What is The Texas Association of Freestanding Emergency Centers (TAFEC)?

What is The Texas Association of Freestanding Emergency Centers (TAFEC)?

Freestanding Emergency Centers are a relatively new concept in Texas, having been established in 2009. This form of healthcare differs from other healthcare providers due the type and quality of healthcare offered. There are many freestanding emergency centers spread all over Texas. To maintain high quality standards and present a unified voice, the freestanding emergency centers formed the Texas Association of Freestanding Emergency Centers (TAFEC). Bellaire ER explores the formation and functions of TAFEC.


The freestanding emergency care industry was established in 2009 under House Bill 1357. However, there were few freestanding ERs in Texas that operated individually before the bill was passed. Each of these ERs set their own regulations about operating times and the quality of care.
After the recognition of the freestanding ERs by law, there was a need to standardize their practices. It is due to this need that TAFEC was formed. The association became the first statewide representation for FECs in the United States.


TAFEC looks to provide a unified voice from the freestanding emergency centers. This way, the industry can present its views clearly and have a central point of representation. This unification helps the industry pay an important role during the creation of laws and regulations affecting the freestanding emergency centers.

TAFEC is also involved in creating awareness on freestanding emergency centers all over Texas. Through their awareness mandate, TAFEC aims to inform residents about the benefits of FECs and how to use them.

TAFEC also helps to maintain high quality standards for all its members. This includes high quality service to patients in minimum wait times.


TAFEC has been involved in many advocacy roles to create fair regulation for the FEC industry.
Health insurance transparency is one of the items under TAFEC’s legislative agenda. TAFEC is pushing for legislation that will require insurance companies to be transparent about how they calculate the rates paid to out-of-network healthcare providers.

The problem of surprise medical costs has plagued consumers who visit FECs. People are often presented with huge medical bills especially when they visit out-of-network FECs. This is because some insurance companies only cover a small portion of the bill and thus the patient is left to cater for the rest out-of-pocket.

With a transparent calculation mechanism, the insurers will have to be consistent in their payments to healthcare providers and the law can institute penalties for any insurance company that underpays.

Keeping in its role to provide fair regulation in the industry, TAFEC is looking to eliminate surprise medical bills through legislation. They hope to create a law that standardizes the reimbursement rates from the insurance providers. This way, patients will not be presented with surprise medical bills as they’ll already know how much their insurance covers.

Apart from the transparency of insurance companies, TAFEC also aims to promote the transparency of FECs. FECs in Texas were plagued with the problem of people confusing them with urgent care centers. This led to the passage of the Senate Bill 425 that mandated FECs to provide clear signage and information on the difference in cost and quality of care between them and urgent care centers.

The bill requires the FECs to post notices that inform patients that the facility is a freestanding emergency center and that billing is similar to a hospital based emergency center. The notices also inform the patients that their medical insurer might not cover their costs and that the physician attending to them might bill separately from the hospital.

These notices have to be placed in areas where they are clearly visible such as the entrances, treatment rooms, payment locations, and on the FECs website.

The bill helped to reduce complaints by patients who were met with surprise bills to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

In keeping with the need for transparency, TAFEC also has a section on its website that informs patients on which healthcare facility can serve them best. The section primarily aims to distinguish between urgent care and emergency centers. Illnesses and injuries such as flu symptoms, sprains, cuts, and allergies are best treated at an urgent care. Emergency rooms should be accessed for true emergencies such as heart attacks, stroke, chest pain, and severe burns.

TAFEC also has a lot of materials on other subjects such as FEC billing and Texas medical statutes. All this information is meant to help patients make the right decision when visiting a healthcare center. It also helps them access quality healthcare in times of an emergency since they know that that the insurers are supposed to pay for the emergency services at in-network rates.


TAFEC has 30 members who run 220 FECs across Texas. The FECs are located in more than 100 communities all over Texas. All the facilities operated by each member have to join if the parent company decides to join the association. These facilities also have to pay separate dues.

Top 15 Reasons for ER Visits for Children

Top 15 Reasons for ER Visits for Children

According to a report published by the NCBI, over a quarter of an estimated 115.3 million visits to hospital affiliated emergency departments were from children. The report continues to state that about half a million of the visits resulted in hospital admission. Children are naturally prone to illnesses due to their weak immune systems and have a higher chance of interacting with germs and accidents because they are curious and tend to wander.

Bellaire ER offers quality pediatric emergency treatment for all children. We have an emergency pediatric emergency care center. Here are some of the top reasons for pediatric ER visits based on some information from the NCBI and CDC.

Injuries accounted for more than 30% of the emergency room visits. Superficial injuries such as open wounds, bruises, sprains and broken arms are common among children. Most of the injuries were treat and release, while only an estimated 2% resulted in hospital admissions. Bellaire ER has all the necessary staff and equipment to handle any injuries among children.

Poisoning is common among children because their judgment of what is healthy or unhealthy is limited. Cleaning solutions kept in kitchen cabinets are common causes of accidental poisoning. Food poisoning may also occur because children will easily consume stale foods without adult supervision.

Car Crashes
Vehicle-related accidents happen every day, and children are also accident victims. Whether they walk into the roads by accident or happen to be in the vehicles when the crashes happen, most of them end up in the ER. The car crashes lead to other complications such as concussions, injuries, and bone fractures that require immediate medical attention.

