A new way Featured

8:05pm EDT June 30, 2011
A new way

Dr. Toby Hamilton had spent years working in overburdened, overcrowded emergency departments, where wait times were long and patients’ frustrations were high. He realized he could either spend his career apologizing to patients and their families for the wait, or he could follow his dream.

He knew there had to be a better way to treat patients, so he founded Emerus Emergency Hospitals in 2004 with the idea that the emergency medicine system should be built around the patient and not around the hospital, and that care could be delivered efficiently.

To mitigate the financial risk, he brought on five partners, all of whom were emergency medicine specialist physicians who subscribed to his philosophy of top-notch care delivered quickly.

He saw the competition that he faced, and it annoyed him. Others took advantage of a license the state issued for free-standing emergency rooms and delivered care well below where he wanted it to be. He knew the standards for his hospitals would need to be far higher than those in the guidelines for free-standing ERs because his concept was more robust and needed to allow for inpatient beds to treat the types of cases he envisioned his business taking on.

And to further prove the difference to patients, in 2010, he launched a “15 minutes or it’s free” campaign that promised patients that they would be seen by a physician within 15 minutes of filling out their paperwork, or their care would be free.

His commitment to higher standards paid off. The hospitals have experienced tremendous growth over the past seven years and his competitors are attempting to replicate his initiatives in their own models. But while many try to imitate, none has succeeded because of how high those standards are.

How to reach: Emerus Emergency Hospitals, (281) 292-2450 or www.emerus.com