The fast growth of freestanding emergency care centers such as Bellaire ER in the US is helping to transform how patients receive emergency care in the country. This model, which is focused on speed, convenience, and getting the patients optimal time with doctors has continued to thrive despite numerous misconceptions.

It is especially so in Texas, which in 2009, became the first state to allow independent FECs. Today there are over 200 independent FECs and over 100 that are hospital-affiliated. These FECs are located close to patients, which helps to save critical time that could be the difference between life and death.

According to TAFEC, this growth in FECs is a testament to the fact that they are beneficial to communities and patients whom they serve. In that regard, they wanted to dispel myths that have cropped up around these facilities.

FECs are not true emergency rooms
This is a popular myth that is basd on a misconception. FECs get the same licensing rules as hospital ERs. This is done to ensure that patients can get the same quality of service. For instance, each FEC has to have a physician trained in emergency care and a registered nurse on site at all times. Besides that, they have to operate 24/7 all year and have the equipment needed to diagnose and treat an emergency.

FECs often give patients surprise medical bills, popularly referred to as balance billing
The facts show that based on numerous patients surveys, most patients are well aware of the FEC billing they are likely to get. However, in instances where patients have been hit with surprise bills, it has been due to the predatory nature of their insurer or a lack of clear understanding of what they are covered for by the insurer.

This problem can be traced back to insurance laws in Texas that say health care providers should be reimbursed a “usual and customary rate.” Since this is quite ambiguous, insurers determine their own rates that ensure they pay the least amount possible. This leaves the FEC with few options; they can collect from the patient or file a case with the Texas department of insurance.

Another reason is that the Affordable Care Act makes it illegal to penalize a person for receiving emergency care. It is left to him or her to determine when he or she is suffering from an emergency. However, many insurers flaunt this rule. They thus pay much less for out-of-network care.

The other reason for surprise billing is that the patient may not understand his or her own insurance plan. Thus, the patient ends up with a plan that has high out of pocket costs as designated in their plan. It is for this reason that TAFEC is committed to educating people on their health insurance plans.

FECs, unlike ERs, do not have to attend to all patients
This is just a myth. FECs are required to offer critical care to every patient that walks through the door. That means Medicaid, Medicare, and uninsured people will all get care when they walk through the door. The law requires that they offer medical screening and stabilize every patient at the facility. This results to millions of dollars of uncompensated care every year, which makes them a crucial resource for their community.

FECs price gouge patients by deliberately making them believe that they are at an urgent care center

All FECs ensure they offer patients high-quality emergency care. They do not pretend to offer urgent care to their patients to price gouge them. Besides that, the law in Texas has provided guidelines to ensure that FECs offer the same level of care as hospital ERs. All of these facilities will have huge signs with the word “Emergency” clearly displayed on them. Besides that, it is in the billing disclosures, which patients have to sign showing they are in an emergency room. It is worth noting that the law makes it clear that only emergency care facilities can use the word “Emergency.”

The cost of healthcare rises when you use FECs

Studies have been done to show this is not true. For instance, a study in 2010 by the University of Michigan showed that average cost for admitted patients is $35,000. It has been shown by some studies that FECs could actually help to cut down the admission rates of patients. This can lead to more efficiency and reduce the cost of healthcare. The reason for this is that there is no incentive for them to push patients to hospital beds.

Who is TAFEC

It is an acronym for the Texas Association of Freestanding Emergency Centers. It is the only such statewide association in the US. It is an organization whose only role is to represent FECs. The organization works to ensure that its members offer patients timely and high-quality emergency care at all times.

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



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.

How are Emergency Rooms Staffed? – 15 Things you should know

How are Emergency Rooms Staffed? – 15 Things you should know

Bellaire ER strives to provide quality, 24/7 emergency care for all patients. With a team of qualified and experienced physicians and state-of the-art technology, we pride ourselves in taking early diagnoses, scans and running emergency tests to save the lives of our patients.
It is important to know that the operations of an ER require meticulous attention and over the years we have continuously improved our services. The key lies in the staffing of our ER. How then, should an emergency room be staffed?