Respiratory Disorders
Asthma, pneumonia, and bronchitis are some of the most common respiratory conditions affecting children. These conditions result in difficulty in breathing and are therefore severe. Around 133,900 ER visits resulted in hospital stays among the children, proving the severity of respiratory disorders. Asthmatic children are advised to stay away from triggers and always carry their inhalers with them.

Upper respiratory infections accounted for 11.6% of the ER visits. The infections include sinusitis, croup, and strep throat. Ear infections accounted for 6.5% while viral infections accounted for 3.3% of the visits in the 23 study states.

Musculoskeletal Disorders
These include sprains and fractures caused by accidents such as falling down the stairs or falling off a bike. These injuries are common, and Bellaire ER can easily treat them. The injuries may require casts, and future physical therapy, exercise, and even surgery.

Nervous System Disorders
Concussions are common nervous disorders that may occur during sports. A concussion disrupts normal brain activity and a child suffering from it will appear dazed, may be irritable, cries and may change sleeping and eating habits. Seizures caused by epilepsy may also need urgent medical care.

Parasitic Diseases
According to the CDC, pinworm infections are common among pre-school children. Both preschool and school-age children could easily get scabies or head-lice that is easily spread through contact. Other diseases caused by the roundworm, hookworm, and whipworm cause diarrhea, abdominal pains, intestinal obstruction, and anemia, are easily contacted through ingesting contaminated soil. Infections are also easily transmitted through contaminated water in recreational parks and pools.

Digestive Disorders
Digestive disorders such as stomach aches, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation are common among children of all ages. These disorders may be caused by other disorders such as food poisoning, infections, and even appendicitis. A quick visit to the ER is therefore important in determining the severity of the condition.

Appendicitis is a common condition that is usually fixed through surgery. Usually, the appendix is inflamed, and if not detected in time, it could rupture causing more complications. Generic appendicitis signs do not occur among children and parents are advised to look out for the following symptoms: sharp pain in the abdomen, especially in the lower right region, generic symptoms such as nausea vomiting, and lack of appetite may also occur.

Endocrine Disorders
A disorder such as diabetes may cause frequent urination among children and even bed wetting. Other complications include weight loss and extreme hunger due to a limited sugar supply. Fatigue, irritability, blurred vision, and even irritability among children.

Genitourinary Disorders
Young babies may develop rashes from wearing diapers, and may also develop an overgrowth of yeast due to unhygienic conditions. Most children easily contract urinary tract infections that cause pain when urinating. Yeast infections are also common, especially in girls and should be attended to immediately.

Skin Disorders
Skin disorders may occur when children get burns or experience sunburns. Other rashes may also develop due to contact with poisonous plants or substances. Babies may develop diaper rashes. Allergens trigger other conditions such as Eczema.

Also known as the pink eye, this is a disorder that affects the white part of the eye, which turns pink. It may be caused by bacteria, viruses, allergens, and irritants such as shampoo, dirt, and smoke.

Mental and Behavioral Health Conditions
Bipolar disorder and depression can occur among children and may cause rash decisions among children. Children with these conditions may inflict harm on themselves and require special treatment. Bellaire ER may take care of self-inflicted cuts, but mental disorders require special treatment in a hospital.

Bellaire ER is well equipped to handle pediatric emergencies. Our state-of-the-art facility provides a quick diagnosis and treatment options for our pediatric patients. In case of any emergency, visit Bellaire ER today for quality treatment for your children.

15 Secrets of The Emergency Room That Everyone Should Know

15 Secrets of The Emergency Room That Everyone Should Know

Every patient would like immediate services, especially in an emergency room. However, each ER has its own system of working, and as we all know, every system requires rules to work properly. To help you understand our ER, and any other ER you may walk into, here are secrets Bellaire ER would like you to know.

The Sirens Are Not Compulsory
The ER will send an ambulance to pick up a patient once the call is made. However, the sirens are only used for code 1 patients. Kindly, do not harass the ambulance staff as they drive through the streets to take you to an ER. They are trained EMTs who are doing their best to save lives.

Medical History Is Important
The physicians in an ER are faced with a challenge of coming up with a quick diagnosis and information about your medical history could save your life. Important details such as previous operation, heart attacks, conditions like asthma and diabetes are crucial in the treatment of any patient.

Denial Could Kill You
If a triage nurse or a physician asks you questions, try to be as honest as possible. The ER staff wants to save your life, not embarrass you. Patients are often embarrassed about taking medication such as Viagra, or breaking a bone while trying impossibilities. Honesty is the best policy, and doctors have heard it all.

Overspeeding Is Dangerous for Everyone
Most patients expect the EMTs to over speed in an ambulance. While it is true that ambulances try to arrive in ERs as soon as possible, the EMTs would also like to arrive safely and work in the ambulance. Basic things such as inserting an IV require stability.

Your Emergency Is Not Always Our Emergency
Bellaire ER will send an ambulance as soon as the call is made. However, arriving in an ambulance does not mean that the condition is always fatal. If there are patients that require urgent treatment, the physicians and nurses will prioritize them. As a reminder, always be patient in an emergency room.

