Freestanding Emergency Centers Patient Satisfaction Study


Austin, TX— A new study published in the prestigious American Journal of Emergency Medicine found patient satisfaction is higher at Freestanding Emergency Centers (FECs) than at Hospital-Based Emergency Departments (HBEDs).


The study collected data in the following four areas: a. physician courtesy; b. physician listening ability; c. whether patients were informed about their treatment; and d. physician concern for patients’ comfort. In all areas, FECs received higher patient satisfaction than HBEDs.

“When a patient visits a Freestanding Emergency Center, they are receiving some of the highest-quality emergency care available to them,” said Eric McLaughlin, MD, Board Member of the Texas Association of Freestanding Emergency Centers (TAFEC). “Respect, compassion, and education are important elements of treating someone in an emergency situation; at Freestanding Emergency Centers, patients can expect to receive all three.”

Patient satisfaction scores by surveys have become a routine quality benchmark for the medical industry, functioning as an important indicator of how both providers and facilities are administering care. Hospitals and medical practices across the nation have incorporated these surveys to improve overall patient care.

The study further confirms just one of the many reasons why more people than ever are turning to FECs for their emergency care needs. In addition to the high-quality care they will receive, patients can and should expect shorter wait times, an easy check-in process, and convenient locations.

In 2009, Texas became the first state to allow licenses for independent, freestanding emergency centers in the nation.

The study, which determined whether patient satisfaction scores for individual emergency medicine providers varied according to the clinical setting, focused on patients treated at 6 FECs and 11 HBEDs. All physicians evaluated were board–certified or board–eligible and residency trained in Emergency Medicine. The study obtained patient satisfaction surveys results from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 and was sent 10 days after patients’ emergency visit.


The Texas Association of Freestanding Emergency Centers (TAFEC) is a member-based association representing freestanding emergency centers in Texas. The Association works with state leaders to ensure the fair regulation and growth of this industry, as well as raising public awareness of the industry and promoting an overall understanding of the unique benefits of freestanding emergency centers. Today, TAFEC has around 40 members with over 120 facilities located across Texas.


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