South Florida hospitals open satellite emergency rooms

There's now a faster way to receive emergency care in Florida.

Hospitals in south Florida have started opening standalone emergency centers in commercial areas, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Two hospitals run by Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare took to the task recently: West Boca Medical Center in Boca Raton opened Coconut Creek Emergency Center. Florida Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale also opened The Emergency Center in Davie.

Nashville, Tenn.-based Hospital Corporation of America's Westside Regional Medical Center in Plantation did likewise, opening an emergency center in Davie.

The emergency centers aren't exactly like urgent care centers. Instead, they treat emergencies like broken bones, dehydration and cardiac and stroke symptoms. Staff can operate X-rays and ultrasounds, perform clinical services and distribute pharmaceuticals.

But the services come at a price. The cost of going to an emergency center is comparable to going to an emergency room in a hospital, according to West Boca Medical Center CEO Mitch Feldman.

A few other hospitals in south Florida, including Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Broward Health in Fort Lauderdale, Holy Cross in Fort Lauderdale, and Baptist Health South Florida in Miami have set up urgent care centers but not satellite emergency centers.

Nationally, the number of standalone emergency centers doubled by 2013 to over 400 in four years, according to Kaiser Health News.

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