Doctors Do Not Know Everything
A doctor will constantly refer back to his books and computer to do some research on a condition. We understand that TV shows exaggerate a doctor’s knowledge. It is our job to give an accurate diagnosis, and we do not take chances with conditions we are unsure of.

Do Not Expect World Class Treatment
Some patients will walk into an emergency room and complain about waiting, about the staff and the ER. Kindly take a seat and wait. Our job is to save as many lives as possible and offering special comforts is not within our protocol. Bellaire ER will provide quality services, but remember that doctors have to work on other patients. They will not spend an entire day at your bedside.

Doctors Also Take Their Time to Rest
Remember that all physicians are also human. They need time to relax, sleep and eat. Some of the ER staff also have families they need to check on. If you see a doctor resting on a chair, or seating on a desk behind a computer, it does not mean that they are lazy. They are gathering the energy they need to treat their patients well.

Do Not Be Shy About Your Problem
Bellaire ER understands that some conditions, especially those related to reproductive health, may not be easy to talk about. However, time is important in an ER. Please, do not be shy about your problems.

Tell Us Before You Pee
Urinalysis is a common procedure in the ER. If you pee before a sample is taken, then look forward to a long wait in the emergency room. If you came to the ER to have a pregnancy test, or check for an infection, peeing before the urine is examined will take up more of your time.

You Can Ask for Privacy with The Physician
The presence of too many people is overwhelming for some patients. Kindly, feel free to ask for privacy at Bellaire ER. We are more than happy to help.

If Possible, Bring Your Medication List
Some patients are on several medications, and it may be impossible to memorize all. To make the nurse’s work easier, you can carry a list of all medications with you, and probably a list of those you are allergic to, to prevent fatal treatments.

Do Not Minimize Your Symptoms
If you feel that your pain is getting worse by the minute, you have every right to tell the nurses and physicians. Do not try to conceal your pain or discomfort until it is too late. Speak up and get medical attention.

Avoid Busy Hours
If you are in a position to visit the ER during mid-mornings, take full advantage. Avoid the ER on Mondays and in the evening if you hate long queues.
Kindness Will Get You Anywhere
Try to be friendly to the staff. Kindness will go a long way in getting you quality services.

Bellaire ER is proud to offer quality and affordable services to all patients. With the tips above, we hope that patients will understand emergency rooms better. For more information, kindly visit our website today

Performing the Heimlich maneuver and what to do when it doesn’t work

1 Sep 2017 Health Care

Performing the Heimlich maneuver and what to do when it doesn’t work

Every year millions of people die due to choking. In fact, choking has been listed as the fourth leading cause of unintentional deaths. Luckily, there is a simple technique that anyone can use to expel objects that are stuck in someone’s airway. It is called the Heimlich maneuver or abdominal thrust. Bellaire ER here shows how to perform the Heimlich maneuver and what to do in case it does not work.

When a person is choking, first allow them to try and dislodge the object from their airway on their own. This is always the first step and not immediately resorting to abdominal thrust procedure. First, ask the person if they can speak. If they can, then that means the air exchange is quite good, and they can get the object out with some forceful coughing. If they are unable to speak, that is when you can proceed to do the Heimlich maneuver.

Performing on a person of normal size
The Heimlich maneuver is handled differently depending on the person it is being performed on. For an average sized person, you should lean them forward and using the heel on your hand, deliver five back blows on the section between the victim’s shoulder blades. That should get the object out. If it does not, then you can perform the Heimlich thrust. This involves the following steps:
• Stand behind the victim then wrap your arms around their waist.
• Once you have wrapped your arms around the victim, ensure that the hand that is closest to the stomach of the victim is made into a fist and your thumb’s knuckle is positioned between the bottom of the victim’s rib cage and their belly button. It should be pressing in that position.
• Once you are set in that position, squeeze and thrust your hands simultaneously inwards and upwards. Do this repetitively until the object that is obstructing the victim’s airway pops out of the victim’s mouth.

This technique is only applicable if the victim is an adult or a child who is above one year.

Heimlich maneuver for a pregnant woman victim

Employing the standard procedure that is usually conducted on a normal person to a pregnant woman can be harmful to the fetus and the victim herself. As such, a modified approach of the Heimlich maneuver is employed for women who are expectant. For this case, deliver the five back blows to the lady just like the standard procedure and observe whether the object blocking their airway can come out. If the object fails to pop out and you have to do the thrust, ensure that when wrapping your hands around the pregnant victim, they should be a little higher as compared to where they would be when performing the same procedure on a normal person. Your thumb’s knuckle should be positioned at the breastbone base just above the section where the lowest ribs join.
Heimlich maneuver on an obese person
For effectiveness, perform the procedure the same way you would perform on a pregnant woman. Your hands should be a bit higher and just under the breastbone.
Heimlich maneuver for a baby victim
Babies are more likely to be choked by objects given that they like putting things in their mouth. For a baby who is more than one year old, the same procedure that is done on a normal person can be performed on them. If the baby is less than one year old, the approach has to be adjusted a bit. For them, give them five firm but gentle back thumps. Then while sitting down, let their arms rest on your thigh. Hold them on your forearm while facing down and use your palm to support their head. You need to be careful not to twist their neck or cover their mouth. Once you have attained this position, give the baby five gentle thumps on their back. The force and gravity will force the object out.
If the object fails to come out, hold the baby on your forearm face-up with the head being a bit lower than the rest of the body. You then have to use two or three of your fingers to give quick chest thrusts to get the object out.
Self-administering of Heimlich maneuver
In case you have to do the procedure on yourself:
• Place your thumb below your rib cage and just above your navel like you would do when performing the procedure on someone else.
• Use your other hand to grab your fist and press it on that spot with a quick movement upwards.
• Another alternative is for you to lean over a chair, rail or the edge of a table thrust your upper abdomen against the edge.
If the maneuver doesn’t work
In case neither of these procedures work on the victim, it is important that you call 911 immediately. In fact, any case of choking should be reported, and paramedics called immediately to assess whether other medical complications could arise due to the choking.



