The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Department of Public Health
Division of Health Care Quality
Circular Letter DHCQ 8-94-348
August 2, 1994
Definition of Emergency Services in 105 CMR 130.020
The Department advises hospitals regarding the services that must be available in a hospital building in order to obtain a license for emergency services.
Definition of the term “Emergency Services”
A service maintained primarily to provide care to outpatients who are in need of immediate medical care in order to prevent loss of life or aggravation of physiological or psychological illness or injury.
The following services are the minimum services that must be available in a hospital building as a precondition for the authorized provision of emergency services at that site:
1) inpatient medical/surgical beds;
2) critical care beds with adequate monitoring and therapeutic equipment;
3) twenty-four (24) hour availability of qualified physician and other appropriately qualified professional staff;
4) laboratory service with the capability of performing blood gas analysis and routine hematology and chemistry;
5) radiological services capable of providing the necessary support for the emergency service;
6) surgical services, including adequate operating room facilities, which are immediately available for life threatening situations;
7) post-anesthesia recovery services; and
8) the readily available services of a blood bank.
If the hospital does not provide the services listed above, the hospital will not be licensed for emergency services and may not receive and treat patients transported by ambulance through the emergency response system (e.g., 911 system).