OLOL picking up slack as BR General ER closes
BATON ROUGE- The emergency room at Baton Rouge General Mid-City closed its doors this morning. In anticipation of this event, Baton Rouge General and other area hospitals have been working to ensure patients continue to receive the same level of care.
BRG has added services to their Bluebonnet emergency room and hospital, but Our Lady of the Lake is expected to shoulder the majority of emergency services. Officials there said they are expecting a 10-15 percent increase at their main campus emergency room and have seen an even greater increase at their clinics.
"We're seeing twice as many individuals in the 12-hour time frame," said Terrie P. Sterling, Chief Operating Officer for Our Lady of the Lake. "We want individuals to remember: right care, right setting."
OLOL has also expanded hours at two LSU health clinics. The urgent care located on airline highway is open 24 hours a day, and the N. Foster location will now stay open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
BRG said a big part of why it had to shut down the ER was the inappropriate use of it. They said 80 percent of their patients could have been treated at a clinic or with their primary physician.
"It is incumbent on all of us to know when you need to go to the emergency room," said former Baton Rouge Police Chief Jeff LeDuff, "and when you need to go to an urgent care facility."
Baton Rouge General expanded their Bluebonnet campus ahead of the closure adding beds, services and 150 new jobs. Since it was announced that the hospital would be closing, Baton Rouge General reported seeing a slight decrease in attendance at the Mid-City location and an increase at the Bluebonnet ER.
The Department of Health and Hospitals says that the best thing to do during a serious health emergency is to call 911. Getting an EMS to you quickly is your best and quickest plan. For non-emergency needs like a broken bone, fever, or minor burns, Baton Rouge General recommends going to an urgent care facility instead of an ER.