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UPMC Susquehanna – Emergency Dept.

Care You Can Count On – Emergency Services at SSMH


by Kristy Warren - August 16, 2017

Emergency care is the one service we all count on—something we never plan on using, but one that on any given day can change everything. Designed with the most efficient care in mind, Soldiers + Sailors Memorial Hospital (SSMH) aims to make a trip to the emergency department (ED) as smooth and streamlined as possible.

Now celebrating the fifth anniversary of its relocation and grand opening, the emergency department at SSMH has served as a model for other facilities expanding or renovating their emergency services, with medical staff from around the state traveling to Wellsboro to review the layout. Designed with input from its emergency care providers to maximize efficiency and decrease wait times, the ED sits on the first-floor of a two-story 18,454 square foot expansion. As construction neared completion, a cornerstone ceremony was held on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 to commemorate the new ED, 70 years to the day from the setting of the original hospital cornerstone in 1941.

Ranging 17,000 to 18,000 visits per year, the emergency department at SSMH is often bustling, but you’d seldom know it—through clever use of acoustics and careful design, the department is surprisingly quiet and very private; even the waiting rooms are often nearly empty as staff pull until full to facilitate the fastest care possible.

On occasion, patients must be seen out of order, however, necessitated by a process called triage. If a patient with critical injuries comes in after a patient with minor injuries, the critical patient must be seen first. Once inside the emergency department, family members can use specially coded numbers to track the progress of their loved one on an advanced information board preserving patient privacy.

The department also features cutting-edge telemedicine specialty services, including teleneurology, telestroke and teleburn services, fourteen patient beds, a dedicated ambulance entrance and trauma rooms for more serious cases, triage area, specialized isolation and decontamination suite, expanded waiting room, quiet room, vending area; and a garage to house paramedic vehicles.

Join us as Dr. Donald Shaw and ED manager Laura Coates provide an inside look at SSMH’s emergency department from registration to discharge.

SSMH Emergency Department Fast Facts:
• Best practices model for facility design
• Part of the largest expansion in SSMH’s history
• Streamlined access to X-ray, Lab and Surgical Services
• Dedicated onsite paramedics and ambulance bay
• Isolation and decontamination suite
• Strategically located nurses’ station
• Smooth, fast registration and patient discharge areas
• Always treats patients regardless of type or access to insurance

For more information on Soldiers + Sailors Memorial Hospital, call (570) 723-7764 or visit


Videography: Andrew Moore, John Vogt

Video Editing: Andrew Moore

Writing: Kristy Warren

Anchor: Rhonda Pearson


Produced by Vogt Media

Funded by UPMC Susquehanna

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