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Hospital: 701-965-6384
Crosby Clinic: 701-965-6349
Care Center: 701-965-6086

Emergency Services

St. Luke’s Medical Center’s Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day, however, it does not have a physician on the premises 24 hours per day, seven days per week. It is covered with a 24/7 on-call physician who can arrive within five minutes of being called. In addition,  the Emergency Department also provides specially trained nursing staff 24 hours a day.

We also offer the most sought after technology available for eEmergency services.

How eEmergency Works

eEmergecy is part of Avera eCARE™, a suite of innovative technology applications developed to improve patient safety and support the rural health care workforce. This innovative service, now available at St. Luke’s Medical Center, links two-way video equipment in local emergency rooms to emergency-trained physicians at a central hub in Sioux Falls, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This provides patients immediate access to physician-rendered emergency care in their local community.

“Board-certified emergency medicine physicians take a team approach,” says Dr. Don Kosiak, Avera eCARE Services medical director. “It is best when one of us does the critical thinking and one of us is doing, so eEmergency is a play out of this team approach in the rural setting,” Dr. Kosiak explains, noting the access it gives rural providers, who often practice alone, to a consult on request.

Helping Patients and Families

Some of the ways eEmergency supports patient care in the local community include:

  • Providing the availability of physician-rendered emergency care 24 hours a day, regardless of location
  • Streamlining access to specialists for better outcomes for patients with trauma, heart attacks and other emergency care issues
  • Supporting activation of emergency transport teams as early as possible, saving seconds
  • Providing support when the local facility experiences multiple emergency cases at once
  • Reducing unnecessary transfers
  • Assuring patients’ families access to a specialty consultation at home “eEmergency gives us the ability to extend and enhance the level of health care in our community,” says Les Urvand, Administrator. “It elevates the level of care that we can support in our Emergency Department to where we are able to give better care in our community and keep patients here because we have a great team standing right beside us at all times – at our fingertips when we need them.


Frequently Asked Questions

Your body is giving you a warning sign.  It’s telling you something is wrong.  You feel sick and you are unsure if your symptoms are serious enough to require a trip to the emergency room.

St. Luke’s Medical Center providers have prepared a series of questions and answers so you will know when you should consider the ER or another option which may be more appropriate and less expensive.

  • When should I go to the ER? 
    • Here are warning signs of a medical emergency, according to the American Academy of Emergency Physicians.
      • Chest pain or upper abdominal pain that lasts at least two minutes
      • Uncontrolled bleeding
      • Sudden or severe pain
      • Coughing or vomiting blood
      • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
      • Sudden dizziness, weakness, or change in vision
      • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
      • Change in mental status such as confusion
      • Difficulty speaking
      • Unusual abdominal pain
      • Suicidal or homicidal thoughts
      • Changes in vision
      • Fever or flu-like symptoms (a patient may have severe flu and require hospitalization)
      • Allergic reactions (some are severe and may be life-threatening)
      • Broken bones
      • Animal bites (these can be significant in some cases)
  • When should I consider a clinic visit?
    • These provider-staffed facilities offer an alternative when there isn’t an emergency. They are generally less expensive than an emergency room visit. The clinic usually has immediate access to simple laboratory procedures.
    • Providers in clinics treat minor or acutely rising medical conditions that patients feel require immediate medical attention but that are not medical emergencies.  Non-urgent conditions can generally wait to be treated by scheduled appointments and medical emergencies involving trauma or resuscitation should go straight to a hospital emergency room.
      Conditions suitable for clinic treatment
    • A sprained ankle
    • Ear infections
    • Minor burns or injuries
    • Coughs, colds, sore throats
  • When Should I call 9-1-1?
    • The 911 emergency number is for true emergencies. An emergency threatens a person’s life, limbs, or sense organs. Examples are heart attacks, strokes, breathing problems, head and neck injuries, severe bleeding, and eye injuries.
    • When you call 911, an ambulance is sent with people trained in life support. The patient is taken to a hospital for emergency care. One reason to avoid using 911 if it’s not absolutely necessary is the cost. The patient or his or her insurance company will be billed for the ambulance, the hospital, and the doctor’s services. The best reason to use 911 only in a serious emergency is so that the emergency services personnel are free to help a person having a life-threatening emergency.
  • When should I call my doctor?
    • If you think a person needs emergency treatment at a hospital, it’s sometimes helpful to first call your provider for advice. Do this only if you have the time and the provider is immediately available. If not, then you should call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. Your provider can advise you as to whether an emergency situation actually exists.

If there is time to spare, then you should see your provider first. Remember, a provider’s visit won’t be as expensive as a hospital’s emergency treatment. And it won’t tie up vital emergency medical services. The provider may also decide that the condition can be treated in his or her office or at home. This saves your time and the hospital’s time, and reduces overall health costs.

Letter to Emergency Department Patient

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