The Affordable Care Act (ACA) came into law in 2010, and it was meant to ensure that all Americans had access to health insurance so that they could access affordable health care. One of the main hopes when establishing the ACA was that many patients wouldn’t visit the ERs and would instead visit regular doctors where treatment is cheap. However, years after the ACA came into effect, people are still visiting the ERs, with some states recording a slight increase in ER visits.

Bellaire ER is one of the ERs that have been affected by the visits from uninsured patients, and we know just how costly it can be. Most of the uninsured patients wait until their condition gets worse so that they can visit the ER. This results in higher treatment costs. Since ERs are mandated to offer medical care to their patients, regardless of their ability to pay, they are the preferred source of medical care for the poor and uninsured people.

Due to many visits from people who couldn’t clear their medical bills, ERs are left with millions of bad debt which puts a strain on their resources.

The Affordable Care Act aimed to expand health insurance coverage in the country and would hence reduce the number of uninsured people that had to wait for their condition to worsen to visit the ER. The ACA also provided for the expansion of Medicaid to include more low-income earners that were not eligible for the plan before.

The Supreme Court made a ruling that states had the option to accept or reject Medicaid expansions. Texas is one of the states that chose to reject them.

Overall, the ACA has managed to get more people to enroll for health insurance through various incentives. However, the number of people visiting the ERs in the expansion and non-expansion states has mainly remained the same. The difference is that this time, the number of uninsured patients in the ER has decreased. The decrease has been significantly larger in the expansion states than the non-expansion states as noted in a study published in the Health Affairs journal.

Although the expansion states have had an increase in insured visits, the number of people with private medical insurance has gone down by around 7 percent compared to the non-expansion state.

As more data becomes available, ERs will be looking at the balance between the Medicaid patients and the privately insured patients due to the disparity in payments. Generally, Medicaid pays more than uninsured patients but less than private insurance. These variations will show whether it is better to expand or opt to stay as a non-expansion state.

Analysts predict that lack of change in the number of ER visits, especially in the expansion states has little to do with the ACA and instead it is mostly about how the healthcare system works.


Most of the people that visit the ER are in serious conditions and need urgent medical care. In such a scenario, ERs are still the best equipped medical care facilities to attend to such cases.

Most people in these serious conditions also prefer to visit the ER due to the timely access to medical care. Since in the ER you are treated based on the urgency of your situation, patients who need urgent care usually visit the ER.

It is also notable that most of the primary care doctors do not accept Medicaid. Therefore, the insured patients have no option but to visit the ER.

A CDC report showed that 77 percent of the people visiting emergency rooms go because they have serious conditions. Another 12 percent opt for the ER because their doctor’s office is closed. These are visits that usually occur on weekends and holidays. Other people opted for the ER because it was their only option.

These figures show that the ACA remains challenged on reducing visits to the ER. This is because most of the people visiting the ER are there because of issues other than affordability. The point at which the ACA was meant to make headway is in reducing the number of people that delay health care. However, due to the unwavering numbers, these effects remain to be seen.

Some analysts also blame the sustained use of ERs on the habit. Most of the newly insured patients under the expanded Medicaid program were used to going to the ER. Most of them have continued with this habit as visiting the ER is familiar, and it’s a routine they are used to.

Older generation
America also has a great population of the older generation who are more likely to have chronic illnesses that require a visit to the ER. Therefore, these people will still visit the ER whether they have insurance or not.

The Affordable Care Act has done little to reduce the stress on emergency rooms. However, it has helped people get access to healthcare and given the emergency rooms some financial security.

Do I Go to A Freestanding Emergency Room or an Urgent Care Center?

Do I Go to A Freestanding Emergency Room or an Urgent Care Center?

Injuries and illnesses can occur at any time, and patients rush to the nearest medical facility seeking treatment. Depending on where you live, you could visit a freestanding ER or an urgent care center. The difference between these two facilities is often blurred. For example, Bellaire ER is a freestanding emergency room. What then separates us from an urgent care center? Here are a few things you should know before making a decision.

Differences Between Freestanding ER and an Urgent Care Center

A free-standing ER is expected to be open for 24 hours. This means that patients can receive medical care at any time of the day. Urgent Care centers, on the other hand, treat conditions that are urgent for the patients that do not want to wait in line. However, they are not open for 24 hours.

