Freestanding Emergency Rooms Connect Communities to Better Care

When you or a loved one experiences a medical emergency, every minute counts. Getting to the hospital emergency room quickly is essential. Now, patients have another option for emergency care, as health systems like Baptist Health South Florida open more freestanding emergency rooms in communities that don’t have a hospital nearby.

Nancy Batista-Rodriguez, CEO of Baptist Outpatient Services

“Our freestanding emergency rooms are community-based ERs that are fully staffed by board-certified emergency medicine specialists 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” says Nancy Batista-Rodriguez, CEO of Baptist Outpatient Services. “They’re equipped with the latest emergency care and imaging technology, they have onsite labs to expedite crucial tests, and they’re regulated just like hospital ERs. The only difference is, they aren’t located on a hospital campus.”

Jose Llach, D.O., emergency physician at Baptist Health and lead physician for both Baptist Health Emergency Care centers – in West Miami-Dade and West Kendall – says that in addition to providing personalized, community-based emergency care, freestanding ERs are able to deliver lifesaving care even faster.

Jose Llach, D.O., emergency physician at Baptist Health and lead physician for Baptist Health’s Emergency Care centers in West Miami-Dade and West Kendall

“We’ve saved the lives of many patients who were brought to our facility in critical condition, where time was of the essence,” Dr. Llach says. He notes that shorter runs also free paramedics up faster so they can respond to the next emergency. “And there’s always a next emergency,” he adds.

Dr. Llach says that patients at Baptist Health’s freestanding ERs have access to the same services and specialists available at many Baptist Health hospitals including cardiac, stroke, orthopedics and surgery. “And if your condition requires hospitalization, we’re able to provide direct admission to your room at the hospital.”

Baptist Health has opened two freestanding ERs in the past two years. The first, located in West Kendall adjacent to Miami Executive Airport, opened in 2019 and quickly became a valued resource for area residents, earning the highest Google rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars – of any emergency room in South Florida. A second is now open at 14591 Southwest 26th Street. Both facilities serve parts of western Miami-Dade County that have seen explosive growth in recent years but where residents’ emergency care options have been limited, according to Ms. Batista-Rodriguez.

Baptist Health has opened its second Emergency Care center in West Miami-Dade, this one at 14591 Southwest 26th Street. The new ER is open 24/7, 365 days a year, and is fully staffed by board-certified emergency medicine specialists

“Our freestanding ERs are a valuable resource for area residents,” Ms. Batista-Rodriguez says. “Not only are there are thousands of families with young children living in West Miami-Dade, there is also a sizeable senior population. These are people who want and need quick, convenient access to the quality, compassionate care Baptist is known for. But now, rather than them coming to our hospitals for emergency care, we’re bringing our emergency rooms to them.”

Ms. Batista-Rodriguez says serious illness or injury can occuranywhere, at any time, and having an emergency room nearby offers arearesidents valuable peace of mind. “We hope we never have to see you, ofcourse,” she says. “But if you do need us, our freestanding ERs can handle anytype of emergency, from lacerations and broken bones to heart attacks, strokesand other life-threatening conditions.”

Convenience and ease of access are another advantage offered byfreestanding ERs, Ms. Batista-Rodriguez says. “Patients can park in front andwalk right in, without having to navigate big parking garages and mazes ofhospital hallways.”

For those worried about safety amid the coronavirus pandemic, Ms. Batista-Rodriguez notes that Baptist Health’s Emergency Care centers – just like all of its hospitals, urgent care centers and other facilities – have stringent safety practices in place.

Automated temperature scanning devices have been installed at entry points for all Baptist Health facilities

“We’retaking every possible precaution to protect the health of our patients andstaff,” Ms. Batista-Rodriguez says. “This includes limiting the number ofvisitors and ensuring proper social distancing in our facilities; automatedtemperature screening at all entry points; requiring masks to be worn inside,and thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing our lobbies, waiting rooms, equipmentand all high-touch surfaces throughout the day.”

Ifyou should need emergency medical care, Ms. Batista-Rodriguez advises calling 911or going to the emergencyroomimmediately, as delayed care often leads to even bigger problems. “Don’t letCOVID-19 deter you from getting the care you need,” she says. “Our ERs are safeand ready to care for you and your loved ones.”

Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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