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Memorial Emergency Department makes changes to Ease Congestion and Improve Service

Posted Date: October 13, 2017

GULFPORT, Miss. — In order to relieve congestion in the emergency department and better serve patients with medical emergencies, non-urgent patients will be redirected to walk-in clinics.
Beginning November 1, those patients determined to have conditions that are not medical emergencies will be required to pay their insurance copay or pay a $200 deposit toward the cost of care before receiving treatment for non-urgent care. Qualified ER providers will make the determination of emergency status.
Non-urgent patients will be given information about Memorial Walk-In Clinic locations as well as a list of other urgent care facilities and clinics. Walk-in clinics provide care generally quicker and less costly than an emergency department. Memorial Hospital now offers 15 walk-in clinics along the Gulf Coast, many are open after 5 p.m. and on weekends.
Memorial has a Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Program. Memorial also operates the only Neuro Interventional Catheterization Lab on the Coast and the only Interventional Cardiac Catheterization Lab in Harrison County.  Our Cardiovascular Center’s four cardiac catheterization labs provide immediate access to life-saving interventions for chest pain patients.  Memorial is the only state designated Level II Trauma Center serving the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  As a Level II Trauma Center, Memorial provides initial care to severely injured trauma patients utilizing a full range of trauma capabilities, including the emergency department’s Trauma ER, diagnostic imaging, full-service surgical suite, and intensive care unit. Memorial is the only hospital providing full coverage neurosurgical services, as well as coverage for orthopedic and cardiothoracic surgery among other specialties.

“Memorial is the only Level II Trauma Center serving Harrison, Hancock, and Jackson counties.  To provide the best care possible, we must make sure we have the staff and space available to treat emergency patients,” said Gary G. Marchand, MPH, Memorial President & CEO.

According to the Healthcare Financial Management Association, 50% of American hospitals now charge upfront fees for non-emergency ER visits.

More Key Facts Regarding Memorial ED Policy

Memorial Hospital Improves Emergency Services to better care for our community.

On Wednesday, November 1, 2017, Memorial Hospital will begin a new medical screening process in the Emergency Department. This new process is designed to decrease the number of non-urgent patients seeking treatment in the ER.
On average, Memorial Emergency Department sees approximately 6,000 patients a month. A quarter of those patients are non-urgent patients who are deemed to not have an emergency medical condition. Those non-urgent patients should be seen in a less costly, more convenient walk-in clinic setting.  If the ER medical screening confirms the patient is non-urgent, they will be given the option of seeking treatment at a clinic or paying a copay or deposit with the admissions clerk to be seen in the ER. Thus, relieving congestion and improving service for patients with medical emergencies.  
Over the past 10 years, due to an increase in patients with severe illness and/or injury, inpatient admissions from the ER have increased from 9,000/year to 13,000/year. We must have staff and space available in the ER to treat our most acute patients.
Memorial has a Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Program. Memorial also operates the only Neuro Interventional Catheterization Lab on the Coast and the only Interventional Cardiac Catheterization Lab in Harrison County.  Our Cardiovascular Center’s four cardiac catheterization labs provide immediate access to life-saving interventions for chest pain patients.  Memorial is the only state designated Level II Trauma Center serving the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  As a Level II Trauma Center, Memorial provides initial care to severely injured trauma patients utilizing a full range of trauma capabilities, including the emergency department’s Trauma ER, diagnostic imaging, full-service surgical suite, and intensive care unit. Memorial is the only hospital providing full coverage neurosurgical services, as well as coverage for orthopedic and cardiothoracic surgery among other specialties.
 “We want the community to appropriately use the healthcare resources we have available. If you have an emergency, call 911, and seek emergent care. If not, go to one of our 15 Walk-In Clinic locations. Many walk-in clinics are open after hours and some are open seven days a week,” said Gary G. Marchand, MPH, President/CEO, Memorial Hospital at Gulfport.

When to Use the Emergency Department:
Chest pain
Stroke symptoms
Head injury
Severe bleeding
Abdominal pain
Loss of consciousness
Difficulty breathing
Lacerations, cuts & puncture wounds
Any life-threatening situation  
When to Visit a Walk-In Clinic:
Fever
Colds & flu
Ear infections
Rashes & burns
Insect bites
Sore throats
Digestive discomfort
Urinary tract infections
Other minor conditions 


Walk-in clinics generally provide faster and less costly care than an emergency department. Memorial offers 15 walk-in clinics, and many are open after 5 p.m. and on weekends. Visit gulfportmemorial.com for clinic locations and hours.
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