Recent studies show that there has been a steep increase in the number of emergency room patient visits while at the same time a significant decline in the number of available hospital-based emergency departments. To fill this gap, the Washington Post recently reported on the substantial growth in the number of Freestanding Emergency Departments now in use in several states. Over the last five years the number of FEDs now in use in both rural and urban areas has more than doubled according to the American Hospital Association.
Urgent and emergency care is underserved in rural communities and FEDs provide in-hospital patient care without the cost of a full-service acute care hospital. It is estimated that approximately two-thirds of patients entering the emergency room of a hospital could be accommodated by FEDs at a fraction of the cost of a hospital’s emergency department. While FEDs only have limited lab services and may not have radiology or surgery departments, they are usually open 24/7 and can provide in-patient care for 24 to 48 hours.
During the last twenty years, the commercial modular building industry has provided the healthcare industry with thousands of medical clinics. The advantages that modular construction provides are significant. Modular medical clinics are less expensive, much faster to build, and if desired, can be relocated. For these reasons many rural hospitals and community clinics prefer modular buildings over site constructed facilities for their medical clinics, and more recently, FEDs. A modular FED building can be operational in a fraction of the time it takes to build a hospital-based ED and at a fraction of the cost. Information on all Ramtech modular medical facilities can be found at www.ramtechmedical.com.
Bill Barron works in Business Development for Ramtech Building Systems, Inc. He has worked at Ramtech for 22 years serving primarily the Medical and Regional Municipality Markets.