Lakeland Regional Health is getting national attention for having the second-busiest emergency department in the entire country. 

The ranking comes from Becker’s Healthcare, a Chicago-based communications group focusing on the health care industry.

“It is all about teamwork here in the ER to survive the day, especially with how busy it is,” Marjan Conklin, an emergency room supervisor, told FOX 13.

In the last year, LRH’s emergency department logged in almost 191,000 visits. That’s a result of a number of factors.

LRH is the only level two trauma center in Polk County, so other area hospitals send their most complex trauma cases there. The medical center also has specialists, such as cardiologists, ophthalmologists, stroke experts and physicians in a number of other disciplines on call 24/7.

Dr. Hal Escowitz, a hospital administrator, said the emergency department has a national reputation of being able to treat patients quickly, which helps make room for new patients.

“We are extremely efficient with the way we take care of our patients, and our ability to move patients out of the waiting room,” he said.

Even though LRH is busy now, it is expected to get even busier because of Polk’s explosive population growth.

“We feel we have an excellent reputation and provide exceptional care,” said LRH CEO Danielle Drummond. “So why not take those services farther out into the community, so it is more convenient for the residents of North Lakeland and South Lakeland to be able to come through our doors?”

The medical is planning to build a new “mini emergency room” on South Florida Avenue. A little further north, it is going to break ground soon on another facility just off I-4.

The medical center has also bought 100 acres on US 98 South for future expansion.

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