Access to emergency health care is often a matter of life and death.
However, and not surprisingly, many rural communities nationwide do not offer hospitals that are readily accessible, creating potentially grave consequences for those with immediate life-threatening emergencies like heart attacks and strokes.
Spring Hill, Tenn., a mainly sprawling suburban community located 30 miles south of Nashville on the border of Williamson and Maury counties, clearly faced this reality for years.
Officials representing Spring Hill this approached HCA-subsidiary TriStar Health with concerns about accessing emergency care. They did so knowing that although the community is seemingly well situated between Maury Regional Healthcare System and Williamson Medical Center, traffic problems on the frequently congested Interstate 65 thoroughfare create potentially fatal inaccessibility.
The Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency ultimately denied TriStar's certificate of need application to build a Spring Hill hospital. However, the construction of a freestanding emergency room was approved, as the state considered it a department of TriStar's Centennial Medical Center flagship hospital located in Midtown Nashville.
TriStar Spring Hill ER opened in 2012 and is representative of both modern emergency room design and the