Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What happens when you visit an emergency room? What can patients expect?
A: Traditionally when you present to an emergency department, if you are healthy enough to walk in the front door, you are usually evaluated by a non-clinical person who takes your name, your date of birth and puts you on a list and then you take a seat and wait for the triage nurse to call you back. When called, you're evaluated and assessed by that nurse, assigned a priority depending on what your chief complaints are, and then you may go back out to the waiting room to wait again if there's not a bed available.

At Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, we've altered that process to provide our patients with better care. When you present to our emergency department, if we have a bed available for you, we will take you directly back to that bed. We do your triage assessment at the bedside, we also do your patient registration at the bedside, and this allows the physician to actually see you much quicker than what would occur in a traditional setting.

Q: Is there still an ordering process based on acuity level when triage is done at the bedside?
A: Yes, there is still a priority given to those patients, and of course the sickest patients are seen first.

Q: Does the new process change anything the nurses and doctors do?
A: No, it actually just makes the whole process work much smoother. You have the privacy to be able to do the assessment of your patient and you can do it all at once instead of having to break it into multiple pieces. It actually works very well.

Q: What happens to the triage space at Sentara Martha Jefferson Emergency Services when patients go straight to a bed?
A: If we take a patient directly back to a bed, then the triage area actually stays unused. When we do have a need for the space, it's always available and provides a setting to do things such as initiate treatment, do your EKGs, start I.V. lines and medicate.

Q: If you come in on an ambulance does the same triage process take place?
A: The same process does take place if you come in by ambulance. Hopefully we have a bed available and can take you directly back, however it is possible you may have to have a seat in the waiting room or be placed in a hall bed until a room becomes available to you.

Q: What one thing should people remember about Sentara Martha Jefferson Emergency Services?
A: If you think you need to visit the emergency department, don't hesitate. We are more than happy to take care of you. At Sentara Martha Jefferson Emergency Services, we can meet your needs by delivering high quality patient outcomes and sharing our caring tradition.

Q. What is a freestanding emergency room?
A. A freestanding emergency room is not located on a hospital campus. Sentara Martha Jefferson Emergency Services at Proffit Road provides access to the same emergency-trained medical personnel and diagnostic imaging and lab services available in Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital's emergency room. No appointment is required to be seen at the facility. Should a patient need to be admitted to the hospital, an ambulance is on campus to immediately transport a patient for direct admission.

Q. How is Sentara Martha Jefferson Emergency Services at Proffit Road different from an urgent care center?
A. Sentara Martha Jefferson Emergency Services at Proffit Road is open 24 hours per day, seven days a week, whereas most urgent care centers are only open for a portion of the day and generally not on Sundays. Sentara Martha Jefferson Emergency Services is also capable of treating a wider range of urgent and emergent medical conditions, including respiratory distress, head injuries, abdominal pain, dehydration, orthopedic injuries (fractures), sports injuries and lacerations (cuts requiring sutures). These conditions are beyond the scope of treatment for most urgent care centers.

Q.How is Sentara Martha Jefferson Emergency Services at Proffit Road different from a hospital-based emergency room?
A. Sentara Martha Jefferson Emergency Services at Proffit Road provides the same emergency treatment patients receive in our traditional hospital-based emergency rooms. It accepts ambulances and walk-in patients, and both have streamlined processes to minimize wait time. Both our hospital-based department and our freestanding emergency department provide convenient, comfortable surroundings while administering the utmost in quality care.

Q. What am I required to pay?
A. Patients whose insurance plans treat Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital services as in-network are required to pay the emergency room co-pay as designated by the insurance plan at the time of service. As with any visit to an emergency room, upon receipt of the explanation of benefits (EOB) from the insurance carrier, patients may also be required to pay a deductible or any co-insurance if it is determined to be patient responsibility by the insurance provider.

Q. What if I have to be admitted to a hospital?
A. Insurance companies or the patient will be billed for the transport consistent with stabilization and transfer from any hospital emergency department.