The RMH Emergency Department is responsible for the immediate treatment of any medical or surgical emergency, for initiating life-saving procedures in all types of emergency situations, and for providing emergency care for other conditions, including chronic medical problems and minor injuries and illnesses.
Patients may arrive at the ED by private vehicle, emergency medical system (squad), or walk in. In some instances, an individual's private physician may request that he/she go to the Emergency Department. Other patients may elect to come to the ED on their own. In still other instances, the rescue squad may make the determination.
The RMH Emergency Department treats an average of 165 patients per day, with annual visits of more than 59,000. Some patients are treated in the main ED, while others with minor illnesses or injuries that generally require less time are treated in the Fast Track area. ED patients are treated in order of priority, based upon a triage assessment performed by an RN.
Patients arriving at the RMH Emergency Department first report to the triage desk, where an RN will quickly assess their medical condition. Patients with critical health issues are immediately escorted to a treatment room. Those with non-critical health issues and those with minor injuries or illnesses appropriate for treatment on the Fast Track will be asked to register and wait in the ED lobby area. These patients may be given a Comfort Call pager, which will be activated when a treatment room is available.
Patient registration is an important step in this process. Information provided through registration is entered into the main hospital computer system. This allows physicians and other healthcare providers caring for the patient to access information from the patient's previous hospital visits.
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Fast Track is an area within the RMH Emergency Department where patients with minor injuries or illness may be treated. The ED physicians have developed criteria for the types of conditions to be treated in Fast Track. These include:
- simple lacerations
- ear pain
- insect bites
- sore throats
Occasionally, a patient may appear to meet the criteria for Fast Track, but once an ED physician completes the initial evaluation, he/she may determine that the patient needs to be seen in the main ED.
The Fast Track area is open from 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. It is staffed with an Emergency Department physician and nursing staff. Fast Track patients generally go through the same processes as patients in the main Emergency Department. However, because of the nature of the illnesses and injuries seen in Fast Track, patients can go through the process in a shorter time.
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While in the RMH Emergency Department, the ED physician or your own physician will perform an assessment and determine your treatment. This assessment may include tests and procedures, including:
- Diagnostic imaging procedures
- CAT scans
- nuclear medicine scans
- special procedures
- Laboratory tests
- blood tests
- urine analysis
- Pain management
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Understanding Your Bill
After you have been treated in the RMH Emergency Department, you will receive a bill. Depending upon your specific treatment, you may receive several bills from different healthcare providers.
Generally, bills from Rockingham Memorial Hospital include charges for the use of the facility, medications and supplies used in your treatment and care. Emergency Department costs, radiology and laboratory costs, and charges from other departments that contributed to your care will be included in the RMH bill.
Physician providers each bill separately for their services. Some of these may include:
- Harrisonburg Emergency Physicians (charges for the ED physician)
- Harrisonburg Radiology Associates (charges for reading diagnostic images)
- Harrisonburg Pathology Associates (charges for laboratory test analysis)
- Individual consulting physicians (charges for specialist consultations)
- Your private medical physician (if your physician saw you in the ED)
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