HCA Meets Growing Need for EDs in North Texas

Sunday, June 29, 2014

As populations throughout north Texas continue to grow, healthcare delivery models are adapting to meet patients where they are, and Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) is at the forefront of those changes. 

In 2009, HCA North Texas Division introduced the off-campus emergency department (ED) model into its network of care. The efficiency of the model ensures patients receive immediate care and treatment close to home. HCA has implemented this strategy in several north Texas communities with the development and operations of five off-campus, provider-based EDs, three of which have opened in the last six months.

According to Vision North Texas, a private, public and academic partnership that highlights challenges and opportunities the region will face as it continues to experience growth, the north Texas population will exceed 9 million by the year 2030.

HCA North Texas Division entered the off-campus ED/freestanding market as a growth strategy and solution to decompress local traditional EDs operating over capacity, as well as to meet patient demand for emergency services in growing Dallas-Fort Worth area communities.

“Our strategy aligns with our mission: HCA is committed to the care and improvement of human life and strives to deliver high-quality, cost-effective health care in the communities we serve,” says Michelle Underwood, Assistant Vice President of Freestanding ED Operations at HCA North Texas. “With our improved operational efficiency and speed of service, we are able to reduce wait times, expedite care and time with the physician, as well as deliver high-quality emergency services.”

In May, the average wait time in HCA North Texas off-campus, provider-based ED locations was less than 12 minutes from the moment the patient arrived until he or she was greeted by a physician.

In addition to reducing wait times, HCA North Texas will continue exploring development of new facilities to increase capability to provide a patient- and family-centered care delivery model, in which customer service and patient experience are the top priorities. Providers are able to facilitate, coordinate and manage care across the continuum through HCA’s network of hospitals, aligned specialists and resources, including the HCA North Texas Patient Transfer Center.

The first HCA North Texas off-campus ED developed was the Flower Mound Emergency Center, opened in 2009, followed by ER at Alliance in 2011. All of the off-campus, provider-based ED facilities are departments of HCA hospitals. Flower Mound and Alliance operate under the license of the Medical Center of Lewisville and North Hills Hospital, respectively. The ER at Alliance location is also currently under construction to become a full-service hospital.

HCA ED Rooms 250

In the last six months, HCA North Texas has opened three new EDs, including:

  • ER at Grand Prairie, a department of Medical Center Arlington
  • The Medical Center of Plano 24/7 Emergency Care, a department of The Medical Center of Plano
  • ER at Burleson, a department of Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth

HCA North Texas also recently broke ground on its sixth Dallas-Fort Worth location, ER at Stonebridge, a department of Medical Center McKinney.

“As we look to meet needs across north Texas, we evaluate locations for new off-campus emergency departments based on a variety of factors, such as accessibility, demographic data analysis that suggests population growth and proximity to our hospitals,” says Jim Gray, Director of Real Estate for HCA North Texas.

To help identify the ideal facilities and locations for each new ED, HCA North Texas is working with Lincoln Harris CSG, a full-service commercial real estate services company that specializes in healthcare facilities.

“Lincoln Harris CSG has a tremendous reputation in the commercial real estate world, and they offer a full line of services that meet our needs,” Gray says. “They currently provide property management for HCA’s owned assets and have proven to be a knowledgeable and reliable firm. Coupling this with their extensive knowledge of the medical industry and federal regulations that we comply with, Lincoln Harris has been a tremendous resource for HCA’s real estate needs.”

HCA utilizes a variety of sophisticated predictive-modeling and demographic tools to identify markets where outpatient care (urgent care, primary care, freestanding EDs and other services) is needed and will be successful.

“We utilize HCA’s market information and drill down to specific trade areas and intersections,” says Rhodes Baker, Senior Vice President at Lincoln Harris CSG. “Lincoln Harris identifies specific sites, gathers relevant data, and ultimately negotiates a lease or a contract to secure the site on behalf of HCA.”

Baker works with Brian Bacharach, Vice President with Lincoln Harris CSG, to provide leasing and transaction services for HCA North Texas.

In addition to EDs, HCA North Texas is implementing an independent urgent care strategy related to needs in the community, as well as growth and access for pediatric and adult patients.

The off-campus ED initiative includes working closely with all urgent care centers across the Dallas-Fort Worth area to provide a continuum of care for patients in the event hospital emergency services are necessary or required. HCA currently has six pediatric urgent care facilities, Medical City Children’s Hospital Urgent Care, located throughout the metroplex and the Denton Regional Urgent Care Center located in Denton, Texas.

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, HCA comprises locally managed facilities that include approximately 165 hospitals and 115 freestanding surgery centers throughout the United States and London. For more information, visit http://hcanorthtexas.com.

Lincoln Harris CSG (the Corporate Services Group of Lincoln Property Company) is a product of 17 years of experience in the specialized field of fully integrated corporate services. CSG is singularly focused on providing full-spectrum real estate solutions to corporations and healthcare providers. CSG works with various industry types and is able to leverage practices from a broad cross-section of clients. The company currently holds more than 20 million square feet of healthcare real estate in 17 states with more than 280 associates active throughout the country. For more information, visit www.lincolnharrishealthcare.com.