Emergency Services: Frequently Asked Questions
How Safe is the Emergency Department?
Baystate is committed to the safety of both it's patients and it's personnel. A security officer is stationed 24 hours per day within the Emergency Department, just outside of the main waiting room.
What is the Eating Policy?
All Emergency Departments are regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) which tightly restricts eating to specific areas of the hospital. Patients and their friends/family members may eat in the waiting rooms (vending machines are available in the waiting room, and the cafeteria, when open, is located in the hospital on the second floor). Patients should only be given food after first speaking with their doctor or nurse.
What is the Cellular Phone Policy?
Because of the use of electronic monitoring equipment in the Emergency Department, the use of cellular phones is prohibited. The doctors and nurses are using what appear to be cellular phones, but are actually specially shielded portable phones that are safe for the Emergency Department environment.
Who are the other people you will see in the ED?
There are MANY people who comprise the ED treatment team. During your visit, you will likely encounter many of them such as: social workers, clerical staff, X-ray technologists, security personnel, medical assistants, psychiatric emergency services (PES) workers, orthopedic assistants, orderlies, students, and patient advocates). All personel wear identification.
What if I don't have insurance?
All patients must be given a screening exam to determine that an emergency does not exist that potentially puts a "life or limb" at risk. If you can not afford to pay for your visit, or for the medications prescribed, then arrangements can be made for you to consult with a social worker from the Department of Social Services. No one is asked to pay before receiving emergency care.
Do I have to call my doctor / insurance company prior to coming to the ED?
In an emergency, call 911 or come right to the emergency department for treatment. The Emergency physician will be in touch with your doctor while you are in the ED and you can contact your insurance company later. If you are seeking medical attention for a non-emergent problem, call your doctor first. If your insurance requires pre-authorization for the visit, then call them as well. REMEMBER - if you are experiencing an emergency, call 911 and get to the ED!
Who will my doctor be?
Baystate Medical Center is the regional campus of the University of Massachusetts Medical School - Baystate. The Department of Emergency Medicine has a residency program and participates in the education of medical students, physicians, emergency medical services personnel (EMS), nurses and physician assistants. The ED employs physican assistants to assist the attending physicians with patient care. At all times, there are at least two or more attending physicians present in the ED and two or more residents. Whoever takes care of you will identify themself to you. If you are seen by a resident, the attending physician will be discussing your case with him/her.
Who should I follow-up with after my visit?
After you are discharged from the emergency department, you should follow-up with you general medical doctor. If you do not have a doctor and a referral for follow-up was not given to you, then call Baystate Health Link of Baystate Health at 800-377-HEALTH to assist in arranging for appropriate medical care.