Freestanding Emergency Rooms
Freestanding Emergency Rooms (FSEDs) are providing on-the-spot service in communities across the US, and are growing. The majority are in Texas, Colorado, and Arizona, but they are found throughout the country.
How are stand-alone ER's different?
Freestanding emergency departments are ER's that are not physically - and sometimes not even organizationally - attached to a hospital. Initially they were developed to provide emergency room services to rural areas, but in the past several years they have expanded to serve many suburban areas. They offer advanced imaging and testing services, satisfy the community need for 24/7 care, and can --if run efficiently-- provide substantial profit for the operators.
It has all of the high tech equipment and clinically trained staff that a traditional ER has, but there’s no hospital attached, and no beds. If a patient’s critical needs cannot be met there, an ER ambulance is standing by to transport them to the best local hospital. While hospitals CEOs insist the concept is raising brand awareness for ER’s, particularly in suburban communities, it’s not a perfect scenario yet. Healthcare officials also worry that patient transfers at stand-alone ERs will cause delays for critically injured patients requiring surgery. Yet it’s argued that patient transfers are just as commonplace in traditional ERs.
Why this change to the traditional Emergency Room? It seems to be in direct response to how overcrowded they’re getting throughout the US. As visits to the emergency room climbed 30% in the last decade, and, according to the CDC, wait times also skyrocketed. The national healthcare system’s response was to create the concept of a stand-alone ER—and lots of people in need of care are going there!
FSEDs have cheerleaders and detractors. Supporters cite the reduced wait times, close-to-home locations, and improved access to high-level medical care and monitoring. Others note the potential for overcharging and difficulty regulating a new type of provider in a quickly changing healthcare marketplace. Access for patients of lesser means is also a concern.
Wherever You Wish To Work, ER Nurses are in Demand
If you’re Registered Nurse looking for emergency room jobs or a nursing job in any other specialty, apply online or call 1-800-996-2206 today. 50 States Staffing has RN across the nation, offering a full-benefits package and round the clock customer care. When you consult us, there’s never a wait to find your dream job!
Footnote: Want to read the entire article on stand-alone ERs? Click this NEJM link. Interested R.N.s may also refer back to A Journal of the American Medical Association’s study for current stats on visits to the ER.