The Obstetric Emergency Department (OB ED)

The Labor and Delivery Department at Huntington Hospital has recently opened up the OB ED, which stands for the Obstetric Emergency Department. This is an Emergency Room (ER) for all OB patients who are at least 20 weeks pregnant.

Every OB patient who comes to Labor and Delivery for any emergency reason will be placed in the OB ED.
All scheduled admissions such as planned C/S, planned labor admits or scheduled labor inductions might use the OB ED facilities but are not checked in as OB ED patients.

The OB ED is similar to the Main ED. It is a 24/7 Emergency Department, but it is specifically for pregnant women. Upon arrival, the nurse places the patient in a private room and begins the process of determining why the patient came in. Shortly after arrival, every OB ED patient is evaluated by an Ob/Gyn physician, similar to what would happen in the ED.

The physician evaluating the patient might be a Huntington Hospital Laborist* or might be a designated OB ED on-call Ob/Gyn physician. This is not the doctor who is going to deliver the baby (unless you show up and then deliver in the next few minutes, which does happen on occasion).

One purpose of this evaluation is to gather enough information to determine if there is a life-or-death emergency, which is rare. Most of the time, the OB ED Ob/Gyn physician will perform a brief evaluation and then will notify the patient’s personal Ob/Gyn physician of the results, allowing the patient’s own doctor (or on-call colleague) to take over the care and management of the situation, whether it is normal labor, preterm labor or any other high-risk obstetrical condition.

It might seem a little confusing to be seen by an Ob/Gyn doctor not affiliated with your own doctor’s office, but having an OB ED in place and having a qualified Ob/Gyn physician perform the emergency evaluation soon after your arrival, is an important part of the process of providing top quality safe care for you and your unborn baby. The OB ED physicians are part of our Labor and Delivery team, along with the excellent Labor Nurses and your personal Ob/Gyn physician, all of whom are here to do everything possible to ensure a safe and healthy birth experience for you and your baby at Huntington Hospital.

Billing Considerations

One of the consequences of the new OB ED program is that the services provided are billed for, exactly the same as if a patient came to the Main ED and was seen by a physician. It is our understanding that Emergency Care provided at a Hospital in a licensed Emergency Department (which the OB ED is) are always covered by the patient's medical insurance. In the past, an OB patient might have only been seen by a nurse who reported by phone to the Ob doctor. Those encounters traditionally were not billed to the patient.


Huntington Memorial Hospital has partnered with Ob Hospitalist Group (OBHG) to provide on-site, around-the-clock Board Certified OB/GYN obstetric hospitalist services by implementing a laborist program. The laborist program offers specialized obstetric services to ensure the very best, most timely care for expectant mothers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Patients at Huntington Hospital will be evaluated by emergent-care experienced OB/GYNs and will have immediate access to the best obstetric surgical care possible if emergency life-saving surgeries for mother and baby are necessary.

The laborist program offers patients and family member’s peace of mind during one of the most important moments of their lives; when literally a matter of minutes can make a life-saving difference.