Ochsner’s freestanding ERs in Mid-City, Marrero to open by end of 2016, hospital says _lowres

Advocate staff photo by CHAD CALDER -- Construction site of the Ochsner emergency room on Lapalco Blvd. in Marrero

Two of the freestanding emergency rooms that Ochsner Health System has planned for the New Orleans area will be open by the end of this year, hospital officials said Monday.

The chief executive of Ochsner, which is partnering with Texas-based Adeptus Health to provide stand-alone facilities at Canal Street and Carrollton Avenue in Mid-City and on Lapalco Boulevard in Marrero, said the system’s goal is to facilitate customers’ access to emergency medical care.

“Patients in areas where emergency services are lacking will now have the convenience of access to critical care services close to home,” Ochsner President and CEO Warner Thomas said.

The new ERs, coupled with Ochsner’s recently announced expansion of its main Jefferson Highway campus, signal a widening of the hospital’s local footprint. It is already the state’s largest nonprofit health care system, treating more than 600,000 patients last year.

The plans also put New Orleans in line with national trends, joining cities such as Houston, Dallas and Washington, D.C., in providing stand-alone emergency rooms to residents who increasingly rely on all-hours emergency departments.

Freestanding ERs differ from the more familiar and often-cheaper urgent care clinics, which aren’t generally equipped to handle life-threatening situations.

In Marrero, Ochsner will build an 8,452-square-foot facility with nine emergency rooms. The 9,022-square-foot Mid-City location also will have nine rooms.

Both will be outfitted with an on-site laboratory, board-certified physicians and trained nurses, as well as a wide array of diagnostic technology, such as ultrasounds and digital X-rays.

Once open, the two facilities will employ a total of between 60 to 80 people on a full-time basis, officials said.

No details were made available about a proposed third ER on Bullard Avenue in New Orleans East, though city records show that the City Planning Commission has approved Ochsner’s stormwater management plan for that site.

Ochsner did say it plans to announce additional ER locations this year.

Last week, the New Orleans City Council voted to allow demolition of a retail store at the Canal Street site.

Follow Jessica Williams on Twitter, @jwilliamsNOLA.