The New Normal in Healthcare: How Freestanding Emergency Rooms Play a Critical Role During a Global Health Crisis
From Dr. Jeremy Kenter, Chief Medical Officer, Ally Medical ER.
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on every aspect of American life, but the health sector – especially emergency care – has been hit hardest.
The overwhelming number and cost of caring for COVID-19 patients have exhausted health professionals, forced some facilities to ration or close care, and have resulted in significantly delayed access to care for all. During this crisis, every option must be used to ensure that critical resources are maximized and that patients get the care they need.
Prior to the pandemic, the average emergency room waiting time in the US was approximately 40 minutes. At the height of the current Delta variant, the ER waiting time was extended to several hours or longer. More than 10 states recently hit their highest pandemic hospital admissions. From the Southeast to the Pacific Northwest, patients are looking for an alternative emergency room.
In order to endure uncrowded waiting rooms full of potential COVID-19 patients, many doctors are urging patients to consider alternatives, including freestanding emergency rooms. As the pandemic intensifies, freestanding emergency rooms are playing a vital role in easing the burden on community hospital systems and improving patient care.
Safer, faster service and less waiting time
Outside of COVID-19, emergency room overcrowding can be dangerous for patients and is considered serious Public health theme. In sick and injured patients, long waiting times can lead to complications and even more adverse outcomes death. Having fully manned, well-stocked access to the emergency room at all times is the key to patient satisfaction, safety, and better overall patient outcomes. By offering COVID-19 tests and treatments, freestanding emergency rooms in certain regions such as Texas and Oklahoma have helped thousands of patients avoid crowded waiting rooms and receive great care.
At the beginning of the pandemic, reported the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the proportion of emergency room visits due to exposure to and contact with infectious diseases (COVID-19) was almost four times higher than in previous years. More and more people were looking for alternative treatment options because of the sheer number of patients crowding hospitals.
Freestanding emergency rooms are smaller, typically less busy than regular hospitals, and are often owned by fully accredited emergency doctors. In some cases, they have direct arrangements with payers such as B. medium-sized companies, and other providers as sources of recommendation. Often located in underserved areas, these facilities provide an invaluable resource for the local community. In these cases, freestanding emergency rooms offer PCR testing and access to critical treatments that are otherwise not available.
Regeneron treatments for COVID-19 treatment
Freestanding emergency rooms have offered Regeneron Pharmaceuticals groundbreaking REGEN-COV antibody cocktail therapy for COVID-19 positive patients since they were in. is available November 2020. However, it can only be administered intravenously and therefore must be administered or administered in a hospital Setting the emergency room. Since then, 600,000 Patients have been treated with the antibody infusion to reduce the risk of transmission and more severe illness.
It has been shown to reduce symptoms and lower Hospitalization by 75%. REGEN-COV administration usually takes less than an hour and is one of the most powerful treatment weapons available for people with moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms.
With this treatment, detached emergency rooms eliminate the need for hospital visits, reduce overcrowding and provide better access to medical care. During the Delta Peak this summer, Ally Medical emergency physicians in Texas were administering Regeneron to approximately 25 patients per day in six different locations. Fortunately, that number has dropped as the Delta variant wears off this fall, but the infrastructure and logs are now in place.
The proof is in the numbers
In 2020 the CDC reported there were more than 130 million visits to emergency rooms. The hospital alternative has gained momentum, especially in Texas, where almost 1.4 Million Patients visit detached emergency rooms every year. According to a United Healthcare Study, the freestanding ER trend is significant and ongoing, with the number of freestanding ERs increasing by more than 150% in just the last decade.
Freestanding emergency rooms provide immediate care when people need it most and have shown their true value to patients, communities and hospital systems throughout the pandemic. As the nation moves forward, these facilities will play an even bigger role in improving health outcomes.
Thank You For Reading!