ERs are established to handle emergency conditions but are not attached to a hospital. The ER will prioritize treatments for deep cuts, chest pains, heart attacks, fevers, chills, vomiting, and abdominal pains. Urgent care facilities will handle conditions that are less critical but are urgent due to increasing discomfort. These conditions include fevers without rashes, sore throat, surface wounds, and headaches.

Waiting Time
Patients that may not have life threatening conditions are forced to wait longer in an ER. A freestanding ER is still an ER and treatment is given based on the severity of the condition. Patients are advised to visit an urgent care facility if they do not wish to queue for long.
Treatment in an urgent care facility for mild illnesses is quicker. It is important to remember that emergency rooms are unpredictable. Patients could be rushed in at any moment, which extends waiting time.

A freestanding ER, such as Bellaire ER cannot accept Medicare or Medicaid. This is because they are not part of a hospital system, and are therefore prohibited by law to do so. However, patients without insurance are not turned away because cash payments are also accepted. Patients with private insurance stand to benefit the most from a freestanding ER.
Urgent care centers reserve the right to accept or deny any insurance provider. Most facilities have no problem accepting Medicare patients, but the center may choose not to. The patient is therefore expected to find other means of payment.
Remember that some insurance providers may refuse to pay for non-emergent conditions. This may seem unfair for most patients who rush to an ER to seek medical attention, only to end up with huge bills for mild conditions. Unfortunately, an ER cannot limit the services it offers, and patients can only be encouraged to visit an urgent care facility for some conditions.

Urgent care centers are cheaper than ERs. However, this does not mean that the facility will treat you for critical conditions. Remember that an ER will charge a facility fee and has to run X-rays, CTs, and lab tests. This means that the overall costs for treatment of a mild condition will be higher.

The ER is expected to provide a deeper and accurate diagnosis so that if the condition is severe, the patient can be rushed to a hospital for further treatment. While Bellaire ER does not advise a patient to self-diagnose, it is easier to visit an urgent care facility if the condition is indeed mild. The urgent care center will save you unnecessary costs.

Ambulance Services
Most urgent care facilities may not have their own ambulance services because they are meant to handle milder conditions when compared to those of the ER. However, paramedics may drive you to an urgent care center if they find that your condition is not fatal. In any case, patients can still choose the facility they want to be driven to. ERs, on the other hand, may have their own ambulance services, that patients can request when emergencies occur.

Remember that an ER can rush you to a hospital for specialized care. Chronic conditions such as diabetes and depression are better dealt with in a hospital. An ER is not equipped to handle surgeries and rare conditions, and for this reasons, they will refer patients to a hospital.

Services offered
Urgent care centers can run laboratory tests, take X-rays, and quickly deal with fractures, burns, and injuries that are not severe. Emergency rooms can also offer these services, and do so at a higher level. Patients can also get CT scans and ultrasounds in ERs. Bellaire ER offers full X-ray, ultrasound services, and CT scanning for patients. We also have in-house laboratory services.

An urgent care center has nurses and doctors that can readily treat a fracture, surface wound and injury, minor burns, and colds within a short period and low costs. Free-standing emergency rooms are equipped to deal with severe conditions, and the services are offered at a higher level, and generally costlier. Bellaire ER is ready to treat emergent conditions, and all patients are welcome to our facility. For more information, visit Bellaire ER, today.

Who Cleans Emergency Rooms?

Who Cleans Emergency Rooms?

An Emergency Room is a very critical section of a health facility. They handle all manner of ailments ranging from the small to the very serious and life-threatening ones. Given the seriousness of the procedures that are conducted in these rooms, it is important that they are cleaned at all times to avoid any contaminations and infections that could endanger the lives of the patients and staff. So who exactly cleans Emergency Rooms? Well, this Bellaire ER post will help you understand who cleans the Emergency Rooms and how they do it.

The cleaning role in an Emergency Room is mainly the work of a Janitor, although nurses play a part too. Most Emergency Rooms have enough janitorial staff to ensure that the nurses can focus on taking care of the patients that are always streaming in. In terms of cleaning, there are three main categories: the Room turnover, the Terminal clean, and the cycle clean. The main purpose of the janitors in these three categories is to ensure that the environment in the Emergency Room is as clean as possible to reduce chances of possible cross-contamination between the admitted patients and the Emergency Room Employees.

The Room turnover basically deals with the cleaning of high touch areas using wipes that are alcohol-free. The staff working in this section do the cleaning regularly to ensure that patients are not contaminated, as this are areas they are likely to get in contact with. The terminal clean also involves the cleaning of high contact areas. The janitorial staff, in this case, cleans the areas with dust and squat. They are also in charge of cleaning the hospital floors and ensuring that there are no moist surfaces on the floor that could lead to injuries. This type of cleaning is done at least once in every 24 hours. The cycle clean deals with cleaning the walls, ceiling and fixtures. The staff in this category handle the cleaning of the curtains and the window and door glasses. They also do floor scrubbing and reapplying of poly. It is recommended that this type of cleaning be done at least once every year, but Emergency Rooms can conduct a cycle clean as many times as they need to within shorter time intervals.

Cleaning procedures

The first step is usually disinfecting the janitorial staff and wearing protective clothing. The janitors have to clean themselves up then wear the cleaning gown or overall and hand gloves to avoid getting into contact with any contaminated substances. It is also quite important to have the appropriate footwear when doing the cleaning especially if you are to come into contact with fallen needles and broken pieces of glass on the floor.

