The True Cost of Readiness

Emergency care is unlike any other form of medical care because of the responsibility to be prepared for the unknown at all times. Our freestanding emergency centers (FEC) must be ready for any injury or illness that comes through their door – something that requires a great deal of preparation and planning. This characteristic of emergency medical care may be undervalued and underappreciated by patients, because, often times, they do not understand all of the factors that are needed to provide emergency care.

So what does it take to provide emergency services?

Our doors are always open when you need us.

Freestanding emergency centers are required to be open 24/7, 365 days a year. Emergency medicine's top priority is being ready for every patient and is unique in that this delivery of care is unscheduled. In contrast, primary care physicians, minute clinics, and urgent care facilities have limited hours and often require scheduling appointments in advance. That means for late night injuries or holiday sicknesses, the emergency room may be a person’s only option for emergency care.

 

We have trained ER-physician and registered nurse (RN) on-site at all times.

Freestanding emergency centers are required to have a trained ER physician and registered nurse at all times. Urgent care facilities and similar alternatives are not required to have a physician available during all business hours. At times, a physician’s assistant will be the highest trained medical professional at an urgent care or minute clinic. Having the most experienced and qualified personnel is another important feature that enables FECs to provide the highest levels of service.

 

Our centers are equipped to handle serious emergencies.

Freestanding emergency centers are equipped to handle serious emergencies – heart attack, stroke, lacerations, or other medical emergencies – at a moment’s notice. To do so, freestanding emergency centers must maintain state of the art equipment, which enables staff to quickly diagnose and treat a medical emergency. FEC facilities have laboratory and radiology equipment, including CT scanners, ultrasounds, and x-ray machines. FECs are able to run tests and process results efficiently. They also have a stocked, Class F pharmacy on-site to quickly deliver needed medications to patients so they can get back to their daily lives. FECs stand ready for all levels of emergency at every hour of every day. FEC alternatives like primary care physicians, minute-clinics, and urgent care clinics are unable to treat patients with serious emergencies and are not required to house such complex medical equipment.

 

The value of convenient, quality emergency medical care.

Emergency care is the only form of healthcare required to be prepared for every level of patient at every hour of the day, regardless of their ability to pay. With the convenience and accessibility of freestanding emergency centers comes a cost of readiness. The cost associated with emergency care is linked to all of the traits previously mentioned that make freestanding emergency centers unique when compared to other healthcare facilities. The cost of maintaining readiness is something patients and insurance companies must recognize.

Although some patients might express concerns for shorter FEC visits that generate large bills for emergency care, it is important to understand that a speedy visit is one of the added benefits of visiting an FEC facility, and to consider all of the back end work that goes into making visits to freestanding emergency centers so efficient. FECs are willing and ready to treat any injury or illness at any time, which brings value to patients and allows freestanding emergency centers to stand out in terms of service and quality of care.

In the event of a medical emergency, know that you are in good hands at one of our freestanding emergency centers.