Choosing a Freestanding ER vs. Urgent Care

By November 10, 2017Uncategorized

Patients have choices when dealing with a medical emergency. Rather than going to a traditional hospital ER, many patients choose to visit a freestanding ER or an urgent care center. Depending on your location, both may be convenient options, and they often look similar, so which one should you choose?

What is a Freestanding Emergency Room?

A freestanding ER has all the same capabilities and expert staff you would expect at a traditional hospital emergency room, but they’re located in your community. Most freestanding ERs, like Five Star ER, have intensive diagnostic tools like CT scans, ultrasounds and X-rays, as well as on-site laboratories for rapid diagnosis. All of our doctors are board certified and all our medical staff members have extensive emergency room experience. Freestanding ERs are also open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so no matter when or where your emergency, we can help.

What is an Urgent Care?

Urgent Care centers are more like an extension of your doctor’s office. They are not open 24/7, but usually have extended hours. They can easily handle minor illnesses like sore throats, coughs and minor cuts. They do not typically have on-site lab tests and because the person treating is often a physician’s assistant (PA) or nurse practitioner (NP), they cannot diagnose severe illnesses or injuries.

Why Location Matters

About half of all urgent care centers are in retail shopping centers and 95% of the medical staff at urgent care centers do not have hospital admitting privileges. What does this mean for you? If you are in a situation that requires more serious testing or medical services than an urgent care can provide, you would either have to drive yourself there or call an ambulance and, upon arrival at the hospital, go through the whole triage system at the hospital ER.

In contrast, Five Star ER locations were specifically chosen to be easily accessible and convenient to get to from major roads, meaning you don’t have to search for our store fronts. We also have board-certified emergency physicians and expert staff to provide advance diagnostics that may save you a trip to the hospital. In the rare cases that our patients need to be admitted, we work to arrange a direct transfer to an inpatient bed (or operating room), bypassing the hassle of the hospital ER.

Learn more about the difference between a freestanding ER and an urgent care from Five Star ER Medical Director Dr. Brian Aldred in the short video below!

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About Five Star ER

Five Star ER is owned and operated by the physicians of US Acute Care Solutions, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.

Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes.

This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.

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