As a service to readers, The Weekly, has compiled a guide to emergency facilities near your home and -- since emergencies can occur when you're on the road or at work -- throughout the metropolitan area.
The guide includes addresses and telephone numbers, basic fees and estimated waiting times. In some cases, where facilities have special services, you will find that information under Of Note.
All emergency rooms have at least one physician on duty 24 hours a day, and specialists on call. At some hospitals the physician may be a resident -- that is, a doctor who has earned a medical degree and served internship, and is training in a specialty, such as surgery.
Emergency-room physicians are not available for follow-up care, but the emergency department will notify your private physician and will send your records to your doctor. If you do not have a private physician, the emergency department will refer you to a doctor affiliated with the hospital who specializes in the kind of care you need. For example, if you come to the emergency room with a broken ankle, you may be referred to an orthopedist for follow-up care. Several hospitals offer follow-up care at one of their clinics. Where this service is available, it is noted in the guide.
Administrators of all emergency rooms say immediate attention is given patients whose lives are in danger. Those whose problems are less urgent may have to wait longer to be treated. Waiting times at each facility vary, depending on the time of day and the patient load at the time. This information is noted in the guide.
The fees at most facilities are broken down into two major categories -- a fee charged by the emergency room and a fee charged by the physician. In addition, patients can expect to pay extra for X-rays, cast, medication, consultation with a specialist and similar services. Fees for public ambulance services, which range from no charge to $35 depending on jurisdiction, are charged separately.
All information on fees, busy hours and special services or facilities was provided by hospital administrators. District of Columbia
Capitol Hill Hospital, 700 Constitution Ave. NE; 269-7573.
Problems in the hospital's emergency room last year caused Capitol Hill to have its license reduced to "provisional." Since then, a new emergency department team has been hired and other equipment and staffing changes have been made. Earlier this year, the hospital, including its emergency department, was fully accredited.
Peak times, according to Dr. Jeffrey A. Weisberg, director of the emergency department, vary but often begin early, 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. Early afternoon through midnight is the busiest time. Noncritical cases usually are seen within 50 minutes (down from two hours last year) during peak times. The emergency room handles 60 to 90 cases per day.
Basic fees in the emergency room are $20 for routine care, $30 for intermediate care and $50 for complicated care. Physicians' fees begin at $20 and increase on a similar sliding scale. "If a visit is super simple -- a patient comes in for a tetanus shot -- the fee will be even less, probably $10," Weisberg said.
Children's Hospital National Medical Center, 111 Michigan Ave. NW; 745-5023.
Children's has both an emergency department and a screening department. Patients who arrive at busy times generally are seen first by a specially trained nurse who determines if the patient should go to the emergency area or to the screening clinic. In both departments, parents often are allowed to accompany their child to the treatment area.
Most physicians are residents training in pediatrics. There are 30 specialty clinics for follow-up care.
The busiest hours usually are from 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., and patients with non-emergency problems may have to wait as long as 90 minutes for treatment. The screening clinic operates from 5 p.m. until midnight Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday and Sunday.
The basic fee at the emergency and screening clinic is $60. It includes facility and physician charges.
Of Note: Children's has a shocktrauma team and access to a helicopter pad so that shock-trauma patients can be transferred quickly to the hospital. There is a 24-hour number for emergency information on poison antidotes for children: 745-2000.
D.C. General, 19th Street and Massachusetts Avenue SE; 626-5000.
Redecoration, redesign of the waiting room and registratin area and a new triage system have improved the service at the District's busiest emergency room. Instead of waiting in a long line to register with a clerk, arriving patients are seen first by specially trained personnel who determine what care the patient needs at the point.
Fully trained physicians and residents in training at Georgetown and Howard University medical schools staff the emergency department.
Follow-up care is available at 32 medical and surgical clinics operated by the hospital.
The busiest hours generally are 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. During those times non-emergency patients can expect to wait as long as two hours for treatment.
The basic emergency-care fee is $50 (including doctor's fee), but may be lower, depending on the patient's ability to pay.
George Washington University Hospital, 901 23rd St. NW; 676-6000.
