When Dr. Carrie de Moor was deciding where in Dallas-Fort Worth to put her next freestanding emergency room/urgent care center, she stuck pins on a big map showing where similar facilities existed so she’d steer clear of competition and serve patients’ needs.

Smack dab in the middle of the map was a big area void of pins. An area bigger than the island of Manhattan.

So de Moor, CEO of Frisco-based Code 3 Emergency Partners, decided to open one of the hybrid ER/urgent care facilities in Southgate Plaza on Dallas Fort Worth International Airport property next to the airport’s headquarters. After researching the subject, de Moor says the Code 3 facility will be the first emergency room at an airport in the United States and possibly the first in the world.

In addition to that facility, airport officials requested that de Moor open an urgent care and pharmacy in DFW’s Terminal D. That center will open next week, and the hybrid in Southgate Plaza will break ground late this month and open early next year.

“Freestanding ERs are pretty hyper-concentrated in Texas right now, but nobody has ever done one at an airport,” de Moor said. “We don’t know of any others in the world.”

Urgent care clinics and freestanding emergency rooms provide different levels of care and treatment. ERs are designed for life-threatening conditions, such as chest pain and major lacerations, and are staffed by board-certified ER doctors and registered nurses. Urgent care centers handle symptoms that need to be treated quickly but are not life-threatening, such as broken bones, sprains, sore throats, flu or cold symptoms and minor cuts or burns.

The urgent care center in Terminal D will have five beds and be open from 5:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. or until the last flight out of the airport leaves, de Moor said. It will employ four or five people initially and grow depending on demand.

About seven people at a time will staff the Southgate Plaza ER/urgent care, including front desk staff, a paramedic, physician, a midlevel provider and registered nurses available around the clock.

In addition to serving passengers, Code 3 is working closely with the airport’s dominant carrier, Fort Worth-based American Airlines, and other carriers to provide care for their employees, said de Moor, who is an ER physician and a former medical director at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

“They don’t have to leave work to be seen, so it helps with the productivity,” she said. “It helps them not lose time at work, so we think it’s a pretty good service for the employers for us to be there.”

Flight attendants frequently get hurt when planes encounter turbulence, and baggage handlers, mechanics and other airline workers tend to require medical care because of the physical demands of their jobs, de Moor said. Code 3 will also evaluate worker’s comp claims for the airlines, she added.

Code 3 Emergency Partners also has an airport-based urgent care and pharmacy at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada. De Moor said the company’s growth strategy is built on finding unique locations with the need for access to acute unscheduled medical care.

The company was founded in late 2014 and opened its first Freestanding Emergency Center in McKinney in May 2015. It has expanded to additional hybrid freestanding ER and urgent care centers in Carrollton, Mesquite and Denton, with another dual model ER/urgent care facility under construction in Rockport.

The company employs about 220 people including 200 in North Texas.

De Moor said she expects the urgent care in Terminal D to see about 20 patients a day initially and grow as airport and airline employees and passengers discover the center. The Las Vegas location opened in June and sees roughly 20 patents per day, she said. Many could use the services of an ER, and Code 3 is exploring ways to add that service there, she said.

De Moor expects about 50 or 60 patients a day when the ER/urgent care opens in Southgate Plaza. EMS transports about 3,500 patients from DFW Airport to area hospitals and trauma centers now, she said.

 

Presented by Dallas Business Journal, August 18, 2017

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