GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Memorial Hospital at Gulfport is making some changes to its emergency room procedures that should ease congestion and ensure emergency patients receive the best possible care.
Beginning Nov. 1, patients who are not dealing with medical emergencies will be redirected to one of Memorial's 15 walk-in clinics operating on the Coast. A news release from Memorial says qualified personnel in the ER will make the determination of emergency status.
"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, Memorial President and CEO.
Hospital officials said about 6,000 patients a month are taken to Memorial's emergency room. About 1,500 of those are considered non-urgent patients with non-life threatening conditions.
"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 Marchand.
Memorial says non-emergency patients who chose to receive care in the emergency room will be required to pay their insurance copay or a $200 deposit toward the cost of care before receiving treatment.
According to Memorial, the Healthcare Financial Management Association says 50 percent of hospitals in the U.S. charge upfront fees for non-emergency ER visits.
When to visit the emergency room:
- Chest pain
- Stroke symptoms
- Head injury
- Severe bleeding
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of consciousness
- Difficulty breathing
- Lacerations, cuts & puncture wounds
- Any life-threatening situation
Follow this link to find a list of Gulfport Memorial walk-in clinics: http://bit.ly/2ggx1dx.