Emergency Department
Quality round-the-clock emergency care

Emergency Department

If you feel you have a serious, life-threatening illness or injury that requires immediate medical care, CALL 911 or go to the nearest hospital.

Care that Never Quits

The Columbia Memorial Hospital (CMH) Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day and every day of the year. We are here to serve residents of Clatsop County (Oregon) and Pacific County (Washington), as well as visitors to our region.

The care provided in the CMH Emergency Department is patient-centered and offers high-level medical excellence in part due to our special relationship with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Physicians practicing in the CMH Emergency Department are board-certified in emergency medicine and have access to advanced diagnostic technology including onsite MRI, CT and x-ray services, as well as a full-service 24-hour laboratory.

Advancing Care through Telemedicine

CMH is a member of the OHSU Telemedicine Network, and utilizes this vital, life-saving service to provide physicians in the Emergency Department with a direct, live connection to an OHSU specialist. Through the OHSU Telemedicine Network, CMH is able to provide advanced care and consultation for stroke, pediatric and neonatal patients.

What to Expect at the CMH Emergency Department

1. Registration

The registration clerk will ask you for some basic information, including your name, phone number, address and primary care provider. The clerk will also collect information about your health insurance and what medicines or vitamins you take.

2. Triage

When you come to the Emergency Department, please keep in mind that we evaluate and treat the sickest patients first. This means:

  • Occasionally there are unavoidable delays, and you may need to wait to see a doctor.
  • A patient who arrived after you may receive care before you do because patients with especially serious conditions are always given top priority.
  • Patients who arrive by ambulance are often in more serious condition than patients waiting in the lobby, so they may be seen before others.
  • Depending on the nature of your problem, it may be necessary to wait for a special room to become available.

3. Treatment

Once you are placed in a treatment room, an Emergency Department doctor or nurse practitioner will examine you. They may order tests (e.g., x-ray, blood, electrocardiogram) to learn more about your condition, which can take some time. If necessary, you may be held for observation, you may need to wait for your primary care provider to arrive, or you might be admitted to the hospital when a room becomes available.

4. Going Home

After being treated in the Emergency Department, and when you are safe to go home, you will be given written or verbal follow-up instructions. These may include:

  • Information about your condition.
  • Instructions to see your primary care provider for a follow-up visit. If you do not have one, we will give you the name of a primary care provider. Please call them as soon as possible to schedule a follow-up visit.
  • Information about medicines, limits on food or activity, and/or symptoms that you should watch for.

Discharge Planning for Behavioral Health Crisis Patients and Family

We strive to ensure safety for patients and families. Patients suffering from a behavioral health crisis offer unique opportunities for care and discharge planning.

Discharge planning for patients in Behavioral Health Crisis may include:

  • Involuntary hold:A patient who is demonstrating imminent potential harm to self or others may be placed on a physician hold. Discharge plans at this time may be focused on transfer to other specialty facilities that provide enhanced psychiatric care.
  • Often patients that may start on a physician hold may improve over time and the initially identified risk to self or others dissipates and then a safe discharge plan can be developed.

CMH Care Management staff and social workers will work to help patients that are being discharged to access behavioral health support within 7 days of discharge. Patients may also be provided with a Caring Contact followup with 48 hours of discharge, as appropriate.

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