Banner Health
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What to Expect

With any luck at all, your visits to the Emergency room are few and far between. At Banner Health, we make every effort to ensure every patient receives the care they need and that the process is smooth and timely and results in a positive outcome.

What Should I Expect When I Visit a Banner Health Emergency Department?

Step 1: Quick Look/Triage Nurse

When you arrive at the Emergency department, you will receive an identification number and bracelet at the registration desk. The Quick Look/Triage nurse will ask you questions about the reason for your visit and may do a brief exam which may include vital signs, pulse, respiration, temperature and oxygen level.

This helps determine the severity of your condition so that the sickest patients are seen by the provider first.

Step 2: Registration

Registration is completed sometime during your visit and before leaving the Emergency department.

Step 3: Treatment

If you are having a severe medical emergency, you will be seen as soon as possible.

Some of our facilities have Intake or Fast Track Areas that treat minor illnesses or injuries. Once seen by the Quick Look/Triage Nurse, you may be asked to wait in the waiting area until a bed becomes available. Notify the nurse immediately if your symptoms change or worsen.

If needed, tests will be ordered to correctly diagnose and treat your condition.

The emergency department has a specialized team that works under the guidance of a physician to provide treatment. Team members may include a registered nurse, physician assistant, registered nurse practitioner, medical or radiology technician, physical therapist, ED technicians, respiratory therapist or social worker. In pediatric situations, a Child Life Specialist may also be involved.

Step 4: Re-Evaluation

After all of the above steps have been completed, your provider will decide if you will be discharged or admitted to the hospital.

Step 5: Going Home/Discharge

When you are discharged home, you will be given complete after-care instructions to follow, including following up with your personal physician.

Additional Tips:

If possible, bring a list of your current medications, a list of allergies and insurance verification.

Frequently Asked Questions

A visit to the Emergency room is – hopefully – not something you do often. Here are some answers to some of your most frequently asked questions.

We are committed to providing excellent patient care, no matter what your illness or injury. Quick Look/Triage nurses will evaluate each patient and determine the general severity of illness or injury. Because our first priority is to save lives, the most severely injured or ill patients will be seen first. Also, you may be waiting for a specific treatment room, diagnostic test, lab result, or a return phone call from your doctor. If you are asked to wait, but begin to feel worse, please tell the nurse right away.

We never delay care to complete paperwork. The registration interview is a very important part of your visit. Our patient services representative must create/identify your patient history file that will issue a medical record number and account number specific to you. These numbers are then sent electronically to the Laboratory, Medical Imaging (X-ray), Blood Bank and remain your specific lifetime numbers. It is important that these professionals take the time to enter the information accurately. Our Health Information Management Services (Medical Records) department maintains all records related to this visit for many years. When you arrive, we get only the information necessary to establish a personal medical record and identification armband.

You might be asked not to eat or drink because your physical condition may require testing or surgery. After the doctor evaluates you, please check with your nurse about eating or drinking.

  • If you have a complicated health problem, you may be in the Emergency room for many hours. Your health problem may require numerous tests and your doctor may need to consult with specialists.
  • If your illness or injury is life-threatening, it may take several hours to stabilize your condition. There are many services available in the Emergency department, but the number of patients needing these services may also create a delay.
  • If you have a serious illness or injury, such as a heart attack or stroke, you may need to be admitted to the hospital for ongoing care.
  • In the event that the hospital is full, there may be a delay until a room becomes available. You will be cared for in the Emergency department until your room is ready.
  • There may be times when the doctor determines there is no life-threatening condition and may refer you to your own physician for more diagnostic testing.

You can pick up copies of your medical records from Health Information Management services (Medical Records) at the Banner Health facility where you were seen for your emergency. Please call in advance, so your records can be prepared for you. You will need to sign a release of information form before receiving the records.

X-rays can be picked up from the Medical Imaging department at the Banner facility where your x-ray was done.

Unlike your primary doctor, the Emergency department staff is not familiar with your medical history, general health, or health care concerns; therefore we cannot provide accurate information related to treatment or diagnosis over the phone. We will always be glad to see you in person in the Emergency department.

In compliance with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and in an effort to maintain the safety and confidentiality of patients being treated in the Emergency department, we will not provide information regarding whether or not a patient is here, specific treatment provided or discharge plans. If you know a specific person is being treated in the Emergency room, you may ask for them and they can provide the information as requested.