In a life-threatening emergency
Dial 911 for an ambulance
In an EMERGENCY please Dial 911 or proceed immediately to the emergency department.
For urgent but non-life-threatening situations:
Call your primary care physician first, before proceeding to the hospital. Many insurance companies and HMO's require prior authorization for emergency treatment.
Not every sign or symptom means an emergency exists. The following are examples of emergency situations, based on guidelines from the American College of Emergency Physicians:
- Loss of consciousness
- Bleeding that won't stop
- Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure
- Sudden dizziness, weakness or change in vision
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Any sudden, severe pain
- Suicidal or homicidal feelings
- Confusion or change in mental status
- Coughing up or vomiting blood
- Severe weakness on one side of the body
- Possible poisoning or overdose
- Severe shortness of breath
- Severe reaction to an insect bite or medication
However, only a health care professional can properly evaluate the situation.
Information for Our Patients and Their Families
Emergency Departments all over the United States are seeing increasing numbers of patients coming to the ED for treatment. Recently, the Emergency Department of Southern Ohio Medical Center reached the 95th percentile in customer satisfaction as reported by Professional Research Consultants (PRC). This means that our Emergency Department ranks with the top 5 percent of emergency departments all over the United States in customer satisfaction.
This ranking is no accident. In 1997, SOMC made significant changes to meet customer satisfaction. Through feedback received on our surveys, we were able to identify opportunities for improvement. The ED sees 52,000 patient visits annually.
The entire Emergency Department staff - physicians and nurses - is committed to continuing improvement and providing excellent care to the patients of the Emergency Department.
Some of the many areas that have improved are:
- Fewer patients in the ED for more than 6 hours
- Less time from arrival at the ED until the patient sees a doctor
- 50% of patients who are registered at the bedside
- Less total time in the ED
- More patient satisfaction with physicians
- More patient satisfaction with nurses
- Fewer patient complaints
Who and Where We Are
The Emergency Services Department of Southern Ohio Medical Center includes a 24-hour Emergency Department at the Main Campus. Physician care is provided by the Emergency Physician Medical Group. Nursing administration is headed by the Director of Nursing for Emergency Pediatrics & Outpatient Services. The clinical management of the department is coordinated by a Nurse Manager & Assistant Nurse Managers. The Charge Nurse functions in the absence of the Assistant Nurse Manager.
Main Campus Emergency Department
The Main Campus Emergency Department offers emergency care 24 hours a day, with at least one physician experienced in emergency care on duty in the emergency area and a specialty consultation available within 30 minutes by a member of the hospital medical staff. The hospital's scope of services includes in-house capabilities for managing physical and related emotional problems, with provisions for transfer to another facility when indicated. The emergency department physician and staff respond to all announced in-hospital codes and other emergencies.
This facility is used for the care of the true emergent patient and treats chest pains, major trauma, severe respiratory problems and most ambulance patients.
Transferring To Another Campus
There may be times when you will be asked to transfer to the other campus. This is done in your best interest, to provide proper care in a timely fashion.
Triage is the process by which our emergency department personnel determine the overall condition of the patients entering the Emergency Department. Following this initial evaluation, as a patient, you will then receive the proper care, always as rapidly as possible. While we strive to keep waiting time to a minimum for all emergency department patients, the most critical patients must be seen first. Triage is why some patients see a physician more quickly.
During your visit, you may be contacted by patient representatives. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have whether you are a patient or a visitor. Please let them assist you. The patient representatives currently work 12 to 24 hours per day on the Main Campus.
If you are a patient waiting to be examined by a physician please do not eat or drink anything. This may interfere with your exam. If you are a visitor, we also ask you not to eat at the bedside of a patient.
If you are placed in the waiting room, we apologize for this inconvenience, but please be assured you will receive the same medical attention as the patients currently being treated. Our doctor on duty will attend to your needs as soon as possible.
If you are in our waiting room waiting to be brought back into the treatment room areas, and you feel that you must leave before the doctor can see you, please see the nursing staff at the triage desk and tell her your concern.
For the patients who are deaf or hearing impaired, we will provide an interpreter at no charge during this visit. Please inform us so that we may help you.
The Emergency Department allows 1-2 visitor per patient at a time. All others are asked to wait in the waiting room. They will be updated by the patient representative on the progress of the patient they accompany. When we feel it is medically necessary, exceptions can be made on our visitor policy; that is, having no visitors or having more than one. We appreciate your cooperation.
The main hospital's visiting hours are 24 hours per day. Please check with Security for a pass after 10pm nightly..
Children under the age of 12 are not permitted to visit in the main hospital. Children are not allowed to visit patients in the Emergency Department either. Under special circumstances, permission may be granted; this is done at the nurse's discretion.
When you are dismissed from the Emergency Department, you will receive a copy of your discharge instructions on how to take care of your illness/injury at home. Please review them and ask questions if needed.
Follow Up Care
You should follow up your care with a visit to your family doctor or at a clinic. If you get worse before you can visit your family doctor or clinic, please return to the Emergency Department for reevaluation.
If your physician orders an outpatient test, please bring a copy of your discharge instructions with you.
While in the Emergency Department, you may be seen by a nurse practitioner. A nurse practitioner is a Master's degree clinician who has been specially trained to see, diagnose and treat particular health care problems. He or she works with the physician to provide you with the most efficient and appropriate care that we can provide.
Emergency Department Physicians
The physicians who see patients in the Emergency Department are not employees of the hospital. They, like most family physicians, are independent practitioners and will bill you or your insurance company for the services provided.
Urgent Care Center Physicians
SOMC's Emergency Department & Urgent Care Centers employ Emergency Physicians Medical Group (EPMG). This group provides Physicians, Nurse Practitioners & Physician Assistants.
We are also a training site & you may be seen by Residents.
You will receive a bill from SOMC and another bill from EPMG for services at the Emergency Department or Urgent Care Centers.