The emergency department at North Greenville Hospital will remain closed even after the pandemic is over.
Prisma Health has notified the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control that it has closed permanently the emergency department that had been temporarily closed since April 5, according to a news release. The temporary closure was a result of Prisma Health transitioning the North Greenville Hospital into its primary inpatient facility for COVID-19 patients in the Upstate — but, before that, the emergency department had been significantly under-utilized, the news release said.
“As we reviewed community use of the overall hospital, we realized that the overwhelming need in the Travelers Rest community was for additional primary care options which could provide better on-going care for that vibrant community and also help make significant inroads for additional preventive care,” Dr. C. Wendell James, chief clinical officer for Prisma Health in the Upstate, said in the release.
Prisma Health opened a new walk-in clinic over the summer in a building adjacent to the hospital, with a full-time physician and nurse practitioner. As volumes increase and more space is acquired, additional providers will be added, the release said. The North Greenville campus provides diagnostic services, including mammography, MRI, CT and other laboratory services. In addition, virtual health visit models are in place that allow patients to connect with Prisma Health physicians by video and, if needed due to COVID-19, telephone.
While COVID-19 patients are treated throughout almost all of Prisma Health’s hospitals, the North Greenville Hospital will continue as one of its flagship COVID-19 treatment sites.
“Prisma Health remains committed to meeting the medical needs of the North Greenville community in a manner that provides quality, accessible and affordable care,” James said in the release. “Our goal is to improve the overall health of our communities, and managing primary-care needs like chronic disease management is a major component of that. Given the low use of the North Greenville emergency department and the proximity of other nearby emergency departments, this is a step to be smarter about how we provide care — and, hopefully, with this new clinic, we can make more of a long-term patient impact.”
When the Emergency Department was open, it regularly averaged less than one patient every two hours, and approximately 90% of the patients who sought care could have been treated in a physician’s office or urgent care setting, the release said.
“As our communities change, it makes sense for us to change with them. We look forward to growing more local healthcare opportunities in the future,” said James.s