ED Direct


Patients arriving at the Sentara Martha Jefferson 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 in the ED Direct area will be asked to register and wait in the ED Direct lobby.

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.

ED Direct

ED Direct is an area within the Sentara Martha Jefferson 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 ED Direct. These include:

  • Simple lacerations
  • Colds
  • Sprains
  • Ear pain
  • Insect bites
  • Rashes
  • Toothache
  • Sore throats

Occasionally, a patient may appear to meet the criteria for ED Direct, but once an ED physician completes the initial evaluation, he/she may determine that the patient needs to be seen in the main ED.

ED Direct patients receive care from the same professional emergency department staff in the main ED, but in a way that moves you more quickly through the system without compromising quality.

Some things patients should know about ED Direct:

  • ED Direct is designed around national emergency department best practices.
  • Our goal is to get patients in and out in less than 90 minutes.
  • The staff providing your care is dedicated to ED Direct.
  • The staff will focus on the patient’s acute complaint.
  • We will ask patients to have only one friend or family member to accompany them to the treatment area to keep the process efficient for all of our ED Direct patients.
  • Patients may not be asked to get fully undressed for their exam.
  • If a patient’s condition is more complicated than we initially thought, we will move them into our main treatment area and provide the extended services they need.

Some things that have not changed:

  • We will continue to provide high-quality care that is tailored to each individual patient.
  • We will keep our patients and our staff safe.
  • We care about our patients and appreciate the opportunity to meet their healthcare needs.

Sentara in the Community