For room turnover cleaning, any item with visible soil is to be cleaned first to remove the soil before being disinfected. You can disinfect the items immediately after cleaning them as no dry time is required. The procedure for disinfecting items in the ED room involves removing dirty linen and wiping the mattress with at least three AF wipes. The cart handles and the rails have to be wiped and disinfected thoroughly. Other items in the room like the monitor cables, the counter tops, the computer keyboard and the chairs used by visitors have to be wiped and disinfected too. The same process is followed when cleaning isolation rooms.

For stab room cleaning where there are large volumes of blood and body fluid involved, quat and microfiber cloths are used to wipe the blood and fluid as opposed to disposable disinfectant wipes. The procedure for cleaning is the same as for room turnover, only that the cleaning has to be done with extra care especially on the equipment in the room.

Patient care equipment cleaning

There is equipment that can only be used for one patient. Some of this equipment includes EKG machines, the Doppler, thermometer, portable cardiac monitors, bladder scanners, mayo stands, nitrous machines and bedside tables. Such equipment has to be wiped and disinfected after use. The cleaning and disinfection has to take place at least once between two patients.

Proper disposal of non-reusable items like the used needles is also an important part of the cleaning process. The needles have to be collected in the correct trash cans or boxes and properly disposed. The dirty linens, after being removed from the ER, are also supposed to be cleaned and disinfected before re-using them.

An Emergency Room ought to have an adequate number of cleaning janitors to facilitate efficiency. Much of the cleaning work should be off the hands of the nurses since the increased contact between nurses, and contaminated substances may lead to them being contaminated and cause further infections for patients that they handle. Other than Emergency Rooms having enough janitorial staff to handle the cleaning, the staff should be divided into specific groups that handle specific sections in the Emergency Room. Each of the groups should be well-trained and skilled in Emergency Room cleaning procedures for the specific sections that they will be cleaning.

When to Use a Freestanding Emergency Room Instead of an Urgent Care

When to Use a Freestanding Emergency Room Instead of an Urgent Care

The times when one needs emergency medical care are usually some of the most challenging times. It is usually quite hard to figure out whether to get your emergency treatment at a freestanding emergency room or from an urgent care center. Freestanding emergency rooms and urgent care centers are uniquely different in terms of the services they offer. Freestanding emergency rooms have become a very common and more appealing choice for patients. Bellaire ER has highlighted the following tips that will help you know when to use a freestanding emergency room instead of an urgent care clinic.

1. When your medical condition is serious
If your emergency medical condition is limb threatening or life threatening, it is advisable to visit a freestanding emergency room. Urgent care centers are only suitable to handle the less-serious medical emergencies that do not pose any threat to the patient’s life or limb.

2. If you want assurance of being treated by a certified physician
Physicians who handle treatment of patients who visit freestanding emergency rooms are usually board certified. A patient is assured of their treatment being handled by a certified and competent physician. This is unlike in urgent care centers where a patient can be left in the hands of a nurse.

3. When you have private insurance
One of the unique characteristics of freestanding emergency rooms is that they only accept private insurance. So if you are one of those people who purchased a private health insurance cover and happen to have a serious medical emergency, you can opt for a freestanding emergency room instead of an urgent care center.

4. If you can comfortably afford the high treatment costs at freestanding emergency rooms
Freestanding emergency rooms have a reputation of charging very high treatment fees. This due to the quality and the range of services they offer. Most treatments at these facilities cost more than $1000. If you can comfortably afford the treatment costs, then settle for a freestanding emergency room instead of an urgent care center.

5. When you need to be attended to fast
Urgent care centers require patients to wait in line for their time as they operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. Freestanding emergency rooms, on the other hand, have no such policies. The patient is treated first depending on the severity of their condition. The response is usually much faster as compared to urgent care centers.

6. When you have to be under doctor’s monitor overnight
Some medical conditions require that you be under close monitoring by a doctor for some hours. Freestanding emergency rooms usually admit patients for up to 23 hours for monitoring. People who need extended monitoring can be transferred to a hospital.

7. For effective lab test results
While urgent care centers may have their own laboratories, they are not usually as sophisticated and fully furnished as those for freestanding emergency rooms. Theirs are usually more capacitated and more advanced.

8. When in need of advanced ultra-imaging and radiography
Most urgent care centers only have X-ray machines. Freestanding ERs, in addition to the X-rays, offer CT scanning and radiology Services.

9. When in need of medication that requires IV treatment
The only other place you can get IV treatment from other than in hospitals is in a freestanding emergency room. Some emergency cases require one to be administered with IV fluid, and such a case calls for one to be treated at a freestanding emergency room as opposed to urgent care centers.

10. When emergency strikes at weird hours
The beauty of freestanding emergency rooms is that they operate 24 hours a day, every day of the week. In case an emergency occurs at night, you can always rely on them for treatment. Urgent care centers are usually open during the stipulated working hours only.

11. If your treatment requires more sophisticated equipment
Freestanding emergency rooms are equipped with more sophisticated treatment equipment that can handle the sophisticated medical conditions, unlike urgent care centers.

