Emergency Services


Hospital Emergency Access

Any person needing emergency medical care or any woman in active labor shall not be denied access to appropriate emergency medical services and care. Emergency services and care means medical screening, examination and evaluation by a physician, or by auhorized personnel under the supervision of a physician, to determine if an emergency medical condition exists.


Emergency Services Inventory and Exemptions

Hospitals offering emergency services must report to the Agency an inventory of services which are within the service capability of the hospital. If a hospital determines it is unable to provide a service on a 24 hour per day, 7 day per week basis, either directly or indirectly through arrangement with another hospital or physician(s), the hospital must file an application with the Agency to request a service exemption.

Emergency Services Reports

 DOH Trauma Center Designation

As part of the emergency services inventory, hospitals indicate if they have met trauma center criteria. The Department of Health has the responsibility for the planning, and establishment of a statewide trauma system so all applications for trauma center designation must be sent to the Department of Health's Office of Trauma. Applications, statute and rule references and a list of current certified trauma centers and contact information are available on their web site.

DOH Office of Trauma


Off-site Emergency Departments

Any Florida licensed hospital which has a dedicated emergency department may provide emergency services in a location off of the hospital's main premises. The off-site emergency department must be under the same direction, offer the same services and comply with the same regulatory requirements as the emergency department located on the hospital's main premises.  There are no additional rules or standards specific for emergency departments located off the premises of the licensed hospital. 

Hospitals desiring to offer off-site emergency departments must meet the physical plant review requirements of s. 395.0163, F.S.  The Agency must review the facility's plans and specifications before any construction can begin.  Reviews are also conducted during the construction phase and final physical plant approval is granted when the facility is determined to meet all applicable hospital building codes.  Off-site emergency departments must meet the occupancy and construction requirements of the Life Safety Code for a Health Care Occupancy and Florida Building Code for an Institutional I-2 occupancy. The off-site emergency department must meet all of the physical plant requirements of an onsite emergency department as described in s. 419 of the Florida Building Code and also meet the requirements of s. 2.2-3.2 Freestanding Emergency Care Facility of The Guidelines for the Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities, 2010 edition incorporated by reference in s. 419.2.2 of the Florida Building Code, 2010 edition.

Application to add an off-site emergency department must be made on AHCA Form 3130-8001 with documentation providing proof of ownership or right to occupy the premises. The hospital's emergency services inventory must be updated, if applicable. Refer to the hospital application checklist for additional instructions.


State of Florida Emergency Medical Services Plan

Pursuant to sections 395.103 and 401.015, F.S., hospitals with an emergency department must have an onsite telecommunications device that meets the requirements of the EMS Communications Plan.