The Evolution of Emergency Medicine: Freestanding EDs Meet Patients Where They Are

Hospital-based emergency department (ED) care systems are overburdened. Americans require emergency care more than ever, but EDs are constrained by space, staff and resources resulting in overcrowding across the country. Freestanding emergency departments (FSEDs) are a solution to this issue. FSEDs expand access to emergency care at equal to lower fees with smaller patient volumes and shorter wait times. FSEDs can educate patients and bring new insights to help develop better performing facilities that put patient care first. FSEDs are not a replacement, but a high quality supplement to address the growing need for more emergency care in the U.S.

Key Points  

  • (1) Studies show that traditional EDs are overcrowded due to an aging population and rising health concerns. The increase in emergency care patients has caused less access, longer waits, and lower quality treatment for all.
  • (2) FSEDs provide high quality emergency care without the restrictions of a centralized, hospital-based ED. FSEDs offer equivalent services with shorter wait times and lower patient volumes at equal or lower costs.
  • (3) The decentralized model of FSEDs expands access to patients. FSEDs help to educate patients and redirect non-emergency needs to urgent care clinics. FSEDs also expand knowledge and insight on how to develop better performing facilities that know how to best serve patients.