12. More suitable for patients who need continuous monitoring
If your medical condition requires you to be under close monitoring by a physician, a freestanding emergency room is better suited to handle your treatment as opposed to an urgent care center.

13. When you need better customer service
Freestanding emergency rooms are usually characterized by better customer service. This means that you get more overall assistance and satisfaction at a freestanding emergency room as compared to an urgent care center.

14. When in doubt of the seriousness of your illness
Just like hospitals, freestanding emergency rooms usually have ambulances and paramedics who can come to pick you from your home and begin administering treatments. Urgent care centers require you to bring yourself to them.

15. If you suspect you might need hospital transfer
While freestanding emergency rooms can handle severe medical conditions and even overnight monitoring, one may need to be moved to a hospital for further treatment and monitoring. If you suspect you may have to be referred to a hospital, visit a freestanding emergency room instead.

Why Freestanding Emergency Rooms are better than Urgent Cares. 15 Reasons

Why Freestanding Emergency Rooms are better than Urgent Cares. 15 Reasons

Emergencies usually occur unexpectedly. When they occur, people not only need to receive the best treatment from qualified doctors but receive the treatment on time. Freestanding Emergency Rooms have emerged as one of the best options to go for when looking to handle emergency treatments as Urgent Care Centers have slowly become unsuitable, especially for treatment that needs to be handled fast. Here are Bellaire ER’s reasons why Freestanding ERs are better than Urgent Care Centers.

1. Urgent treatments are handled promptly
In Freestanding Emergency Rooms, you can expect the emergency treatments to be handled more promptly depending on the urgency. This is unlike Urgent Care Centers where a patient will have to wait in line for their time to be served to arrive. Immediately you arrive, a doctor will be there to stabilize you and administer treatment.

2. Freestanding ERs can handle serious medical conditions
Unlike Urgent Care Centers, Freestanding Emergency Rooms are capable of handling the more complex medical conditions that require advanced care. They can handle conditions such as heart attack, stroke, and severe dehydration among others.

3. Open all day, every day
Urgent Care Centers usually operate during particular days of the week and during specific hours of the day only. This is unlike Freestanding Emergency Rooms that are usually open every day of the week for 24 hours. This means that they are more reliable in terms of time of access.

4. Freestanding ERs have more sophisticated equipment
Freestanding ERs are usually equipped to handle more complicated medical conditions. With them, you will find more sophisticated medical equipment as compared to Urgent Care Centers. They are, therefore, more capable of offering treatment of high quality for the severe medical conditions.

5. Treatment is administered by board-certified doctors
The physicians operating Freestanding Emergency Rooms are required to be certified. They are the only hands capable of handling treatment of patients at these facilities. In Urgent Care Centers, you are likely to be served by a nurse if your condition is not that serious.

6. Treatment for people of all ages
Given the facilities and the equipment available in Freestanding Emergency Rooms, they are capable of treating children of all ages as well as young adults and those of advanced age. Urgent Care Centers may be limited in terms of the types of people that can be treated.

7. Fully-equipped laboratory
Freestanding Emergency Rooms are usually characterized by onsite fully-equipped laboratories. This allows them to conduct more sophisticated tests and produce medical results within a shorter time span. Laboratories in Urgent Care Centers are usually limited hence can only handle a limited variety of tests.

8. Advanced ultra-imaging equipment
Unlike Urgent Care Centers where you can only find X-ray imaging only, Freestanding Emergency Rooms, besides the X-ray imaging have other ultra-imaging services and equipment like CT scanning and Radiology services.

9. Freestanding Emergency Room offer Overnight patient observation
If a patient requires being under overnight observation, Freestanding Emergency Rooms are usually better equipped to handle them. They usually have provisions for short-term admissions that could last up to 23 hours. You cannot find this in Urgent Care Centers as they only offer outpatient services.

10. Facilitate admission to hospital if needed
If a patient’s condition is serious and they need to be admitted to a hospital, a Freestanding Emergency Room can organize for an ambulance transfer to the preferred hospital of choice. In Urgent Care Centers, it is upon a patient to take themselves to a hospital.

11. Intravenous fluids administration
Many illnesses require the administration of IV fluids and other intravenous medication. You can find such treatment in a Freestanding Emergency Room but not an Urgent Care Center. Freestanding ERs are usually more equipped with the equipment like computerized IV fluid pumps for such treatments.

12. Higher Efficiency
A combination of the quality of physicians, the sophisticated medical equipment, the fully-equipped laboratories, and the speed at which a patient is attended to when being treated speaks boldly on the level of efficiency at which Freestanding Emergency Room operate.

13. Insured patients get higher urgent care co-pay
Unlike Urgent Care Centers where insured patients get a lower urgent care co-pay, the case is different for Freestanding Emergency Rooms. With the Freestanding Emergency Rooms, insured patients are assured of getting higher co-pay.

14. More conducive for continuous monitoring
Some emergency conditions require close monitoring on a continuous basis after the treatment has been done for the first time. Freestanding Emergency Rooms are usually equipped to handle the more sophisticated ailments and hence prove to be a dependable option for anyone who requires continuous medical monitoring. Urgent Care Centers may not offer such services, and the few that offer are limited in terms of the care they provide.

