OhioHealth to build freestanding emergency department in Ontario
Additional investments will occur in trauma and emergency services in Mansfield and Shelby
OhioHealth recently announced it will invest $5.3 million to build a freestanding emergency department, in front of Meijer on Lexington-Springmill Road, in Ontario. The care site is projected to open in 2017.
The Ontario location will be roughly 8,000 square feet and will include eight patient bays. Smaller than a typical emergency department, the space will allow cross-functional teams to be more responsive and provide a more “retail-like” patient experience.
“We are excited to be the first to bring a new emergency care concept to Richland County,” said Jean Halpin, president of OhioHealth Mansfield and Shelby Hospitals. “We have directly served the Ontario community for close to 20 years. With the expansion of our urgent care hours at the OhioHealth Wellness Complex as well as this addition of an emergency department, we are providing quality options to patients who live, eat or shop in Ontario.”
In addition, OhioHealth will invest $2 million in OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital’s Level II Trauma Center — the only trauma center within a 60-mile radius — in the next two years and $800,000 in the emergency entrance of OhioHealth Shelby Hospital.
“The investments in Ontario, Mansfield and Shelby will improve emergency care in the community by providing better access for patients,” said Halpin. “In the past two years, we significantly reduced the average time that it takes a patient to see an emergency physician from 120 minutes to 31 minutes at OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital. We hope to bring those minutes down further with the addition of an emergency department in Ontario.”
Ontario Emergency Department – 2
Relieving the pressure
Patient visits to emergency rooms are on the rise. A recent online poll by the American College of Emergency Physicians showed that 86 percent of emergency physicians expect patient visits to increase over a three-year period. As hospital-based emergency rooms get busier, freestanding emergency departments can help alleviate the crowding and long wait times.
OhioHealth currently has freestanding emergency departments at the OhioHealth Westerville Medical Campus and the OhioHealth Pickerington Medical Campus. Another is in development in Lewis Center. The Westerville and Pickerington facilities are highly utilized and provide patients with quick access and quality care.
The Ontario emergency department will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will be staffed by emergency medicine physicians and nurses.
While freestanding emergency departments are capable of handling most any medical emergency, the most severe cases tend to be treated at hospital-based emergency departments. A patient visiting a traditional emergency department with a minor emergency may experience a delay in receiving treatment while the more severe cases are tended to. In a freestanding emergency department, wait times to see a physician are significantly less, allowing for faster treatment at the same high level of quality.
“OhioHealth’s philosophy is to keep care local as often as possible,” said Halpin. “It’s all about being accessible and convenient, no matter where someone lives. We want to provide the right care, at the right time, at the right place for our patients. Consumers are savvy, and they want to have options for their care. We want to be one of those options.”
Freestanding Emergency Department or Urgent Care
Freestanding emergency departments are not the same as urgent cares. Freestanding emergency departments provide emergency care, which is for severe or life-threatening conditions like severe bleeding, shortness of breath or chest pain. Urgent care is for non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses like minor burns, the flu or allergic reactions.
Ontario Emergency Department – 3
“OhioHealth will work to ensure consumers get the right care, in the right place by educating them on how to best utilize emergency care as part of our continuum of services that includes primary and urgent care,” said Halpin.