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HAMILTON COUNTY, Tennessee -(WDEF) Erlanger Hospital
is now able to provide 24-hour emergency services in East Hamilton County thanks to the opening of a new emergency room.
The new Erlanger East location is a state of the art emergency room that is fully equipped with just about everything the downtown location has except an MRI machine
There's also plenty of room for a daily onslaught of patients needing emergency care.
"We have 22 patient care beds so we could potentially have up to 22 in-bed patients and of course if others were to walk in we will make due and see whomever we need to see," said Dr. Rob Hamilton who gave WDEF a tour of one of the new patient rooms.
Before the East campus became a 24-hour operation, medical services were limited and so was the staff.
"We only had a nurse practitioner. Now we'll actually have ER physicians here 24/7," said Erlanger administrator Theresa Radeker.
Another advantage of being East Hamilton County's only emergency center is travel time. In the past, East Hamilton County residents had to travel to Erlangers main hospital in downtown Chattanooga but now they can stay in their own back yard for medial attention when critical time can be a matter of life or death.
"Most of the people who lie around here, in order to get to a hospital, it takes them 20 to 25 minutes so this will cut down their time dramatically," Radeker said.
Erlanger president and CEO, Charlesetta Woodard-Tompson said if more East county residents utilize the East campus ER location, it will cut down on the waiting time at the downtown location.
"Some of the less acute patients can come out here or go to North and then their wait won't be so long and if they would just try this or try North they'll see that the services are just as good," Thompson said.
Hospital administrators said they expect more than 20,000 patients to walk through the East campus emergency doors this year.