Administrative Registration Clerks
This is the first group that approaches a patient. It is a non-medical team responsible for registering patients in the emergency room. The clerks ask for personal details such as names, dates of birth and insurance provider information. Bellaire ER works in partnership with most private insurance providers, and we offer payment plans for patients without insurance.

The Triage Nurse
Once a patient is checked in, a triage nurse will approach them to determine the extent of their injury or ailments. Emergency rooms do not operate on a “first-come, first-served” principle. Instead, a triage nurse will organize a treatment plan based on the severity of the complications in the ER. For example, if a patient is rushed in in an ambulance, he will obviously be served before the patient that can walk and breathe on his own.

During triage, the nurse will examine blood pressure, pain levels, oxygen levels, and temperature. The nurse may take the patients to the treatment center or the waiting area. Usually, patients are encouraged to inform the nurse if changes occur, for immediate treatment.

The Primary Emergency Department Nurse
This nurse offers primary treatment and is the jack-of-all-trades. Whether the patient requires a wound or a burn dressed, intravenous fluids, airway suction, neurological evaluations, or transportation to a hospital, the primary emergency nurse is fully capable of handling it.

The Charge Nurse
A charge nurse oversees the operations of the nurses in the ER and assists in complex situations. The ER could turn chaotic in a few minutes, and the charge nurse ensures that the nurses are fairly distributed and offer care to the patients.

Attending Physician
An attending assumes immediate care of the patient and can review the treatment plans with the residents. If the ER has a teaching program, the attending may have interns to assist him/her. The attending has the power to direct the treatment of a patient and document the supervision of the patient’s treatment.

Specialist Physician
Some patients require more specialized treatments from surgery, neurology or orthopedics. Physicians that have specialized in a specific branch of medicine take up treatment of the patient immediately.

Physician Assistants(PA) and Nurse Practitioners(NP)
PAs perform medicine under the direction of a physician while NPs have advanced training to treat patients in the ER.

Most ER require staff to take X-rays and CT scans. These technicians do not interact directly with the patients but are vital in the treatment plans of any patient. Bellaire ER offers a full-service X-ray, CT scans for non-invasive 3D-imaging of organs, and ultrasound imaging for obstetric, abdominal and vascular evaluations.

Laboratory Technicians
Lab Technicians are responsible for testing samples brought to them and giving a detailed report of the results. Bellaire ER has a fully equipped lab and a team that runs tests on blood cell count, metabolic profiles, pregnancy test, urinalysis, stool tests and more.

Emergency Medical Technicians(EMTs)
Critically injured or ill patients have encounters with EMTs in ambulances or helicopters. The EMTs gather patient history, vitals and offer emergency aid such as CPRs. On arrival at the ER, EMTs give a detailed report about patients to the physicians for faster treatment.

Social Workers
Social workers are non-medical staff that are in charge of reaching out to the families of the patients, especially those that are unconscious in level-one trauma rooms. The presence of family members or friends is essential in the healing process of a patient.

Forensic Nurses
Some ERs also include a team of forensic nurses that are in charge of treating assault victims. Most rape victims are attended to by these nurses who gather DNA samples, identify injuries and give information on continued care of the patient.

The ER can quickly get flooded with patients and physicians, and nurses need help to move them from place to place. Transporters work hand-in-hand with the medical professionals to take patients for scans, and tests or move them safely from beds with wheel chairs and beds. A transporter is essential for the smooth operations of an ER.

Factors affecting Staffing of an ER
According to a post by the American College of Emergency Physicians, the staffing of an ER depends on:
Strategic Drivers: quality of care, patient safety, and the level of service you want to deliver.
Tactical Drivers: patient volume, acuity, patient length of stay, admit holds, physician capabilities, and non-physician staffing.
The staffing at Bellaire ER strives to strike a balance between the two drivers and offer quality 24/7 emergency services.

Free-Standing Immediate Care Facilities
Bellaire ER is a free-standing facility. This means that we are not based in a hospital, and therefore, less crowded. We have agreements with various hospitals in Houston and patients can be admitted to the hospital of choice as long as the requirements are met.

Bellaire ER is a modern facility that offers quality emergency services to the community. With a team of qualified physicians, nurses, and technicians, all our patients can look forward to excellent treatment in a safe and sanitary environment. For more information, visit Bellaire ER today.

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