15. Credentialing and licensing
Unlike Urgent Care Centers, Freestanding Emergency Centers in some states like Texas are under their own unique law. This means they are uniquely monitored to ensure that they comply with the quality stipulated by the law. As such, a patient gets more quality assurance.

How Many ERs are in Houston, Texas?

How Many ERs are in Houston, Texas?

Accessing Emergency medical services in Houston Texas is easier given the number of emergency rooms available. A quick search of the ERs in Houston on Google Maps brought forth a shocking 132 emergency rooms across the area. Patients in Houston have a variety to choose from and can access emergency services from any side of Houston. Here are some of the emergency rooms that topped the search.

SignatureCare Emergency Center
This ER has four branches in Houston. One at 1014 Wirt Rd, Montrose, Sugarland and The Heights. With a 4.8-star rating on google maps, SignatureCare offers quality services for all patients. Majority of the reviews showed that the waiting time was limited and the staff was polite and efficient.

Life Savers 24 HR Emergency Room
Like most ERs, this center offers ambulance, pharmacy, radiology and laboratory services for adults and children. Patients can also check in online before arriving to avoid queueing, which is perhaps one of the unique features.

Bellaire ER
Located in Bellaire, this ER offers quick and efficient services, an on-site lab and pharmacy, radiology services and a spacious waiting room for patients and families. Advanced features such as pediatric emergency treatment, advanced cardiac life support, and EMS ambulatory access are also available.

First Choice Emergency Room.
This emergency room topped the list with an outstanding 29 branches within the Houston area. This proud free-standing ER has spread its services throughout Texas and offers radiology (CT scanner, Ultrasound, and Digital X-ray), on-site and pediatric services. All the emergency rooms are fully equipped and have qualified staff that are not only polite and efficient but also highly hygienic.

Elite Care Emergency Room
This is a licensed free-standing ER center currently located in League City, Rice Village, and Harmony Spring. Each of the facilities is fully equipped, fully staffed and offers quality 24/7 services.

Sacred Heart Emergency Center
Sacred Heart offers services in the Memorial Location and the Galleria Location. This is a freestanding, certified, fully equipped facility. Patients can look forward to courteous staff, on-site lab and pharmacy, radiology services, complimentary snacks and coffee bar, and hospital transfer arrangements.

Texas Emergency Care Center
This ER has branches in Atascocita and Pearland. Patients can schedule an appointment and look forward to the quality laboratory, radiology, cardiac monitoring and pediatric services from a team of qualified nurses and physicians. The center also offers cardiac and trauma life support.

Neighbors Emergency Center
This ER believes in providing extraordinary services for both adults and children. Patients can access services from nine branches in Houston. Every physician is board-certified and clinical tests are carried out in the state-of-the-art laboratories. The center also offers cardiac monitoring and advanced cardiac and pediatric life support.

Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center
Located in the heart of Texas Medical Center, this ER offers 24/7 comprehensive services. Patients can rely on ambulance services to rush them to the center for a full medical examination and treatment plan by a team of qualified physicians. Medical insurance, cash and credit payments are acceptable.

Memorial Heights Emergency Center.
For over seven years, this center has continued to provide quality medical services thanks to a team of board-approved physicians, lab and imaging services, trauma services, pediatrics, and cardiology services. Patients are assured of no queues, and insurance covers are accepted.

Houston Methodist Emergency Rooms
These ERs are located in seven hospitals in Houston. The ERs are fully staffed and treat wounds, injuries, bone fractures, burns, coughs, flu, abdominal pains and much more. Each center strives to provide quality services, and since the emergency rooms are within the hospital, transfers for specialized treatment is easier and faster.

River Oaks Emergency Center
River Oaks seeks to provide comprehensive emergency services by treating life-threatening illnesses and injuries. The ER offers services such as 24-hour pediatric care, in-house laboratory testing, Diagnosis and treatment, CT scans, ultrasounds, and X-rays. There is ample parking and a comfortable waiting area and coffee bar for patients and visitors.

Cypress Creek Emergency Room
The particular ER in Houston is located in 1960 location and provides emergency services for people in North Houston, Cypress, Greenspoint, Spring, Tomball, The Woodlands and surrounding areas. The 24/7 ambulance, lab, radiology, and treatment services are of high quality and are geared towards saving lives.

Physicians Premier ER
This is a modern facility offering state-of-the-art emergency services. The ER has a team of courteous and qualified professionals who work together to offer immediate services. Long queues can be avoided and diagnoses and treatment are readily offered. Laboratory and imaging services are also available for all patients. Physicians Premier provides a wide range of payment options for patients to ensure that they concentrate on their healing, while the center handles the technicalities.

Cy-Fair Emergency and Imaging Center.
This is a center located in the heart of the Cy-Fair community and offers extraordinary services. The physicians are highly qualified and polite. Patients do not have to wait in long queues in this ER, and the staff ensures that diagnoses and treatment are given with care.

Patients can easily access emergency medical services within Houston, given the plethora of ERs they can choose from. However, it is important to remember that the activities of an ER are unpredictable and trauma cases can arise at any moment. However, the majority of the ERs try to render quick and efficient services. For more information on the ERs visit the individual sites to rate them accordingly.

1 13 14 15 16 17 23