PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center urges use of urgent care facilities

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Due to unprecedented patient volume in its emergency department, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center encourages people with non-emergency health conditions to consider alternatives to the emergency department for care.

High patient volumes result in long wait times for those with less urgent medical needs. If people are not receiving urgent or life-threatening medical care, they are encouraged to seek care through their established primary care physician or at a day or emergency care clinic.

Emergency department volumes are on the rise across the country, according to PeaceHealth emergency department physician Dr. Eric Ferraris. Multiple issues are responsible for the high patient volumes, including staffing issues at hospitals and other healthcare facilities where patients leaving the emergency department are placed, including nursing homes and healthcare facilities behavioral, he said.

“If you have concerns about your health and you think it’s an emergency, don’t wait for it,” Ferraris said. However, he added that things like lack of medication are something more suited for an established primary care doctor.

“Now if you have chest pains or shortness of breath from high blood pressure, please, that’s something we would like to see you for.”

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