What’s the difference?

Patients often ask about the differences between our services and the services offered by emergency rooms affiliated with hospitals. Questions about quality of care and cost are common, but there are important points to note about both. Although relatively new in the Lone Star State, freestanding emergency centers provide all of the benefits of traditional ERs without the wait times, while also providing far more care options than urgent care centers. Plus, there is little or no cost difference.

What are freestanding ERs?

Freestanding emergency rooms are defined as emergency facilities that are not affiliated with a hospital. However, despite this fact, these centers are still bound by the same standards as hospital ERs. They are required to provide the same level of service and follow the same safety and quality regulations.

We are accredited by the state of Texas like a traditional ER, and many of our professional team members have extensive work experience in hospital ER settings. Think of a freestanding ER as an emergency room without all the red tape that comes with being part of a larger hospital system.

Differences Between Hospital ERs and Freestanding ERs

Now that you’ve read about the accredited, licensed, and regulated Altus Emergency Centers, you may ask how are they different if they are held to the same quality standards?

No Wait Times

Hospital emergency departments around the country and state are facing a series of problems. They are visibly understaffed and overcrowded. Most emergency rooms affiliated with an ER use triage as a way to deal with these high volumes of patients. Triage is a method of sorting patients by how severe their injuries are. For instance, a patient who is showing signs of cardiac arrest will be a higher priority than someone with a minor broken bone.

According to a recent study by ProPublica in 2018, the average ER patient in Texas waits 19 minutes to see a physician. This average is even higher if patients are waiting to receive medication for pain, with the same study showing an average of 46 minutes for patients with fractures to receive medications.

As a freestanding emergency room, our Lumberton area Altus Emergency Center has no wait times. Our physicians are open to see patients with all ranges of emergencies right away. As a result, our patients and ER trained physicians spend more time interacting with one another, instead of stuck in a waiting room. Also, the wait times are much shorter, if not immediate, for our diagnostic tests, including ultrasounds, EKGs, x-rays, and laboratory diagnostic analyses.

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