ER wait times becoming a concern at Springfield’s Mercy Hospital

One patient waited 12 hours, some say they are frustrated.
Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 3:39 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Emergency room wait times at hospitals in Springfield including Mercy and CoxHealth are longer than normal.

According to Craig McCoy, President of Mercy Hospital, the longer wait time is due to more patients seeking care during the summer, a recent substantial COVID-19 spike, staffing shortages, and not enough open beds.

“We see in our ER volume go up and on average it is about 30 to 35 visits a day and over the last couple of weeks,” said McCoy.

The lack of beds is due to COVID-19 patients staying hospitalized longer. According to Mercy, it has 59 COVID-19 patients in the facility as of June 15.

“If the patient needs to be admitted and the beds not ready then they end up being held in a in a bed in the ER,” said McCoy. “Some cases up to about 12 hours or so waiting on discharges and most of the beds that we’re trying to get them moved to are ones that are monitored beds upstairs.”

Mercy representatives say this is not just a problem at their location but it is being seen throughout of all of southwest Missouri.

One local Springfield man shared his experience with KY3 from his visit on June 12.

“We waited 10 hours Saturday night and finally gave up and left,” said David Funk.

Funk visited the Mercy ER with his wife, “We got X-rays and blood work, but then sat all night in a freezing room waiting to seek further care,” said Funk.

The president of Mercy Chris McCoy told us it depends on the severity of the illness or injury and is not first come first serve.

“It’s based on the severity and the acuity of what’s going on with the individual when they come in,” McCoy said.

“I would tell people if you feel that you’re having a medical emergency by all means seek medical attention. If you go to an urgent care and they feel you need a higher level of treatment they will transfer you over,” McCoy said.

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