Every year, an estimated 130 million Americans will visit the emergency room. No one plans to have an accident, but in your hour of need how do you choose where to go? Your closest center of care may be one you overlooked.
Morgan Fisher is in no means clumsy, maybe just a little unlucky when it comes to injuries.
"I was seen for a concussion, broken finger, hydration when I had the flu, as well as a laceration repair. I mean it's been from every end of the spectrum." Said Fisher.
To cure her numerous ails, she came here to the Avera Heart Hospital. While it may seem like a strange choice, she says it was the right one.
"Yeah and I don't think people understand that! I think they see the name "Heart Hospital" and they don't realize that you can come here for other things! Sure you might have to see a specialist at some point but this is immediate care, it's emergency care! You are going to get what you need." Said Fisher.
In fact, ever since the doors opened the emergency room has been treating patients.
"We are here 24 hours a day and we provide emergent or urgent care and we will take care of those needs oftentimes definitively and if we need to refer or stabilize and transfer over to say Avera McKennan or Sanford, we will do that." Said Dr. Jeff Anderson, an emergency physician at the Avera Heart Hospital.
It's joked among the staff that the Avera Heart Hospital's emergency department is one of the best kept secrets in Sioux Falls. It's a secret that smart phones and Google have known for a long time.
"In this day and age people punch in hospital into their GPS or their smart phone and it will lead them here." Said Dr. Anderson.
Most Internet search engines have a GPS feature to base searches off your location. Even if you're in downtown Sioux Falls and are much closer to both Sanford and Avera McKennan, if you punch in "Emergency Room Sioux Falls" Google's first choice is still the Avera Heart Hospital.
To help drive this home, the hospital is literally putting the writing on the wall.
"What we are going to see I think with a little more promotion and the sign facing the interstate is that we will become more than a neighborhood hospital here." Said Dr. Anderson.
By bringing more patients here, that means less crowding at the other facilities in town. While Morgan doesn't anticipate another trip to the ER anytime soon, if an accident does pop up, she's knows she's in good hands.
"They are like a second family to me now after all my visits and that's what I love being able to come here and not feeling uncomfortable and knowing that they really do care for what's best for me and my well-being." Said Fisher.
With an interstate full of potential patients, the hope is that more people see the sign and it opens up their eyes. All those bumps and scrapes have definitely left their mark on Morgan. She's working on a nursing degree and hopes to one day return to the Avera Heart Hospital as a cardiac nurse. For more information about emergency care just call 877-AT-AVERA.