Standalone/freestanding emergency rooms and urgent care centers are popping up all over Florida. They provide a wide range of medical services without the long waits typically associated with hospital emergency rooms, often in locations that are more convenient for the patient than visiting a hospital. By law, freestanding ERs and urgent care centers must follow the same laws and provide the same level of care as any other healthcare facility.
Freestanding ERs in Florida
A freestanding emergency room is a hospital emergency room that isn’t located in a hospital. Unlike other states, Florida only allows freestanding emergency rooms that are affiliated with full-service hospitals. For hospitals, it is more cost effective to build standalone ERs instead of an entire hospital.
While they are called “emergency rooms,” most of these facilities are set up to treat only minor injuries. They lack the staff and equipment to treat life-threatening emergencies such as heart attacks, strokes or severe traumatic injuries.
Urgent Care Centers in Florida
Urgent care centers are clinics that provide non-emergency medical care, such as immunizations, imaging services, treatment for minor medical conditions (such as a sprained ankle or the flu), drug screenings, and pregnancy and blood tests. Walk-in appointments are one of the big appeals of urgent care centers.
Urgent Care and Standalone ER Medical Mistakes
Despite the different setting, the same types of medical errors that occur at hospitals can also take place in freestanding ERs and urgent care centers. These include:
- Misdiagnosis/failure to diagnosis
- Delayed treatment
- Medication errors
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Clerical and administrative errors
Medical Malpractice in Florida
In Florida, medical malpractice happens when a hospital, doctor or other healthcare professional allows a patient to become injured through an act of negligence – usually an error in diagnosis or treatment – that wouldn’t have happened if the healthcare professional had provided the necessary level of care the patient required.
When a patient becomes injured as a result of negligence on the part of a healthcare facility or healthcare professional, they have a right to seek compensation for the damages they have suffered as a result of their injuries.
The basic requirements for a medical malpractice claim against a healthcare professional at an urgent care center or standalone emergency room are the same as at any other healthcare facility. In order to be successful with your claim, you must be able to prove of the standalone ER or urgent care clinic that:
- A doctor patient relationship existed;
- The doctor was negligent in their diagnosis or treatment;
- The doctor’s negligence caused your injuries; and
- These injuries resulted in specific damages.
Get Help from an Experienced Fort Lauderdale Medical Malpractice Attorney
Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice lawyer Lisa Levine handles medical malpractice cases across the nation, including those resulting from free standing emergency room and urgent care center errors. Lisa possesses decades of experience successfully representing clients in Florida and throughout the United States.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to substandard care at a freestanding emergency room or urgent care center, we can help. Call Lisa Levine today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your medical malpractice case.