This department is two facilities in one: an emergency room and a "minor side" for non-emergencies. Arriving patients are screened by a specially trained nurse who assigns them to one of the two facilities. Both are staffed by interns, residents training in internal medicine or surgery, and fulltime physicians who are faculty members at GWU and are trained in a medical specialty.
The emergency room, which saw 40,000 patients last year, is busiest in the late afternoon and early evening. At peak hours, the waiting time is about 50 minutes. The "minor side" is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.
Basic fees are $45 for the emergency room and $20 for the minor side. Physicians' fees starts at $25 on both sides.
Of Note: There is a shock-trauma team; a CAT scanner (a sophisticated, computerized X-ray machine) is available 24 hours a day. Georgetown University Hospital, 3800 Reservoir Rd. NW; 625-2157.
Georgetown University Medical School, which has a certified training program for emergency physicians, staffs its emergency department with residents in this specialty.
Non-emergency patients are directed to the adult or pediatric clinics, if they are open at the time. Although appointments are necessary at the clinics, patients referred from the emergency department usually can be seen the same day.
The emergency room, which sees about 25,000 patients per year, is busiest between noon and 8 p.m. Waiting time then is about 30 minutes. The adult clinic is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; the pedicatric clinic 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Fees are $60 for the emergency room visit; there is no additional physician fee.
Of Note: Georgetown has an eye trauma unit, a shock-trauma team and a library of poison antidotes. Greater Southeast Community Hospital, 1310 Southern Ave. SE; 574-6646.
Greater Southeast's busy emergency department sees 170 to 200 patients a day, mainly because many of its patients use the emergecy department as their primary-care physician. The hospital does not have a primary-care clinic, but servies all patients through the emergency department. In addition to emergency physicians, there is a pediatrician on duty from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 1 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
A nurse sees all patients immediately upon arrival to assess the potential seriousness of their problems. Noncritical patients may have a long wait for treatment. The busiest time is from 5 p.m. to midnight, and patients who arrive then usually wait longest. Patients who arrive at 8 a.m. may not wait at all.
"The average total time in our emergency room for noncritical cases is just over three hours, from registration to discharge," said Ruby Wesley, Director of emergency nursing. "The time is just over two hours for the emergency patient who is able to return home after treatment."
Fees are $30 for the emergency room and $24 and up for physicians services, depending on difficulty of treatment.
Of Note: There is a shock-trauma team, a CAT scanner, an eight-bed special unit that can be used for intentive care, and a library of position antidotes.
Hadley Memorial Hospital, 4601 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SW; 574-5700.
To provide primary and emergency care to the neighborhood, Hadley has a Family Health Service next door to its emergency department.Non-emergency patients who come to the emergency department any be referred to the Health Service.
The emergency department, which sees 900 to 1,000 patients a month, is busiest between 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Patients who arrive then may have to wait as long as an hour.
The emergency department is open 24 hours a day. The Family Health Service is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; noon to 8 p.m. on Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. It is closed on Saturday.
Emergency room fee is $40, including the physician fee. Family Health Service fees are based on the care provided.
Howard University Hospital, 2041 Georgia Ave. NW; 745-1121.
Even with Washington Hospital Center and Children's Hospital nearby, Howard's emergency department handles aobut 60,000 patients a year.
Patients who do not have private physicians may be reffered for followup care to one of Howard's 70 out-patient clinics.
The busiest day of the week is Monday; the Busiest day of the month is the first; the busiest time of day is noon to midnight. Total waiting time (including treatment) generally is two to four hours.
Fees for registering in the emergency room start at $30; there is no physician fee.
Of Note: Howard has a schocktrauma team.
Providence Hospital, 1150 Varnum St. NE; 269-7001.
All persons who come to the emergency department are handled there, regardless of the medical problem. On an average day, Providence see 90 to 100 patients in its emergency department.
The busiest days are Mondays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday afternoons, evenings and nights and Saturdays. Waiting time at peak hours is 15 to 30 minutes.
Basic facility fee is $45; physicians' fees start at $18.
Of Note: Providence has a shock-trauma team and a CAT scanner available 24 hours a day.
Sibley Memorial Hospital, 5255 Loughboro Rd. NW; 537-4000.
Sibley is small and located in a quiet, affluent neighborhood; its emergency department is low-key.
