Emergency Department

emergency department

The Emergency Department at Markham Stouffville Hospital provides treatment for people in our community who experience sudden illness or trauma. Our Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is staffed by a team of experts specializing in emergency medicine with access to state-of-the-art diagnostic assessment equipment and laboratory services. Only one adult delegate or support person may accompany patients into the emergency treatment area.

To help patients with their care instructions when they go home, they can download the CoHealth app to their smartphone. CoHealth provides patients treatment-specific aftercare instructions, helps manage medications and follow up appointments, helps patients find community care resources, and provides an opportunity to submit feedback on their experience at the hospital.

Care We Provide

The Emergency Department provides initial treatment of serious illnesses and injuries, some of which may be life threatening and requiring immediate attention. After initial assessment and treatment, patients may be admitted to the hospital, transferred to a specialty hospital or discharged home.

To ensure timely, quality care for the most serious conditions, we triage our patients to determine the nature and severity of their condition.

 Care Providers

During your visit you will be seen by a physician.

Geriatric Emergency Management (GEM) Nurses - For patients over the age of 75, we provide specialized frailty focused nursing services in our Emergency Department with our GEM team. The Nurse Practitioners on this team provide geriatric assessments for physical, mental and functional abilities with a goal to enhance the patient’s daily living in the community to maintain their independence. Providing these specialized services helps prevent or postpone the potential loss of independence for our seniors.

 Crisis Services

The Markham Stouffville Hospital crisis team provides 24/7 service to the Emergency Department. The  urgent care clinic can provide follow up appointments within 48 hours if required. 

What should I bring with me?

It is helpful if patients bring a list or samples of all their medication. In addition, let us know if you have any allergies. Many pharmacies will now prepare individualized information charts for you.

Where should I go if I have post-surgical problems?

If patients are visiting emergency for post-surgical problems, it is best to return to the hospital that conducted the surgery. They will have quick access to your important medical information.

MSH surgical patients have discharge instructions from their physician to follow. If you’re experiencing complications, call your physician or come to the Emergency Department.

What is the green zone?

The green zone is for less complex conditions such as cuts, sprains, or minor head injury.

Additional assessment rooms in the Liberty Development Corporation green zone are now open to help address the demand of our growing community and provide more timely care for patients. 

These assessment rooms are supported by the generosity of community donations through the MSH Foundation.

 What is the yellow zone?

The yellow zone is for patients with minor to moderate conditions such as abdominal pain, mild breathing difficulties. In this area, stretchers are only used for assessments and certain treatments; you may be asked to return to the Yellow Zone waiting room for further assessments, tests and results. 

What is the orange zone?

The orange zone is for patients with more complex conditions such as severe dehydration, patients with a complex medical history and breathing problems. They may need to stay longer and require a stretcher. You will be assessed by a nurse and physician and may require blood tests, x-rays or medications.

 What is blue/red zone?

More complex patients who may require resuscitation, ongoing medical care or closer observation will be assigned to this area. Some examples include heart attacks, severe breathing problems, traumas, cardiac arrests, active seizures. You will be seen by a nurse and physician and may also see other members of our team such as a respiratory therapist, depending on your condition.

Patients who require heart or frequent vital sign monitoring are typically placed here.

When will I be seen?

All patients are seen by a triage nurse and assigned a triage level based on the Canadian Triage Acuity Scale (CTAS). There are five triage levels with 1 being the most critical to 5 being non-urgent. Patients are seen in the order of their triage level, not based on their time of arrival. If your condition changes while you are waiting to see a doctor, let the nurse know immediately. This Triage approach allows us to give priority to those patients whose ailments are most severe and acute.