Orthopedic Emergency Care Information for Patients
Patients frequently ask about our hospital-based orthopedic services and how the process works. Click here for a list of frequently asked questions.
How does this program work?
Let's say you break your hip and require emergency surgery. A hospital-based orthopedic surgeon at St. Luke's is ready to perform your surgery without delay. This ensures that you receive the care you need when you need it, from a physician who specializes in orthopedic surgery.
What if I already have an orthopedist?
If you prefer to be cared for by your regular orthopedist, you may elect to have them see you in the hospital. Just give our staff your orthopedist's name at the time of your evaluation in the emergency department, and they will contact him or her. In some cases, your surgeon may prefer that our in-hospital orthopedic surgeon, who specializes in orthopedic emergencies, takes care of your injury.
How will the orthopedic surgeon know about me and my medical history?
When you are admitted to the hospital, be sure to tell the registration representative who your primary care physician is. If he or she is available for consultation, our orthopedic surgeon will confer with them to review your medical records and discuss your treatment. This is similar to what happens when your physician refers you to a specialist. If your physician is not available, you may receive care from our medical team during your stay.
Will I see the same surgeon every day?
You will see a member of our team every day, but our surgeons have a rotating schedule to ensure that one is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for emergencies. To ensure continuity of care, our physicians do a comprehensive review each day at the change of shift with each other, so everyone is up to speed on your care.
If one of the orthopedic surgeon performs my surgery, why won't their name appear on my hospital wristband?
Depending on your unique situation, you may have been admitted to the hospital during one surgeon's shift, but received your surgery during another's. Our team-based approach means that you're not being cared for by an individual, but by a team of highly-skilled surgeons. We will communicate with you should you be in this situation.
What do I do when I am discharged from the hospital?
Before you go home, the physician will give you written instructions, such as recommendations for follow-up care or any prescriptions you may need to have filled. It is vital that you follow the instructions as directed.
What do I do about my follow-up appointment?
If you had surgery, you will see an orthopedic surgeon from our program. The outpatient follow-up office is located on the second floor of St. Luke's Hospital. The office phone number is 508-961-5940. If you did not have surgery, you may follow up with an orthopedic surgeon at the clinic, or with the orthopedic surgeon of your choice. The staff will help direct you to the right physician for follow up.
Will I be seen by my surgeon at my follow-up?
While we make every effort at the time of discharge for you to be seen by the surgeon who performed your operation, it is possible that he or she will not be available when you need your follow-up appointment. In that case you will be seen by another hospitalist, or, if they are providing emergency care in the hospital at that time, you will be seen by another member of the team.
How will I be billed for the orthopedic surgeon's services?
You may receive two bills, one for the hospital's services, and one for the orthopedic surgeon's services. Please refer to your bill(s) for telephone numbers that you can use to contact someone about your charges if you have questions.