With only about 50 patients a day, waiting time is not very long. At the busiest times -- Friday evenings, Saturday and Sunday Afternoons and weekdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. -- patients may wait half an hour, but often there is no wait.
Fees for the emergency room start at $20; physicians' fees start at $15.
Washington Hospital Carter, 110 Irving St. NW; 541-0500.
In addition to its regular emergency services, the Hospital Center includes MedSTAR, a separate facility for shock-trauma and critical cases, such as cardiac arrest or severe heart attack. All MedSTAR patients are seen immediately.
The regular emergency department, in an effort to reduce the long waiting time (up to four hours) for nonurgent cases, recently develped a non-acute area. It is staffed by a physician-assistant (who has had special medical training) and two nurse-practiioners (nures with advanced training) who are supervised by a physician, although the doctor does not necessarily see every case. Patients in the regular emergency room are first seen by a specially trained nurse who decides whether the patient should go to the emergency area or the non-acute area.
Peak times at the emergency room are all day Monday and noon to 7 p.m. other days. Patients with nonurgent problems usually wait less than an hour for treatment during peak hours. Nonurgent patients who must be seen by an emergency room physician may have to wait as long as two hours at peak times.
Fees at the regular emergency room $41 for the facility and $24 to $72 for the physician, depending on care provided. At MedSTAR, fees start at $75 for a limited evaluation and go up to $250 for the first half hour of major trauma care. The fee for patients in the non-acute area is $20.
Of Note: In addition to MedSTAR, there are 24-hour eye emergency service and hand emergency service. Washington Hospital Center also is the adult burn center for the metropolitan area, and the only hospital in the District designed to receive patients by helicopter. Prince George's, Montgomery
Clinton Community Hospital, 8910 Woodyard Rd., Clinton; 868-1500.
A small hospital, Clinton sees an average of 13 patients per day in its emergency room.
Busiest time is 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. although officials could not give definite waiting times during peak times, a spokesman said waiting times are "medium."
The emergency room's basic fee is $12.98; physicians' fees are $25.
Greater Laurel-Beltsville Hospital, 7100 Contee Rd, Laurel; 953-1300.
Greater Laurel's emergency department opened in May 1978, and is staffed by physicians specializing in emergency medicine. Between 60 and 70 patients a day come to the department.
Busiest times are 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; the wait then may be as long as 90 minutes.
Fees start at $15 to register at the facility; physician fees begin at $25.
Of Note: There is a helicopter landing pad for tranferring patients to a shock-trauma unit.
Holy Cross Hospital, 1500 Forest Glen Rd., Silver Spring; 565-1225.
Holy Cross, which is near the Beltway, sees a wide range of emergency cases and treat 43,000 patients a year in its mergency room. The department has obstetrical, general medicine, surgical and pediatric residents on call 24 hours a day.
Busiest times are 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Average waiting time is half an hour, although it may be as long as an hour at peak times.
Charges start at $14 for the emergency room and $7 for physicians' services.
Of Note: A CAT scanner (sophisticated X-ray machine) is available 24 hours a day.
Leland Memorial Hospital, 4408 Queensbury Rd., Riverdale; 699-200.
Leland's new emergency department is open 24 hours a day and has more sophisticated equipment than was previously available. All back-up services are available, with the exception of obstetrics, although emergency deliveries can be performed. Leland expects to see 55 to 75 patients a day in its new facility.
Busiest times have been from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and 10 a.m. to noon. Sometimes, the center also have been very busy from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Waiting time is rarely longer than 20 minutes.
The basic emergency room fee, which includes physicians' charges, is $42.
Montgomery General Hospital, 18102 Prince Phillip Dr., Olney; 774-7800 ext. 607.
Montgomery General's with an annual patient load of 30,000 per year, is a busy emergency department.
Peak times are 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays and late morning through late evenings on weekends. Waiting time usually is about 30 minutes at peak hours.
Basic facility and physician fees are on a sliding scale of $7 to $80, depending upon the care provided.
Of Note: The emergency department has a special trauma room, although it is not a shock-trauma center; psychiatric emergency service is available 24 hours a day.
Prince George's Doctor's Hospital, 8118 Good Luck Rd., Lanham; 552-9400.
