Staffed by family physicians, emergency medicine specialists, nurse practitioners, specialized nursing staff and other health care professionals, Northumberland Hills Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Located just off Highway 401, NHH’s ED is easily accessible by car or ground ambulance transport. Click here for directions. NHH’s on-site heliport provides increased access for emergency patients arriving at and departing from the hospital by air.
In the event of an emergency situation, dial 911 or proceed immediately to the Emergency Department of the nearest hospital.
What to Bring
If possible, patients are asked to bring the following when they come to the NHH ED:
- Ontario Health Card (OHIP) number, for registration
- A current list of any medications taken on a regular basis, or the medications themselves, and any other important medical information (e.g. allergies)
Triage, Registration and Treatment - What to Expect
On arrival at the NHH ED, all patients are assessed by the triage nurse to determine how quickly you need treatment and in which area your care will be given.
The triage nurse will ask questions to understand what brought you to the Emergency Department and about your general health. Your pulse, blood pressure, temperature and breathing will be measured and notes will be made of any allergies or current medications being taken.
The registration clerk will ask for your name, address, Ontario Health Card (OHIP) number (or other health insurance plans), family doctor's name, and an emergency contact phone number. An identification wrist band will be put on your arm.
Patients requiring the most urgent care must be treated first— treatment is not provided according to the order of arrival. If your wait is longer than expected, we ask you to please understand that our care team is busy attending to patients who need immediate care. At times, it may be necessary to wait for a special room or equipment to become available before we can attend to your needs. Patients may also be required to have additional tests, such as blood work or x-rays, or to be seen by a specialist. Some tests take specific times to process, and this may require a wait. Please know that the team is doing everything they can to care for you quickly and thoroughly. Inform the triage nurse immediately if you have concerns or if your condition changes while you are waiting.
Information on Emergency Department Wait Time
The NHH ED receives close to 35,000 patient visits each year and the Emergency team works hard to be better than or the same as other hospitals its size in terms of the time patients must spend awaiting care. We understand that no one likes to wait, and our goal is to make the wait as short as possible to continually improve access to care for all.
Today the time spent in Ontario Emergency Departments by patients with both complex conditions and those with minor, uncomplicated conditions is monitored. NHH’s performance is compared to that of other similar sized hospitals and publicly reported on the Ontario Wait Time website.
For the latest information on the length of stay in Emergency Departments across Ontario, including the latest data on NHH performance, click here.
NHH encourages family members to be involved in care. In the best interests of all our patients, we request the following:
- that families have one person to act as their spokesperson to decrease confusion and make communication between staff and family members easier;
- that families follow instructions given by the nurse with regards to limiting the number of visitors and the noise level;
- that visitors respect the privacy of other patients in the department
Cell Phones and Electronic Devices
Cell phones and other personal cellular devices are permitted for use by patients and visitors in most areas of the hospital, including the ED, provided they do not impact patient privacy and the delivery of patient care.
NHH offers free wireless Internet to patients and visitors. Our Guest Wireless Network is compatible with most wireless-ready computing devices and connectivity is available in most areas of the hospital.
To limit disruption to others, phones should be set to quiet or vibrate. Privacy must always be considered to ensure confidentiality is protected. No photos, videos or audio recordings are permitted on hospital premises without signed consent.
Depending on the severity of your condition and/or test results, the Emergency Physician or Nurse Practitioner may:
- send you home with instructions;
- make arrangements to follow up with your family doctor if necessary (if you do not have a family doctor we can suggest other options), or for you to see a specialist or clinic;
- refer you to a consulting physician or a specialist who will decide whether or not to admit you for further care
If you are leaving the Emergency, please make sure you understand all instructions before you go. If you are not sure, ask the doctor and/or nurse to explain it to you again.
Emergency Department Alternatives for Non-emergency Health Concerns
NHH’s Emergency Department is always ready when you need it, but the team does advise that you consider family doctors or community clinics for non-emergency health concerns. A number of local family physicians offer after-hour clinics, accessible to their patients only. Check to see if your family physician has an after-hour service in place. If your situation is non-urgent, and your family physician isn’t available, you can also:
- Get free telephone access to a Registered Nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through the Telehealth Ontario service at 1-866-797-0000 (TTY 1-866-797-0007)
- Check the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Your Health Care Options website at https://www.ontario.ca/locations/health/ for information on the various health-care services in your area