East Alabama Medical Center making moves on freestanding ER

East Alabama Medical Center making moves on freestanding ER
Updated: Oct. 30, 2017 at 6:00 PM EDT
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(Source: Parker Branton/WTVM)
(Source: Parker Branton/WTVM)

OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - A new emergency health care option is in the works for the city of Auburn.

Right now, all patients in Lee County with emergencies are directed to the East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC). The constant high volume of the EAMC prompted health care officials to look for another option.

Now they're planning to build a satellite emergency room or freestanding ER in Auburn near the intersection of South College Street and Devall Drive.

"That would relieve some pressure over the existing ER. Auburn is a very fast growing community. It [freestanding ER]  provides easier access for people from Auburn and also from Macon County. About half the people from Macon County come to get healthcare here, so that'll make it easier for them," says East Alabama Medical Center CEO, Terry Andrus.

The freestanding ER will be for patients with low-risk emergencies. Patient wait time for those patients is expected to decrease with this new facility. All high-risk emergencies will be directed to the current EAMC.

The application for the freestanding ER will be in for approval by the end of the month, and the project is estimated to cost around $10 million.

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