‘Consider other options’ for non-emergency needs, PeaceHealth Southwest urges as ERs fill up

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PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center is again experiencing unprecedented patient volumes in its emergency department due to rising cases of RSV, flu and many other emergent health needs.

PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center asks those with non-emergency health issues to consider visiting their primary care physician or a same-day or urgent care clinic to preserve the emergency department for those patients seeking care for emergency health issues.

“Given we are at what is likely the height of the influenza and RSV seasons, we ask at this time you consider other options to assist with your non-emergency health care needs so our team can care for the most ill and vulnerable,” Dr. Jason Hanley, PeaceHealth Southwest’s medical director of emergency services, stated in a news release dated Friday, Nov. 18. “Please know that we treat everyone who visits our emergency department, but those with non-emergency needs will most likely have a longer wait time before we are able to care for you.”

Dr. Hanley encourages anyone with difficulty breathing or challenges getting enough oxygen to come to the emergency department for an evaluation. He adds that, for other flu or respiratory virus symptoms such as body aches and coughing, self-care or a visit to a primary care physician may be a more suitable option.

The PeaceHealth Medical Center Emergency Department is available 24 hours a day, every day, to provide immediate care for those experiencing life-threatening or emergent medical issues.

PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, is a nonprofit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. PeaceHealth has approximately 16,000 caregivers, a group practice with more than 1,200 providers and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest. For more information, visit