Free-standing ERs can come in handy
It was Sunday morning and my child began to run a fever of 102. Initially my thought was to treat the fever, pump him full of liquids and wait until the pediatrician opens at 8:00 am on Monday. Not long after making that decision he starts to complain of severe pain in is lower right side and back. OK, not good at all. At this point, I felt he needed to be seen by a doctor sooner rather than later.
I decided to try one of the free standing ERs in the area. This seems to be another new trend spreading throughout the country. From what I have read, these emergency rooms were designed to combat long waiting times in hospital ERs across the country.
Without giving away too much of my son's privacy, I would like to share our experience. We arrived at noon which was when it opened. I filled out the required paperwork and paid my co-pay. Since this particualr ER accepts my insurance, we were charged a "specialist's copay." Within minutes of the paperwork we were called back into a "child friendly" room and he was assesed by a nurse. Lab tests were ordered and complete and we did not have long to wait for the results. The doctor came in and did a very thorough exam and ruled out some of the scarier things I was thinking. When the lab tests came back, he was given a shot and a precription for antibiotics. We were on our way home in less than thirty minutes!
Unfortunately later on in the day, he began to develop symptoms listed on the sheet that said, "Call us if the following Occur..." So I called and was patched through to the doctor. After asking me several questions, he decided it would be best if we returned to the ER. The front office was notified of our impending arrival and we were immediately brought back. I was not asked for another copay. After further examination, they decided to do a blood test and a CT scan. Both were completed right there on site. Since everything is done by computers now, a radiologist read the CT scan and I was given both a copy of the results and a CD of the scan to take to our pediatrician. All this in less than an hour!
I have to say I like this concept! My child was seen by an MD, given several diagnotic tests, medication and a prescription. Everything I could ask for, plus it was all done in an extremely reasonable amount of time.
To my knowledge there are two such facilities in our area. First Choice ER is located in South Shore Harbor and Clear Lake ER is located on Falcon Pass in Clear Lake. I really like the fact that a host of diagnostic tests can be completed at the location. I cannot say enough good things about our experience!
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