St. Joseph's Mercy offers tourist options

January 13, 2012

The St. Joseph's Mercy Emergency Department

With the start of the Oaklawn Park racing season on Friday, St. Joseph’s Mercy Health Center has visitors to the Spa City covered in case of injuries and illnesses.

St. Joseph’s Mercy Health Center made a presentation to Hot Springs hospitality leaders this week, highlighting the services offered for both residents and out-of-town guests.

“Obviously, we’re going to have a whole lot of tourists coming into town in the next couple months and it’s never high on anyone’s priority list to get sick while they’re visiting, but it happens,” said Dr. Douglas Ross, medical director of the St. Joseph’s Mercy Emergency Department. “We want people seeking treatment to be as comfortable in our system as they would be in their own.”

St. Joseph’s Mercy offers two Express Care Clinics and a Convenient Care Clinic. At all three locations there is no appointment needed and they are able to provide immediate care for:

  • Coughs, colds and flu
  • Sore throats
  • Ear problems
  • Urinary symptoms
  • Acute skin conditions
  • Sprains and strains
  • Minor injuries
  • Fractures
  • Lacerations
  • Sport, school and camp physicals

“Our average time for in-and-out the door is about an hour and we do have X-ray on site,” said Dr. Mark Larey.

  • The Mercy Convenient Care Clinic at 1662 Higdon Ferry Road in Hot Springs is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • The Mercy Express Care Clinic at 3604 Central Ave. in Hot Springs is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • And the Mercy Express Care Clinic at 5010 Highway 7 North in Hot Springs Village is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

Those experiencing potentially serious conditions such as chest pain, fainting/loss of consciousness, serious auto trauma, head injuries and severe abdominal cramps should call 911 immediately or visit the St. Joseph’s Mercy Emergency Department.

St. Joseph’s Mercy is the region’s only Level II Trauma Center and handles more than 40,000 visits per year.

“A patient who has a traumatic injury and visits a Level I or Level II Trauma Center is more likely to survive than going to a non-trauma center,” Dr. Ross said.

The St. Joseph’s Mercy Emergency Department has 24 private patient rooms and a staff of 15 full-time physicians and 45 full-time nurses. All of the full-time physicians are certified and specialty trained in Emergency Medicine.

 “The differences in the training between Primary Care and Emergency Medicine are significant. We’re very proud of that,” Dr. Ross said.

St. Joseph’s Mercy also works closely with LifeNet EMS in the region. LifeNet’s medical director Dr. Karl Wagenhauser is a physician in the Emergency Department at St. Joseph’s Mercy.

St. Joseph’s Mercy average time for getting a heart-attack patient to the cardiac catheterization laboratoryis less than 50 minutes, 40 minutes faster than the government requirement.

 “We are getting you to the cath lab much quicker and getting blood flow reestablished to your heart,” Dr. Ross said.

St. Joseph’s Mercy also offer’s the area’s only 24 hours per day, seven days per week stroke services. The Mercy Telestroke Program ensures a board-certified neurologist will be able to evaluate patients with stroke symptoms within 15 minutes of their arrival.

St. Joseph’s Mercy is one of fewer than 5 percent of hospitals nationwide with a fully-integrated electronic health record. Patients who are seen at any Mercy facility will have their medical records immediately available when they visit Express Care and Convenient Care or the Emergency Department. Mercy has 31 hospitals in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas.

St. Joseph’s Mercy is a not-for-profit, faith-based health facility with 27 medical clinics serving the healthcare needs of Hot Springs and its surrounding communities since 1888. It is the region’s most preferred provider of health care services.

Mercy is the eighth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,500 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit

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