Northwest Medical Center's Emergency Department (ED) offers 24-hour emergency services and is staffed by medical professionals with experience in emergency medicine. Because patients with the greatest need must receive immediate care, all patients are first seen by a registered nurse who assesses and prioritizes patients on the basis of need, not on the order of arrival.
Our doctors specialize in emergency medicine, caring for patients with acute illnesses or injuries which require immediate medical attention. Once the emergency situation is resolved, we recommend you follow up with your primary care doctor to reassess your overall health. A primary care doctor enhances your overall long-term health by managing your care over an extended period of time, called continuity of care. If non-urgent conditions are treated routinely in the ED, your primary care doctor may not have all the necessary information to ensure your continuity of care.
The 30-Minutes-or-Less Emergency Room (ER) Service Pledge at Northwest Medical Center-Tucson
What exactly is the 30-Minutes-or-Less ER Service Pledge?
When patients enter the Emergency Department at Northwest Medical Center, the time of their arrival will be noted. Our pledge is that a physician will work diligently to have our patients initially seen within 30 minutes of their noted arrival.
Does this mean patients will be on their way home in 30 minutes or less?
No. We will work hard to have a physician initially see our patients and begin their evaluation and treatment within 30 minutes of their noted arrival. Depending on the nature of their illness or injury, and the unpredictable volume of patients requiring emergency care at any given time, the wait time and duration of each visit will vary.
How is the timeframe of patients' visits documented for this pledge?
When a patient arrives and checks in, the time of arrival will be noted. When the physician initially sees the patient, the time will be documented by the Emergency Department staff.
Is a 30-Minutes-or-Less ER Service Pledge really necessary for an emergency room?
In many emergency rooms across the country, wait times have been increasing. We want to assure our patients that we are dedicated to not only offering quality care but also to working diligently to provide that care as efficiently as possible.
When do the 30 minutes officially start?
The 30 minutes start when the patient checks in with our staff at the Emergency Room desk.
Does the 30-Minutes-or-Less ER Service Pledge affect how patients are prioritized?
While the goal is to initially see every patient within 30 minutes of their noted arrival, the most severe cases will always receive immediate attention.
How can the Emergency Department maintain quality care if speed is the priority?
It is not our objective now, nor will it ever be, to "rush" patients through the Emergency Department. Our process improvements have been focused on getting patients into a room as quickly as possible and enabling the physician to initially see a patient and begin their diagnosis and treatment in a timely manner.
Is the 30-Minutes-or-Less ER Service Pledge in effect at all times and does it apply to all ages - infants to senior citizens?
Do I have to wait up to 30 minutes for someone to say, "May I help you?"
Absolutely not. Emergency Department staff will greet you as soon as you come in, and a nurse will assess your condition through a triage process. We know your time is valuable and we pledge to work diligently to have a physician initially see you within 30 minutes of your noted arrival.
Does this cost more?
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
The Emergency Department (ED) average wait time is provided as an informational service to the public. It is approximate, and based on a weekly average and does not represent the actual current activity in the ER waiting room.
The ED wait time represents the time it takes from arrival until a patient is initially seen by a physician. Patients are triaged upon their arrival in the ED. They are then seen by a physician in an order based on their complaint, condition, and the reason for their visit.
While many patients are initially seen by a physician within 30 minutes of their arrival, during some peak times when the number of patients exceeds the number of providers or beds, some patients are not initially seen within 30 minutes of their noted arrival.
Should you have any additional questions about the 30-Minutes-or-Less ER Service Pledge, please ask any of our Emergency Department staff.