Freestanding Emergency Room. Expert Level Care, Incomparable Convenience

A relatively new approach to emergency care will soon be available to our fast-growing community. Recognized as a leader in the latest advances in local healthcare, MountainView is currently in the early planning stages of a freestanding emergency room in Las Cruces.

Freestanding emergency rooms are the most recent development in the healthcare delivery system.  Although there are an increasing number of these facilities emerging throughout the United States, MountainView will open the very first of its kind in Southern New Mexico. This freestanding emergency room will serve the public by alleviating the overcrowding at hospital-based ERs and by providing patients quicker access to the emergency medical care they need.

“Excessive numbers in our emergency room are a tell-tale sign that another ER is greatly needed in Las Cruces. At our new freestanding ER, patients can expect the same level of care as in any of our other facilities,” says Denten Park Chief Executive officer of MountainView. Unlike many independent freestanding emergency centers that are physician-owned, this one will be owned and operated by MountainView and will be state licensed and closely regulated to fulfill all state and federal requirements.

Because the concept of freestanding emergency rooms is fairly new, there is a misconception that they are like urgent care clinics. The major distinction, however, lies in the level of care. Urgent care centers do not have ER physicians on-site nor do they provide imaging services such as CT scans or stock medications. Urgent care facilities are outpatient clinics that treat most minor illnesses and injuries but are not designed to handle trauma or life-threatening conditions such as chest pain, difficulty breathing or severe bleeding. 

On the other hand, MountainView’s freestanding emergency room will be fully equipped to perform all medical emergencies and function just as a hospital-based ER. Board-certified physicians, registered nurses and other patient care providers will staff the center and will utilize the latest diagnostic equipment available. The only difference is that it will not be located on a hospital campus. However, should the need arise for a patient to be admitted to the hospital, an ambulance will be available 24 hours a day to transport the patient for direct admission to MountainView as an in-patient transfer. Like the ER at MountainView, the freestanding emergency room will be open to the public 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Dr. Michael Borunda is the ER Medical Director at MountainView and says that since the two ERs available to the community are in the same general side of town, it’ll be great for people on the north side of town to have access to emergency services closer to where they live. “Almost 80% of the people who come to the emergency room are not admitted, but rather get sent home on the same day of their visit. The idea for the freestanding ER is to get people in quickly, have their problem taken care of and then get them home sooner,” said Dr. Borunda.

Aside from bringing relief to overcrowding at the traditional ERs and therefore shorter wait times, MountainView’s freestanding ER will also bring new jobs to the community. It is expected that the new ER will generate over 50 jobs in clinical staff. Melinda Day, ER Director has been with MountainView for six years and reports that MountainView’s ER saw approximately 34,000 patients last year. “That figure is double the amount of patients we were seeing when I first joined MountainView. At the time, we had four nurses and now we have eight,” she explained.

In the 12 years since MountainView has been in existence, it has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care. The hospital has become nationally recognized for exceptional quality of care in the areas of Hip and Knee Replacement, Primary Stroke Center as well as Bariatric Center of Excellence. 

Additionally, MountainView is one of 1,224 hospitals in the United States to achieve the Top Performer distinction on Key Quality Measure in 2013. The Top Performer program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions. Furthermore, MountainView has acquired Chest Pain accreditation with PCI and it is recognized as a baby friendly hospital in addition to its outstanding NICU family support. 

MountainView’s multifaceted approach to healthcare includes 28 specialty clinics located throughout the city and in neighboring communities. These consist of centers such as family clinics, orthopedics, ob-gyn, a children’s wellness center, cardiology, surgical centers, wound healing center, endocrinology, therapy services, plastic and reconstructive surgery, internal medicine, senior center and even a satellite lab. Opening soon this year, MountainView will inaugurate their second urgent care clinic at 3485 Northrise Drive, near the intersection of U.S. Highway 70 and Rinconada Boulevard. 

Surmounting evidence demonstrates that MountainView is so much more than a hospital. It is a healthcare provider with a vision; meeting the diverse needs of our community by providing access to a multitude of services with the goal of keeping people healthy and away from the emergency department. The new freestanding ER will no doubt deliver the same level of quality and commitment that Southern New Mexico has become accustomed to from MountainView Regional Medical Center.

Spring 2015
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