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Houston Freestanding Emergency Departments | Serving the Suburbs

Posted by Jillian Roberson, Recruitment & Marketing Specialist

7/15/14 4:37 PM

Houston Freestanding Emergency Departments | Serving the Suburbs 

QES-Altus-Lake-Jackson-Emergency-CenterWhen Houston physician Jeff Thompson, MD, comes home after working a shift at Altus Lumberton Emergency Center he’s not completely exhausted from his shift. He said it’s much different from his shifts at a hospital ED where he sees what seems like a limitless flow of patients.

“I consider it to be like the private practice of emergency care,” he said.

Dr. Victor Ho and Dr. Jeff Thompson, joint-owners of Texas-based Quality Emergency Services (QES), are among those embracing one of the fastest growing segments of health care — the freestanding emergency department. QES, partnered with Altus Healthcare Management Services, currently staffs three Altus Emergency Center freestanding EDs in the surrounding Houston area — Baytown, Lake Jackson, and Lumberton — in addition to the emergency department at Altus Baytown Hospital. 

These stand-alone emergency departments have similar equipment to traditional hospital EDs, but are usually miles from main hospitals. They can look from the outside like urgent care centers, but freestanding EDs have the ability to take more severe cases.

The growing trend in freestanding EDs has occurred due to a change over the past five years in what the traditional ED is used for.  More and more patients are coming to the ED as a source for primary care and wait times have grown increasingly longer.  The freestanding ED can help take the burden off of a traditional ED by assisting in the admitting process.  Injuries such as fractures and emergencies such as chest pains, along with other very serious emergencies, can be stabilized at an Altus location and then transferred to a local hospital.

Drs. Ho and Thompson have worked together in the Beaumont, Texas, area since 2007 — Dr. Ho has worked in Beaumont since 2001 — and are well established in the region.  They formed QES in September of 2012 with the understanding that an EM group’s strength comes from the physicians that make up the group.

“Spending time with the patients is very important,” said Dr. Thompson. “We want to talk to all of our patients, answer questions, and get feedback to improve the ED experience.  Patient focus is 100% if what we do.”

All QES physicians are trained in Emergency Medicine or Family Medicine with extensive emergency medicine experience. They are experienced in providing quality care to patients of all ages and have the equipment available to provide care for all types of emergencies and illnesses.  
Dr. Victor Ho                         Dr. Jeff Thompson

  • On average they treat 35-40 patients per day, compared with 100-150 in hospital EDs.

  • They can provide services for patients who can’t or don’t want to travel miles to their nearest ED, where wait times are far longer.

  • They offer smaller patient loads for physicians and shorter wait times for patients.

  • Their average total treatment time is 60 to 90 minutes compared with about three hours at traditional hospital EDs.

  • Their average net revenue per patient is $350 to $500, while the average for urgent care centers range from $105 to $135, according to the Urgent Care Association’s report.

Learn More About Quality Emergency Services (QES)

Topics: Client Spotlight