Stand-alone emergency departments proving successful in some areas

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

December 9, 2009

Illinois has become home to a new type of facility for treating emergency patients—the stand-alone emergency department (ED), reports The Chicago Tribune.

These new EDs have the capability to treat most of the same patients that can be seen at an ED connected to a general hospital, but are often in closer proximity to the population that needs treatment. Those patients with severe problems such as a heart attack or stroke would still need to be seen at a hospital, but patients with less severe emergencies like lacerations, broken bones, and food poisoning can receive care at a freestanding ED. Patients whose conditions worsen beyond the capability of treatment at this type of facility will be transported to a hospital, according to the Tribune.

The stand-alone EDs have proven successful thus far because they offer care to patients who might not necessarily need to be seen at a hospital ED, but do require urgent care. Additionally, they can be located much closer to the homes of patients than existing hospitals.

To read more from the Chicago Tribune, click here.