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The Emergency Department now allows one visitor per Emergency Department patient per its updated visitor policy. The updated policy allows for a visitor when it is clinically appropriate for the patient and when the visit does not pose an infection control or COVID risk. Visitors will be screened using the same screening questions that are used to screen inpatient visitors.

If a visitor has traveled to a high-risk state and is essential to the patient’s care, aka an “Essential Visitor,” the visitor can still accompany the patient in the Emergency Department. According to the policy, essential visitors are defined as

  1. Support persons for patients including birth partners, parents of patients who are under the age of 18 years old, companions for patients with intellectual and/or physical disabilities.
  2. Visitors to patients receiving end-of-life care, and other categories of personnel.

To continue to keep everyone safe, visitors are unable to wait in the waiting room. The one visitor that comes in with the patient must remain with the patient at all times while the patient is receiving care in the department. Thank you!

If you are having an emergency and cannot get to a hospital on your own or with someone’s help, dial 911.


Safe Care Protocols: What to Expect When You Visit

Read/print/download this information sheet that explains what to expect when you visit us, and how our staff are prepared to welcome you while keeping you safe.

Safe Care: Emergency Department

Emergency Department

Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We staff the ED with responsive, compassionate medical professionals whose goal is to make sure you have the best possible outcome, and we treat all emergency patients regardless of their ability to pay. Last year the ED had just below 34,000 visits.

Clinical Staff

Cooley Dickinson’s ED doctors are specialty trained and board-certified in emergency medicine, having earned advanced specialized training. ED doctors provide individualized care, and coordinate care with a patient’s primary care doctor when appropriate. Additional staff members include nurse practitioners, physician assistants and emergency-care nurses certified in trauma care, advanced cardiac response and pediatric life support. Support teams include technicians, administrative support and patient observers who also assist in providing timely, compassionate care.

Experts on Call

Cooley Dickinson’s Emergency Department has access to specialists who can be mobilized in minutes to respond to life-threatening conditions, including:

Cooley Dickinson is certified by the Department of Public Health as a primary stroke center.


Safe and Efficient

Advanced Technology

X-ray, imaging, and lab services are available in the ED. Electronic monitoring, bedside registration, state-of-the-art ultraviolet infection prevention, as well as electronic medical records help ensure safe and efficient care. For burns, strokes and certain other neurological emergencies, our physicians can consult with experts in real time through our TeleHealth program.

Your Comfort and Safety

Cooley Dickinson care managers are here to coordinate your care in the Emergency Department, and help to arrange for the services you may need when you leave. Interpreters, mental health counselors, financial counselors and trained volunteers are also available.

Stroke: Every Second Counts

Stroke response time is critical. In this short video, Diane Stephan, RN manager of the Emergency Department talks about signs and symptoms of stroke, emergency response, and ways to prevent stroke. She also talks about our TeleStroke program that allows emergency physicians at Cooley Dickinson to consult with leading neurologists at Mass General Hospital in real time. Diane leads a monthly stroke support group for people who have had a stroke and their caregivers.