IHS To Close Sioux San ER September 20th

Sep 13, 2016

Credit Lee Strubinger / SDPB

Indian Health Service officials are temporally closing the emergency room at Sioux San Hospital in Rapid City.  Officials say the closure is meant to improve overall care and begin renovations on the facility. Officials do not have an immediate date for when ER services might be resumed.  

IHS officials say the facility will continue to offer urgent care services 24 hours per day.   They say urgent care includes medical issues like broken bones, stitches, and common ailments.  But officials say patients suffering major medical problems like a heart attack, or a traumatic injury need to go to the Regional Hospital ER.    

Rear Admiral Sarah Linde is the Chief Medical Officer at the Indian Health Service. 

“The Indian Health Service is really constantly evaluating how we can best serve our patient population.  And there are a number of factors including the age of the Sioux San facility,  that have caused us to determine, that these and other limitations, that emergency cases, really would be better cared for at another emergency department in Rapid City,” says Linde

IHS officials say about 40 patients per day are seen in the Sioux San ER.  They say the majority of IHS patients can be served with urgent care services at Sioux San.   Officials don’t know how many increased patients the Regional Hospital Emergency Room will need to absorb to make up for the temporary closure.

Emergency and hospital services at  the IHS facility in Rosebud  were closed in 2015 after a failure to meet federal standards. That facility has since resumed care.   

In an e-mail officials with Regional Health in Rapid City issued this statement in response to the IHS announcement:

“We are surprised and disappointed that Indian Health Services has announced the temporary closure of the Sioux San Hospital Emergency Department. While it’s unclear at this time how this decision will impact Regional Health and Rapid City Regional Hospital, our highest priority is caring for all members of our community. We will work with IHS officials to better understand the situation and continue to provide appropriate emergency care.  Regional Health remains committed to providing the best possible health care to all patients and their families.”