Summer months are the busiest time at the emergency room.
Busiest hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with a lull around 5 p.m. At peak hours, patients may wait as long as an hour. The emergency room handles about 80 cases a day.
Fees start at $30 for the emergency room and $22.50 for the physicians services.
Prince George's General Hospital and Medical Center, Cheverly; 341-3300.
More than 60,000 patients a year come to P.G. General's emergency department. Follow-up care is available, by referral, at the hospital's out-patient clinics and its Family Health Center.
Busiest times are 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., when the waiting time averages 30 to 45 minutes.
Fees are $11 to $212, including physician fee, depending on treatment.
Of Note: P.G. General is a designated shock-trauma center for the area, coordinating with Suburban Hospital in Bethesda and the shock-trauma center at University Hospital in Baltimore. Prince George's also has emergency dental care, emergency psychiatric service and a sexual-assault treatment center.
Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, 9901 Medical Center Dr., Rockville; 279-6000.
Shady Grove's emergency department opened Dec. 16, 1979, and has been seeing about 75 patients a day, although the emergency room has the capability to handle more patients.
Busiest times are weekends, especially Friday and Saturday evenings. Because the emergency department is relatively new and not well known, long waiting times have not developed.
The facility fee is $39.75; there is an additional physician fee, which varies with the treatment.
Southern Maryland Hospital, Surretts Road and Branch Avenue, Clinton; 899-4500.
Between 70 and 75 patients a day come to this 3-year-old emergency department.
Busiest times are 3 p.m. to midnight during the week and all day on weekends and holidays. The average waiting time is 15 minutes.
Charges start at $41.65 for the emergency room and $27 for physicians' fees, although a physician fee of $9 is charged for very brief consultations.
Suburban Hospital, 8600 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda; 530-3100.
Of the 43,000 emergency patients who arrive at Surburban every year, 85 percent have urgent medical problems, said Robin Hagaman, hospital administrator. Suburban does not have an obstetrics or pediatric department, but a gynecologist and pedicatrician are on call.
Busiest times are between 1 p.m. and 10 p.m. All patients are seen immediately by a specially trained nurse who determines the seriousness of the problem, and by a physician within 15 minutes.
Fees are $23.50 for the emergency room. Physicians' fees start at $15, and average $25.
Of Note: Surburban is the designated shock-trauma center for Montgomery County.
Washington Adventist Hospital, 7600 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park; 891-7600.
The emergency room handles 50 to 110 patients a day, and each patient is screened on arrival by specially trained personnel.
Busiest times are weekday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The average waiting time is 10 to 20 minutes.
Fees start at $45 for the emergency room. Physician fees are separate and depend on the care provided.
Of Note: Washington Adventist has a special cardiology unit and the only open-heart surgery unit in Montgomery and Prince George's counties. Northern Virginia
ACCESS, 11900 Baron Cameron Rd., Reston; 698-3645.
A free-standing, 24-hour-a-day emergency department, ACCESS is part of Fairfax Hospital, which is in Falls Church. Patients at ACCESS who require hospitalization are sent to Fairfax or transferred to the hospital of their or their physician's choice.
ACCESS sees 60 to 100 patients a day. The patient load, said Dr. William Cassidy, director of the facility, is 50 percent higher in the summer.
Busiest times are weekdays from early afternoon to 11 p.m. and weekends and holidays. Waiting time usually is not more than 30 minutes.
Fees are $28 for the emergency room. Physicians' fees start at $7.50.
Of Note: Access is equipped for emergency childbirth and has an incubator for pediatric emergencies. It also has a helicopter pad for helicopter-ambulance transfers.
Alexandria Hospital, 4320 Seminary Rd., Alexandria; 379-3065.
The emergency department is built around a central core where physicians, nurses, technicians and monitoring machines are stationed. Treatment areas fan out from the core; beds are separated by curtains. Beyond the central core and treatment areas are private, specialized treatment rooms, such as a cardiac area, obstetrics, a cast room and an ear-nose-throat examination room.
The emergency department, which sees 120 patients a day, is busiest from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Waiting time averages 12 minutes but may be longer at peak times.
Fees start at $28 for the emergency room and $28 for physicians services.
