DANVILLE — OSF HealthCare Sacred Heart Medical Center in Danville has the third busiest emergency room across OSF’s hospitals.

It can see 130 to 140 patients a day, according to Ned Hill, OSF Sacred Heart president.

“Our ER is very busy. Historically it has been very busy,” Hill said.

OSF officials say across its Ministry they have been seeing high patient volumes in emergency departments, often resulting in crowded ERs and long waits. This includes OSF Sacred Heart.

OSF officials say the Emergency Department is the best place for treating severe and life-threatening conditions, but it’s also the most expensive form of care, and wait times can be long, since the ED is not first-come, first-served; patients are treated based on their emergent needs.

Hill said they emphasize patients getting “the right care, at the right time and the right place.”

This could involve utilizing OSF’s PromptCare, inside the former Danville Polyclinic building, 707 N. Logan Ave., and OSF OnCall Urgent Care facilities on North Vermilion Street and at Main Street and Logan Avenue in Danville.

In general, visits to the ER can involve anything to do with chest pain, blurred vision, slurred speech, severe injury, broken bones, head or eye injury, extremely high fever such as in an infant, seizures and uncontrolled bleeding.

A visit to prompt or urgent care could be for allergies, cold and flu symptoms, ear aches, severe headaches, insect bites, minor fractures, rashes, minor cuts, sore throats and ankle sprains.

This becomes even more important heading into a pandemic-time cold and flu season.

Hill said OSF is offering more options to get care for non-emergent conditions.

“There are lots of different ways to access care. We’re expanding that every day,” he said.

OSF has new doctors and providers in the community accepting new patients.

There also is an OSF virtual care option, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Hill said COVID-19 is now on a downturn again.

“We’re hoping to see a leveling off or decline in COVID-infection rates,” he said.

But surges can return, and with cold and flu season, local health care officials are expecting to get busier.

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