Emergency Medicine

Our purpose

Bringing better emergency care to patients in every community we serve.

Our practice

Our emergency medicine practice is rooted in strong physician leadership, empowered teams, and clinical excellence. We understand the challenges of today’s emergency department, and our programs are hyperfocused on balancing staff with patient demand and ensuring patients are seen and treated in a timely manner. How patients move through our emergency department and getting them the right treatment in the right place is our foremost concern. Additionally, we pride ourselves on straightforward billing practices that result in better financial stability and a better patient experience. At the local level, we embrace autonomy in how we apply processes and shape our approach to ensure we’re meeting the needs of each unique community we serve.

Our promise is to bring better to the bedside. Better ideas, better approaches, better care. From prioritizing cases to evaluating and stabilizing the people we see, our patients are at the center of everything we do, inspiring us to be better.

Nathan Ruch, MD, FACEP

What our leaders say

“Everything we do is about ensuring patients see a clinician as quickly and efficiently as possible. Door-to-clinician time is the most important measure in emergency medicine, and improving it increases the quality of our care and the overall patient experience.”

Nate Ruch, MD, FACEP

Chief Executive Officer, Emergency Medicine and Chief Integration Officer

Our performance

Everything we do in the emergency department is about patient experience and throughput. Our dedicated clinical and operational workflows track our performance, create transparency, and help improve results around door-to-provider time, patients leaving without treatment, and length of stay. And as natural collaborators, we cultivate mutually beneficial relationships with departments, ensuring warm handoffs within and smooth transitions out of the hospital.

As an outgrowth of our collaborative nature, our integrated programs — both with hospital medicine and critical care — demonstrate significant improvements in patient experience scores as well as decreased length of stay.

We’re experts at seamless transitions with significant improvements. Within the first 180 days, we typically see:

  • 8 percent decrease in door-to-provider time
  • 16 percent decrease in left before treatment complete
  • 5 percent decrease in discharge length of stay
  • 3 percent increase in patient satisfaction

How we do it:

  • Expert clinical and operational process design
  • Hospital and health plan interfaces
  • Performance management rigor
  • Operating and outcomes data for transparency and accountability
Gary Zimmer, MD

What our leaders say

“The emergency department is the nerve center of most hospitals, with patients coming to us at their time of greatest need. We support our groups of local physicians and advanced practice providers with the best tools in the industry and the best practices they can bring to the bedside for high-quality, cost-effective care. Our clinicians are committed to your community with the support of a national medical group that understands how to deliver evidence-based, data-driven, exceptional care to patients.”

Gary Zimmer, MD

Chief Medical Officer, Emergency Medicine

Our people

What matters to us is caring for patients — and having a team that shares our values and conviction to be better. This is reflected in how we work, every day, as a team — with mutual respect, trust, and a genuine spirit of collaboration. Here, every voice matters, and every insight helps us grow as clinicians and humans.

We enjoy the best of both worlds — the ability to practice emergency medicine at the community level while drawing on the collective strength and wisdom of our national presence. We embrace autonomy within our practice and have a path to professional growth — along with the development tools and resources to help us get there. We champion diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels. And we benefit from deeply engaged leaders who care as much about patients as we do.

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Our partners

We partner across the country with teaching hospitals, micro-hospitals, and critical access hospitals, as well as freestanding emergency departments and acute care centers. Across locations, we care for adult, pediatric, and trauma patients.

Let’s talk about building a partnership. We’d love to connect.


Can my new Sound ED really generate revenue to subsidize my other programs?

Yes, this is often possible. Reach out to us so we can better understand your department and discuss.

What can we expect to see in the first 180 days?

If the past is prologue, we’ve been able to reduce door-to-provider time by 11.2%, drop left before treatment complete by 14.1%, lower discharge LOS by 5.2%, and boost patient experience by 3.2%.

How do you tackle physician burnout?

In a few ways. Clinicians naturally want to provide excellent, compassionate care for their patients; unfortunately, barriers often get in the way. We try to overcome those obstacles by acting as a national support center. We’ve learned over 21 years that providing compassionate care can take different forms at different institutions. Rather than be overly prescriptive, we let our doctors trust their judgment to practice the art of medicine, providing evidence-based guidance and support throughout. This approach does wonders for physician morale, helps stabilize your workforce, and translates to higher patient satisfaction.

Who can I call when problems arise?

Because we’ll staff your emergency department with clinicians who live in your community, they will attend all relevant meetings and update you regularly. You always have accountable and transparent Sound leadership on speed dial. Inattentiveness is not a concern you will ever experience with Sound Physicians.

What benefits derive from your national footprint?

Our local ED programs remain tethered to Sound, so we offer our clinicians guidance, monitor for emotional well-being, and inculcate clinical excellence. When, say, there is a national pandemic or an obscure medical problem, our physicians on the front lines benefit from accessing Sound’s brain trust of 4,000 clinicians and 400 medical directors spread across 40 states.

How do you differ from your competitors?

First and foremost, we will provide excellent, compassionate care to your community and measure obsessively (and transparently) to ensure we meet your ambitious goals.

We have an entire lane and workflow dedicated to clinical performance that rolls up to our chief nursing officer; none of our top six competitors have that. Many of our competitors practice hospital medicine as an afterthought, a moat around their emergency medicine business. We’ve practiced hospital medicine for two decades and understand the art of integrating care across service lines. That does wonders when local physicians refer patients, local surgeons select a hospital for their procedures, and local community leaders tell the local newspaper how proud they are of the care they received.

Are you able to integrate your Hospital Medicine and Emergency Medicine programs?

Absolutely. We understand the vital interplay between the two, and our physicians are trained to collaborate and help with throughput regardless of who manages either program.