
Worcester, MA 01608
Emergency Room Entrance
123 Summer Street
directly across from the DCU Center in Downtown Worcester.
Exit 16 (Martin Luther King Blvd.) off Route 290.
The Emergency Department
The department is a fully-equipped, 38-bed facility with specialized treatment rooms for resuscitation, eye, ear, nose and throat problems, orthopedic injuries and obstetrical and cardiac emergencies.
The department's services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. On average over 165 patients seek help through the department each day—over 60,000 patients each year—the majority of whom suffer medical problems requiring swift and effective treatment: cardiac arrest, respiratory problems, or abdominal injuries, for example. The scope of our services, however, has never detracted from our compassionate and individualized approach to emergency care. Each patient who comes to Saint Vincent Hospital for treatment finds professionals who have dedicated themselves to prompt, skillful, personalized care. These medical experts—from specially trained nurses to physicians —and surgeons—are qualified to respond to the most critical need, and to provide state-of-the-art treatment.
What will happen when you arrive in the Emergency Department?
Upon arrival, you will be evaluated by one of our triage nurses, who will ensure that patients with the most critical emergencies receive care first. Depending on your medical conditions, you may be brought directly to our emergency treatment area, Our Fast Track area or be asked to have a seat in the waiting room. In addition, in January of 2010 we added a new service called Rapid Medical Evaluation (RME). The service is available from 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. and is staffed by a Physician Assistant. The purpose is to move the more mildly ill patients through the system within 30 minutes.
Next, you will be registered…
The triage nurse gives your information to a registration clerk. The clerk will ask for your name and address, your health insurance information, (no person will be refused care because of insurance), your doctor’s name and emergency contact information. It is important that we have accurate contact information from you.
People are seen at triage and registration in the order in which they arrive. Once their medical condition is evaluated, they move into a priority queue based upon the severity of their symptoms. This priority system is revised constantly, so people who have arrived after you may be seen before you. Please let the nurse know if your condition changes while you are waiting.
After registration, you will receive treatment…
Depending on your medical condition as assessed by the triage nurse, you may be sent to the appropriate area of the Emergency Department to be seen by a physician, or you may be asked to stay in the waiting room until an examination room is available. Depending on the severity of your condition and/or test results, the Emergency Physician, may:
- Send you home with instructions. If necessary, the physician may make arrangements for follow-up with your own family doctor (if you do not have a family doctor, we can suggest one), or for you to see a Saint Vincent Hospital Specialist. Make sure you understand all instructions before you leave, Or:
- Refer you to a consulting physician or specialist who will decide whether or not to admit you to the hospital.
Why do I have to wait?
This is a complex question and is difficult to answer but we hope the following facts may help provide some understanding:
- Emergency Departments nationwide must evaluate and treat everyone who arrives, regardless of their ability to pay; no one gets “turned away.”
- Saint Vincent Hospital sees over 60,000 patients per year in the Emergency Department.
- The number of uninsured patients continues to grow, and they may have nowhere other than the Emergency Department to turn to for care.
- Many hospitals in Massachusetts have closed over the last 10 years. Nationally, 1,000 emergency rooms closed during the same period of time.
- Diagnosing your emergency condition may require laboratory tests, or x-rays which take time to be processed.
- Patients needing admission to the hospital may remain in the emergency room because there are no beds immediately available in the hospital.
- Complicated trauma, cardiac or neurological emergencies such as car accidents, heart attacks and strokes require a great deal of resources and may tie up the staff.
- Ambulance patients arrive in the emergency department through a separate entrance making the department busy even when the waiting room appears empty.
When can my family visit?
Saint Vincent Hospital encourages family-centered care. In the best interest of all the patients, we request that:
- Families follow instructions given by the nurse with regards to limiting the number of visitors and noise level;
- Visitors respect the privacy of other patents and not wander freely through the department; and
- Families have one person to act as their spokesperson to decrease confusion and make communications between staff and family easier.