Trident Emergency Physicians, which staffs the emergency departments at Trident Medical Center and Summerville Medical Center, merged with a Tennessee company on Monday.

The physician group's medical director said the new partnership will allow the local health system to hire more doctors and reduce emergency room wait times.

Knoxville-based TeamHealth Holdings Inc., one of the "largest providers of outsourced physician staffing solutions for hospitals," employs about 9,800 affiliated health care professionals in 46 states, according to a statement announcing the merger.

The deal took effect Monday. Terms were not disclosed.

"We are extremely excited about the prospect of joining an organization like TeamHealth," said Dr. Karen Kriza, managing partner of Trident Emergency Physicians, in a prepared statement. "By partnering with TeamHealth, we will have access to even greater resources backed by a robust infrastructure to better serve our patients and hospital clients as we work together to meet the emergency health care needs of the Charleston community."

Trident Emergency Physicians also provides staff for Moncks Corner Medical Center and Centre Pointe Emergency in North Charleston, a new, free-standing facility scheduled to open in late October.

Combined, the medical centers provide care for an estimated 120,000 ER patient visits annually, TeamHealth said.

Trident Health is owned by Nashville-based HCA Healthcare.

The merger with TeamHealth Holdings was forged directly with the local facilities, not the parent company, a spokeswoman for the hospital system said.

Reach Lauren Sausser at 937-5598.