EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT

Brockville General Hospital's Emergency department provides emergency medical care and treatment 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.  Our goal is to provide you with quick and efficient treatment based on your condition.

Please remember to bring a list of your current medications including all prescriptions, over the counter and herbal medications.  It is important that our team knows what medications you are taking and the dosage so that we can provide you with the best care for you.  Please also bring your Ontario Health Card or Out of Province Insurance.


Location

Entrance to the Emergency Department is located off of Ormond Street.  The Emergency Department is located on the Ground Floor.  Parking is available from the Ormond Street entrance or from the main entrance off of Charles Street.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do I need to go to the Emergency Department?

If you’re unsure as to whether or not your condition needs to be treated immediately, please call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. This is a free, confidential phone service that you can call any time, night or day. You can get health advice or general health information from a nurse. The nurse will help you decide if you should:
  •  - take care of yourself at home
  •  - make an appointment with your doctor
  •  - go to a clinic
  •  - go to a hospital emergency room


What should I bring with me to the Emergency Department?

If you decide to come to the Emergency Department, please bring:
  • Your Ontario Health Care or applicable medical insurance if you live outside of Ontario.
  • A list of all medications including non-prescription and herbal medications you are currently taking. 
  • Any pertinent medical information such as allergies or medic alert.


If I arrive by ambulance will I be seen faster?

Not necessarily.  Each patient who comes to the Emergency Department regardless of whether they walk-in or come by ambulance will be triaged by a specially trained nurse and will see a doctor according to their level of acuity.  This means the sickest patients will be seen first regardless of how they arrive to the ED.


Where do I go when I arrive to the Emergency Department?

When you enter the Emergency Department, your first stop will be at Triage.  Please remove your coat and have your health card ready.  A nurse specially trained in Emergency Medicine will perform a quick assessment and ask you specific questions about your condition.  These questions are based on the Canadian Triage Acuity Scale and help the triage nurse to determine the severity of your condition.  This ensures that the sickest patients are seen first.

Once you have been triaged, you will be asked to go to the Registration Desk, which is located beside triage.  At every visit, the Registration Clerk will need your Ontario Health Card. You will be asked confirm personal information such as your name, address, phone number, family doctor, and emergency contact.  By checking this information at every visit, we are making sure that your file is current.  If you can't give this information, please ask a family member or friend to help you.

After you have finished with the registration process, depending on your condition you will be asked to have a seat in the waiting room.  If you need to leave the waiting room for any reason, please let the triage nurse know.


Why do I have to wait to get care in the Emergency Department?

Even though doctors and nurses are always working in the ED there are often many patients who arrive in a short period of time.  This makes it hard to see everyone in a timely fashion.  Sometimes critically ill patients arrive that require the immediate attention of many staff to help them.  We try and see all patients as soon as we can.


What if I do not want to stay after I have registered?

Sometimes patients do not want to stay to see the physician.  They either feel better, or have to go somewhere, or simply do not want to wait any longer.  We discourage patients from leaving prior to being seen.  However, if you do feel like you need to go, please talk to the triage nurse prior to leaving the ED.

It seems like I have been forgotten in the waiting room.  Is there anything I can do?

Our Emergency Department sees about 28,000 patients each year.  Patients rarely get overlooked however, this can happen if you leave the ED for a few minutes and your name is called. Please let the triage nurse know if  If you are leaving the Department for any reason.  If you have been waiting for more than 90 minutes and have not been seen, please check with the triage nurse.

What if I feel my condition is worsening while I’m in the waiting room?

If you feel that your condition is worsening please check with the triage nurse who will reassess your condition.

Can I eat or drink anything while I’m waiting to be seen?

Please check with the triage nurse prior to eating or drinking.  Depending on your condition, certain tests and/or treatments may require you to have an empty stomach.  These could be delayed if you have recently consumed food or beverages. 


What are the wait times for the Emergency Department?

Wait time is calculated from the time a patient is triaged by a nurse to the time they first see a physician.  The value is the time it takes for almost all patients – 9 out of every 10 – who   visit the ED to be seen by a physician.  Also known as the 90th percentile it is the time is which 90% of all people seeking care to the ED will be seen.  Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, about 10% of people, may have to wait longer to be seen. 

About half of all ED patients with minor problems will be discharged within 3 hours and about half of those with more major problems will stay for 6 hours. 

Please remember that the Emergency Department does not work on a first come-first serve basis.  It is important to know that critical patients will be seen first, whether they arrive by ambulance or on their own.  The department may look quiet when it is actually very busy. Behind closed doors we may be caring for a seriously ill patient who requires a lot of attention from emergency staff.


How long will I be in the Emergency Department?

The length of time you will spend in the Emergency Department depends on how long it takes to see a physician and what kinds of test and treatments you require. 
  • For example, it can take about:
  •  - 60 minutes to get the results of a blood test. 
  •  - 30 minutes to get the results of a simple x-ray. 
  •  - A minimum of 1 hour for a CT Scan.  The time will be increased if it requires additional measures before it is performed and interpreted. 
  • Sometimes, you will need observation in the ED to insure that the treatments you received are helping the nature of your problem before the doctor will discharge you home. 


What are the busiest times of day in the Emergency Department?

The Emergency Department usually starts to get busy around 10:00 AM and typically stays busy until 10:00 PM.  There are usually more physicians working during these busy times but waits tend to be longer due to a number of reasons.  Nevertheless, it can be busy outside of these times as a result of sick patients and the random variation in how people visit the ED.
The Emergency Department is about 10% busier Saturday through to Monday.  This can be due to the inability for people to get in touch with their physicians over the weekend.  However, it is important to note that any day can be very busy in the ED.


My loved one arrived by ambulance and I followed behind.  What should I do?

If your loved one arrived by ambulance and you followed them to the Emergency Department, please park in the Emergency Department Parking lot located off of the Charles Street entrance.  Once you’ve parked, come into the Main Emergency Department entrance and let the Registration Clerk know you’re here. 
The Registration Clerk may need to ask you some information about your loved one and will alert the team of your arrival.  A member of the team will bring you in to be with your loved one as soon as possible. 
Please note that the amount of visitors allowed in to see a patient at one time may be limited due to several factors such as:
  •  - Your loved one’s condition
  •  - The type of treatment being provided to your loved one
  •  - The overall busyness of the department


My loved one is in the Emergency Department and I can’t be there but would like to be kept informed.  What should I do?

If you are calling to inquire about a loved one, please note that due to the busyness of the Emergency Department you may be required to leave a voice mail.  Someone will get back to you as soon as possible.  Please note that due to privacy regulations the Emergency Department team is limited to what information they can provide and who they can provide it to.  If you know of a family member or friend who is with the patient, it is a good idea to have them be the patient’s key contact person.  This contact person will be able to provide updates to family and friends so that the Emergency Department team can keep their focus on providing direct patient care.


Where can my family and / or friends get something to eat or drink while they are waiting for me?

The cafeteria is located in the main part of the hospital and is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 1:30 PM.  You’ll need to leave the waiting room via the Emergency entrance/exit and proceed around the right of the building to the main entrance (open from 6:30 AM to 10:30 PM).  Go down the main hallway and turn left through the doors just past Eleanor’s Café.  The Cafeteria is about halfway down the hall on the left. 

Eleanor’s Café is open Monday to Friday from 7:00 AM – 3:30 PM, and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. 
You can reach Eleanor’s Café from the Emergency Department by following the directions to the cafeteria as described above.  You’ll come to Eleanor’s Café before you reach the cafeteria.

Vending machines are available 24/7 in the Central Registration area (just inside the main entrance), the Cafeteria, and the Emergency Department entrance.