United Hospital System is prepared to handle any medical emergency with top quality care. We pride ourselves on having a qualified and caring staff and state-of-the-art technology to provide the best medical care available to our community, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Our group of Emergency Medicine physicians are comprised of respected doctors trained at such prestigious schools as UCLA, Northwestern and the University of Chicago. Together, the team has been practicing and improving the quality of emergency care in Kenosha for over 20 years.
Both Kenosha Medical Center Campus and St. Catherine’s Medical Center Campus offer all private rooms designed to provide maximum patient privacy, in-room registration, state-of-the-art heart monitoring system and comfort for families.
The Emergency Department at United Hospital System is open 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, to care for you and your family any time there's an emergency. Our doctors and nurses are experienced in treating seriously ill and injured patients and they will provide the best care for your needs.
When you arrive
A specially-trained nurse will check your vital signs, evaluate your condition and ask about your health history. This process is called “triage,” a French word meaning “to sort by priority.” It ensures that the most seriously ill and injured patients are seen first.
Waiting for treatment
After seeing the triage nurse and registering, you may be asked to wait in the waiting room. How long you wait depends on how busy the department is at the time, and the number of patients whose conditions are more serious than yours. Sometimes the waiting area appears quiet, but this doesn’t mean the emergency department is quiet.
The staff understands that waiting can be frustrating. They do their best to keep your wait to a minimum and make you comfortable. While you wait, if you feel your condition changes, let the triage nurse know.
Assessment and treatment
A staff member will call you into the department where he/she will reassess your condition, ask some questions, examine you, and discuss your problem and any tests or treatments that might be required. Feel free to ask questions about your illness and your treatment at the time.
If your problem can be treated in the department, the emergency staff will treat it. They may also suggest treatment at home or by your local doctor. If your problem is more serious or requires special care, you may be admitted into the hospital.
How long can I expect to be in the emergency department
The very best care takes time. Patients with life-threatening conditions such as a stroke or heart attack are seen first. Once in the treatment area, average stays are approximately three hours for released patients and five hours for patients who are admitted to the hospital. Your total stay may depend on your symptoms, illness and whether you have to be admitted to the hospital. Also, if the emergency physician consults with a specialist or you have special tests and x-rays taken, your stay may be longer.
How long does it take to get laboratory and x-ray results
To accurately diagnose your condition, we need time to review any lab tests and x-rays. Most laboratory and x-ray results take approximately two hours. However, some tests take longer to process than others.
Things to tell the emergency department staff
The emergency department staff may not be aware of your medical background, so they ask many questions. Sometimes, this needs to be done by more than one health care worker. To help the staff to assess and treat you, tell them honestly and to your best recall about:
- Any health problems you have had
- All drugs and treatments you are using
- Any recent trips overseas
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Any other facts they should know about
It is helpful to bring an accurate list of your medications and doses.
Admission to hospital
The emergency staff will consult with your primary care physician to recommend that you be admitted to hospital if they believe this is the best way to help you. As your admission was unplanned, it may take some time for the most appropriate hospital bed for your medical condition to be ready. Sometimes, the emergency staff may need to transfer you to another hospital for your treatment. Until then, you will be cared for in the emergency department.
What if I want to leave?
Your health is important to us, so even if you feel better, we want you to stay and be seen by a doctor so we can make sure your medical needs are met.
If you choose to leave the emergency department against medical advice, be aware that your visit may not be covered by your insurance company and it is important to let the staff know if you are choosing to leave.
Family members or friends are welcome to stay in the treatment area or in the lobby. For the privacy and safety of all patients, the number of visitors must be kept to no more than two people per room. This permits staff to perform their duties quickly and helps ensure that we manage infection control and safety and security concerns as well as allowing us to meet the needs of other patients. Depending on your condition, it may be necessary for a nurse or doctor to ask friends and family to return to the waiting room.
It’s important for visitors to respect the privacy of all patients and be as quiet as possible and not stand near other patient treatment rooms. Visitors are not allowed to wait in the hallways due to patient confidentially.
- Visitors will be required to wear a visitor pass when entering the emergency department.
Food and refreshments
Patients are asked not to eat or drink anything without first consulting with a nurse. Visitors must consume all food and beverages in the lobby area. Visitors may use the hospital cafeteria located on the lower level. Vending machines are located on the 1st floor of the hospital across from the cafeteria.
Foreign language and sign language interpreters are available upon request. While an interpreter is being arranged, family members may be asked to assist.
A courtesy telephone is located in the emergency department lobby. Dial “9” first to be connected to an outside line. There is no charge for local calls. We ask that cell phones are not utilized in patient treatment areas as they may interfere with cardiac monitoring systems and other medical equipment.
Code of behavior
A code of behavior exists to ensure a safe and friendly environment for patients, visitors and staff. No acts of violence, swearing, threats or verbal abuse towards another patient, relative or staff member are allowed. An initial warning is given, but if the behavior carries on, the staff, security or the police will ask the person to leave.
Safeguard your valuables
United Hospital System is not responsible for any lost or damaged items during your hospital stay. We recommend that you send all belongings and valuables home with a family member or significant other when it is not required during your hospitalization.
Enquiries about patients are welcome and can be made by phoning the hospital. One person should make the call and then inform other family members and friends. It is important to limit the number of calls because the department is busy and telephone calls take staff away from caring for patients.
Cell phones must be turned off before going into the treatment area, as they may interfere with hospital equipment.
When you are discharged from the hospital, you are given advice about follow-up care. This may include:
- Instruction sheets
- Drugs or prescriptions
- Appointments for further tests
- Appointments with doctors
- Certificates – if appropriate please make sure that you have any medical certificates, Work Cover or Transport Accident Commission (TAC) certificates, and any other information that you need before leaving the hospital.
After your emergency visit
We will review your discharge instructions with you before you leave the emergency department. You will also receive a written copy to take home. Please feel free to ask questions if you do not understand the instructions.
You are responsible for arranging a follow-up appointment with your primary health care provider or the physician recommended by one of our staff members. You are responsible to check with your insurance plan for coverage.
About your bill
You may get more than one bill for services you received in the emergency department. Your bills are not based on how long you were in the emergency department, but rather on the treatments that were performed and the supplies that were used while you received care at United Hospital System.
Making a complaint
If you or your relatives have any issues regarding your treatment, ask the nurse or doctor caring for you. Balancing the needs of everyone in an emergency department is a complex and delicate task. Sometimes patients feel their needs may not have been fully met. If you were not satisfied with your visit, please ask for the contact information for the Manager or send a letter to the hospital campus.
Things to remember
- Someone who arrives in the emergency department after you may be seen before you if they need treatment more urgently.
- It is important that you don’t eat or drink before being seen, because you may need tests or procedures that require you not to eat or drink beforehand.
- Cell phones must be turned off before going into the treatment area, as they may interfere with hospital equipment.
- No photos may be taken so that individual’s privacy may be assured.