University of Wisconsin, Madison Physician Assistant Program
National Committee on Certification of Physician Assistants
Welcome to the Fort HealthCare Emergency Department. We hope our service eases your anxiety and meets your immediate health care needs. Our goal is to provide the most comprehensive intervention possible in an emergency medical setting.
Federal regulations require emergency departments to assign patients to the most appropriate level of service according to their illness.
Determining the urgency of the medical condition is our first priority. We immediately begin to "triage" the patient. "Triage" refers to the process of promptly determining the seriousness of the illness or injury. A triage assessment includes chief complaint, vital signs, allergies, medications taken and past medical history. Based on this assessment, all patients are assigned a priority level for service. This level determines whether the patient is seen in the Emergency Department or the hospital's Urgent Care program.
Understandably, patients with more serious illnesses will be seen first. Patients with persistent vomiting and diarrhea, fever above 102°, severe pain, head trauma with loss of consciousness, chest pain and difficulty breathing will be treated immediately in the emergency department by a physician.
Patients with sprains and strains, minor headaches, minor lacerations, minor burns, eye infections, cold and flu symptoms, and chronic back pain will be seen in Urgent Care.
The Urgent Care program is an after hours service that treats individuals with minor illnesses and injuries. Urgent Care is open from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The Urgent Care program and the Emergency Department share the same physical location and staff. The triage assessment is made by a trained health care professional. Therefore, it is not possible for patients to choose the level of service to be provided.
We hope that you are treated quickly and effectively. Thank you for allowing Fort HealthCare Emergency Department professionals to assist you with your immediate medical concerns.
The Fort HealthCare Paramedic Intercept Program was created in 1999, and is the first program of its kind to be offered by any hospital in Wisconsin. Licensed paramedics, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) with the highest level of additional training, meet local rescue services en route to the hospital. The Fort HealthCare paramedics travel in a four-wheel drive vehicle containing life-saving equipment and medications. The paramedics provide critical support to local EMTs. The EMTs and paramedics work together, treating the patient according to guidelines prepared by the Fort HealthCare emergency department physicians.