Group of Emergency Department staff members posing in the hospital.

Island Health’s newly renovated Emergency Department (ED) offers award-winning care and comfortable and spacious waiting areas.

With the Emergency Services Project wrapping up this summer, Island Health is proud to offer a newly renovated waiting area and treatment rooms. The ED at Island Health cares for approximately 19,000 patients a year or more than 50 patients on any given day. Our experienced staff and advanced diagnostic technologies ensure patients receive timely and comprehensive care during emergencies.

“Our highly skilled Emergency Department team is proud to serve our community. Our newly renovated space provides added comfort to our patients when they need it most,” said Island Health Emergency Department Medical Director Elisha Botnick, DO.


The Island Health ED is proud to offer access to Level II Cardiac care and Level III Stroke and Trauma care in our public hospital district. The different levels refer to the resources available to critically ill or injured patients and signify a commitment to a higher standard of clinical service.

  • A Level III Trauma facility provides prompt assessment, resuscitation, surgery, intensive care and stabilization for trauma patients.
  • A Level III Stroke facility offers specialized stroke care. It is suitable for patients when a Level I or Level II stroke center is over two hours away.
  • A Level II Cardiac facility has the infrastructure, expertise and resources to manage various cardiac conditions, including heart attacks and other emergencies.

Below is a table detailing the current Trauma, Stroke and Cardiac designations of healthcare facilities in the region as determined by the Washington State Department of Health.

Healthcare Facility Trauma Stroke Cardiac
Island Health III III II
Skagit Regional Health III II I
WhidbeyHealth IV III II
PeaceHealth United
General Medical Center
PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center II II I
Peace Island Medical
Providence Regional Medical Center (Everett) II II I


The number one priority of any ED is to see and stabilize critically ill or seriously injured patients; ED staff are obligated to care for the sickest patients first. At Island Health, we have expertly trained staff who will assess the severity of your condition and get you seen as quickly as possible. We understand that time is critical, and we have a streamlined process for patients coming to our ED:

  1. Upon arrival, patients are promptly registered.
  2. A triage nurse quickly assesses the acuity of the patient.
    1. Patients with non-critical medical problems, such as cuts or abrasions, are put on our Fast Track Pathway.
    2. Patients with critical medical problems, such as chest pains, receive a higher level care needed for their condition. Diagnostic exams may need to be ordered to diagnose and treat the patient.

This split-flow model was developed to address the increasing number of ED patients. It ensures patients receive timely care, appropriate for their medical condition and decreases patient wait times.

Every patient’s care plan is individualized considering the types of diagnostic tests and treatments ordered. Our staff is dedicated to ensuring that wait times are as brief as possible, without compromising the quality of care provided. Estimated wait times for certain tests and results are:

  • Lab work: 60 minutes
  • X-ray: 75 minutes
  • CT or ultrasound: 120 minutes
  • MRI: 135 minutes

If admission to the hospital is necessary, our team will strive to promptly secure an inpatient bed for you. In instances of full capacity, we’ll provide care in the ED until a suitable bed becomes available, a practice known as ‘boarding’.

Upon discharge from the ED, you’ll receive a printed visit summary, detailing tests, procedures, medications and your care plan. This summary will also include vital instructions for scheduling a follow-up with your primary care provider or specialist. 


As a consumer, you have a choice in where you receive your healthcare. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have a tool—Medicare Hospital Compare—that enables consumers to easily compare hospital ratings and costs, patient-experience survey results, data about quality and more.

Island Health is proud to be one of only eight hospitals in Washington State, and the only hospital north of Seattle, to receive a 5-star rating by Medicare.

In times of medical urgency, every minute counts. At Island Health, we’re dedicated to ensuring swift award-winning care in our newly renovated Emergency Department. Equipped with Level II Cardiac care, and Level III Stroke and Trauma care, we prioritize excellence in clinical service. Our streamlined processes, cutting-edge technology and commitment to patient well-being underscore our promise to deliver top-tier care when you need it most.




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Published on July 1, 2024