Of Note: Alexandria can handle most shock-trauma cases. A Cat Scanner (sophisticated X-ray device) is available 24 hours a day. The emergency department has a library of poison antidotes and a special room for eye emergencies. A respiratory therapist is on call 24 hours a day. The emergency department also has access to a language bank, which allows staff members to communicate in 20 languages.
Arlington Hospital, 1701 North George Mason Drive, Arlington; 558-5000.
Last year, Arlington upgraded its emergency department by hiring eight physicians trained in emergency medicine. Since Arlington is affiliated with Georgetown University School of Medicine, residents training in various medical specialities are in the hospital 24 hours a day and available for emergency consultation.
The department is busiest on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with Monday the busiest day. Waiting time at peak periods is 30 minutes to an hour.
Fees are $19 for the emergency room plus $22 for doctors' fees. Patients who come to the emergency room only for an injection or specific medication usually are charged less.
Of Note: A CAT Scanner (computerized X-ray device) is available 24 hours a day; there are psychiatric and alcoholism treatment units.
Commonwealth Doctors Hospital, 4315 Chain Bridge Rd., Fairfax; 691-3600.
Recent renovations in the emergency room allow patients more privacy, and allow doctors to read electrocardiograms of patients in ambulances.
The department sees about 60 patients per week day and more on weekends. The busiest time is 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. with waiting time less than 15 minutes.
Fees start at $23 for the emergency room and at $20 for doctors' charges.
Fairfax Hospital, 3300 Gallows Rd., Falls Church; 698-1110.
Northern Virginia's biggest, most comprehensive hospital also has the most active emergency department, handling 150 to 200 patients per day.
The department has a core design with private examining rooms and a central board to tell nurses and physicians which rooms are occupied.
The emergency room is busiest in the evenings, on weekends and holidays. Patients generally wait a maximum of half an hour, except at extremely busy times, when the wait may be as long as an hour.
Fees are $28 for the emergency room plus physicians' fees, which start at $7.50.
Of Note: Fairfax is the regional poison control center (698-3600) and has emergency telephone service for the deaf (698-3199). A CAT Scanner (sophisticated, computerized X-ray machine) is available 24 hours a day, and the hospital has a psychiatric crisis unit.
Jefferson Memorial Hospital, 4600 King St., Alexandria; 931-2800.
A small hospital, Jefferson Memorial can manage all types of emergency patients, and stabilize them. Patients who need specialized care at more sophisticated facilities are transferred.
The department is busiest from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Waiting time is rarely longer than 15 minutes.
Fees start at $16 for the emergency room and at $25 for doctors' services.
Mount Vernon Hospital, 2501 Parker's Lane, Alexandria; 664-7000.
Mount Vernon, the newest hospital in Northern Virginia, is staffed by physicians from the Alexandria physicians Group. The chairman of the Emergency Department is Dr. James Mills, who initiated the Alexandria plan -- the staffing of emergency rooms with fulltime doctors trained in emergency medicine -- 19 years ago.
The department, which sees about 70 patients a day, is busiest from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Average or maximum waiting time, a hospital spokesman said, was too variable to predict.
Fees are $28 for the emergency room and $28 for physicans' services.
Mount Vernon is not a designated poison control center, but has a complete poison library. The hospital, in an agreement with the Mount Vernon Mental Health Center across the street, is specially staffed in the evening hours to handle mental-health emergencies.
National Hospital for Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, 2455 Army-Navy Drive, Arlington; 553-2417.
Despite its name, National Orthopaetic is a full-service hospital with an emergency department staffed by specialists in emergency medicine.
Patient load averages 1,200 per month. Waiting time is 10 to 15 minutes at peak periods, which are late afternoon and early evening.
Fees are $19 for the emergency room. Physicians' fees start at $21.
Northern Virginia Doctors Hospital, 601 South Carlin Springs Rd., Arlington; 671-1200.
This is a general acute-care hospital. Although pediatric and obstetrical emergencies can be handled, the hospital has no facilities to care for infants and no obstetrical services.
Busiest times are 8 a.m. to midnight. Waiting time rarely exceeds 15 minutes. The patient load is 25 to 30 a day.
Fees are $21 for the emergency room. Physicians' fees start at $21.