by Stephen Spencer

When you hear “emergency department,” you likely think of long periods of time spent in a waiting room. That’s why the experienced ER team at Chestnut Hill Hospital is committed to working diligently to have you initially seen by a clinical professional within 30-minutes of your arrival. To demonstrate our dedication, we’ve adopted the 30-minute ER Service Pledge to provide faster care with compassion and quality.

What is the 30-minutes-or-Less ER Service Pledge? When you enter the emergency department, we’ll note your arrival time and do our very best to have you seen within 30 minutes.

Does that mean I’ll be on my way home in 30 minutes or less? No. But we will work hard to have a clinical professional initially see you and begin evaluation and treatment within 30 minutes. Illness, injury and the volume of patients who need emergency care are unpredictable moment to moment, so your wait time and the total length of your visit will vary.

Is all of this really necessary? Emergency wait times have been increasing all across the United States. We want to make sure you know that we are dedicated not only to offering quality care but also demonstrating efficient care.

Does the 30-Minutes-or-Less ER Service Pledge affect how patients are prioritized? In some cases, yes. While our goal is to initially see all patients within 30 minutes of their noted arrival, the most severe cases will always receive immediate attention.

Do I have to wait up to 30 minutes for someone to say, “May I help you?” Absolutely not. Emergency department staff will greet you as soon as you come in, and a nurse will assess your condition through a triage process. We know your time is valuable, and we pledge to work diligently to have a clinical professional initially see you within 30 minutes of your noted arrival.

What is FastTrack? When you enter the ED, a nurse will determine the complexity of your condition. If your illness or injury is minor but still requires prompt care, you may be treated in the FastTrack area. Clinicians in this area specialize in treating patients with less complex cases, freeing the main ED area to focus on the more complex and critical patients.

What type of specialized care is available? Our board-certified emergency physicians and skilled nursing staff treat a wide variety of medical emergencies ranging from minor illnesses or injuries to life-threatening conditions. Our ED is fully equipped to provide comprehensive emergency care. In addition, we partner with Penn Heart Rescue and Jefferson Neuroscience to provide specialized care for our cardiac and stroke patients.

When you are experiencing a serious emergency, you need a hospital that is dedicated to quality, efficiency and urgency. You’ll find this in the ER at Chestnut Hill Hospital. Check our wait times at

Stephen Spencer, M.D., is a member of the Emergency Medicine Department at Chestnut Hill Hospital. Meet Dr. Spencer at the Pastorius Park Free Summer Concert series on Wednesday, July 23.

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