Whether or not you’ve been to a freestanding emergency room (FSER), you’ve probably seen one. In the past few years alone, the numbers of FSERs has grown from a few dozen to hundreds, scattered all across Texas. This is due in part to legislation that recognizes FSERs in Texas as fully licensed emergency departments – essentially no different from a traditional hospital-based emergency room – and a need for more accessible emergency care.
Even with their growth and success, there’s still a lot of confusion and negative, often misinformed opinions surrounding FSERs. We’re going to discuss some of these misconceptions and dispel any myths about freestanding emergency departments. Keep reading to learn more.
Myth: FSERs take away business from hospitals, which ultimately hurts the local economy and community.
This is an incredibly common misconception about FSERs, and it’s concerning to community members for a number of reasons. Firstly, we have to dispel the myth that everyone with medical emergencies will visit a hospital ER. In fact, many individuals with less serious emergencies end up staying home and waiting for an appointment with their general practitioner, when they should be seeking immediate medical attention. Whereas hospitals are usually located in city centers, Nutex Health facilities are built in chronically underserved, often rural areas. Freestanding emergency departments are providing more accessible emergency care to these people, who usually must drive thirty or more minutes to the closest hospital or clinic.
Secondly, FSERs don’t take away patients from hospitals, but allow them to focus exclusively on care by diverting some of their overflow. According to the CDC, the number of individuals visiting ERs has increased and most individuals will wait for hours at hospital-based ERs before being seen by a physician. By providing more options for treatment, FSERs are actually increasing the quality of care for patients at hospital-based ERs. And besides the obvious benefits to patient care, our facilities don’t just treat patients, we give back to our communities and provide jobs to local physicians, nurses, technicians and support staff.
Myth: FSERs expensive and cost more than hospital ERs.
While emergency care is never cheap, freestanding emergency departments cost no more, sometimes even less, than a traditional emergency room.
Myth: An urgent care can do the same thing for me.
Urgent care centers are a great resource for minor injuries and ailments, but they’re not designed to treat actual medical emergencies. Urgent care centers treat conditions such as fevers, UTIs, and small cuts and lacerations. FSERs can treat a wide range of non-emergent and emergent conditions, including:
- High grades fevers and infections
- Major cuts and lacerations
- Heart attack
- Broken and sprained bones
FSERs may also keep their patients up to 24 hours for observation, unlike urgent care centers. Nutex Health facilities will transfer any patient that requires extended observation or injuries that require extensive surgery to nearby hospitals.
Myth: FSERs don’t provide the same level of care as an actual hospital ER.
Freestanding emergency rooms can treat the same injuries and ailments as a traditional hospital ER. On top of that, our patients are seen quicker and often sent on home in 30 minutes or less. You receive more focused care from an actual board-certified emergency physician, which isn’t always the case at other medical facilities. If a patient requires extensive surgery, the freestanding facility stabilizes them before transfer to a nearby hospital.
No matter where you go for your medical care, we want any patients who visit one of our facilities to know they’ve made the best decision for their health. We encourage everyone to research their options for emergency care and find what works best for your needs. Visit this page if you want to learn more about FSERs.
If you’d like to learn more about the crisis in emergency care, check out this article.
Nutex Health, Inc. supports you and your family’s health. Come visit any one of our concierge-level freestanding facilities for the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.