Code 3 Emergency Partners of Frisco opened a first-of-its-kind, freestanding emergency room and 24-hour urgent care center at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, an innovative care option that the company says it may replicate elsewhere if it proves to be successful.
The 8,125-square-foot ER is located outside of airport security clearance at Southgate Avenue and Rental Car Drive on DFW Airport property. It began accepting patients on June 1.
“There are a couple other airports around the country that have urgent care facilities that are open for certain hours, and we have one in Las Vegas, but there are no others where they have a fully functioning licensed emergency department on airport property,” said Dr. Carrie de Moor, CEO of Code 3.
During its initial days of operation, about 70 percent of patients were people who work at the airport and the other 30 percent were the traveling public, she said.
The company, founded in 2015, has six free-standing ERs and eight urgent care centers — most of those in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Code 3’s only other airport operation outside of DFW is an urgent care center at Terminal 1 of Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport. The company also will continue to operate an urgent care center inside DFW’s Terminal D from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 pm everyday including weekends and holidays.
“We are looking right now at the Las Vegas market and the potential to expand our service line there to include ER,” de Moor said, but added that the company is hyper-focused on making sure the DFW location is a success before considering similar operations elsewhere.
Code 3 ER has joined the health care networks of a number of airlines operating at DFW, including Fort Worth-based American Airlines, the largest employer in North Texas. American dominates gates at DFW where it is responsible for 84 percent of all airline traffic. It employs more than 31,000 people in North Texas, many of those at DFW. Last year, American carried 57 million of the 65 million passengers who passed through DFW.
“We don’t intend to go haywire building these at every airport, because it won’t work at every single airport; you need the right volume of people.”
Carrie de Moor
More than 60,000 people work at the airport — rivaling the size of many nearby suburbs — and could be potentially served by Code 3 if they have the need, de Moor said. As the company examined where DFW lacked ER services it noticed “a big glaring hole” where DFW Airport was located, she said.
The DFW ER is equipped with a CT scanner, ultrasound, X-ray machines, and equipment needed to stabilize a person, but is not a trauma center. Patients requiring trauma care would be stabilized and transferred, de Moor said. Care at the ER is provided by board certified emergency medicine physicians.
The Code 3 ER also will contain a 24-hour urgent care center to provide access to more affordable care for patients not requiring an ER.
“We don’t intend to go haywire building these at every airport, because it won’t work at every single airport; you need the right volume of people,” de Moor said. “We want to make sure we do a good job here, and then look at the Las Vegas market next.”
In 2019, Code 3 may identify other airports that could benefit from an ER, she said.
ABOUT DFW AIRPORT’S CODE 3 ER
Company name: Code 3 ER
Size: 8,125-square-foot facility
Address: 2390 Innovation Drive, DFW Airport
Amenities: CT scanner, ultrasound, X-ray machines, laboratory, and pharmacy
Hours: Open 24 hours a day/7 days a week
Clients: Passengers, airport/airline employees, and area residents
Access: No boarding pass or security clearance required
Staff: One emergency trained physician; five support staff at the ER/24-hour urgent care
Architect: McCalla Design Group
General contractor: Code 3 Construction LLC
BY THE NUMBERS
Square footage of ER
Hours of operation
Emergency trained physician
Support staff at the ER/24-hour urgent care
Number of people that work at DFW Airport
Number of free-standing ERs Code 3 Emergency Partners of Frisco operates
Number of urgent care centers Code 3 Emergency Partners of Frisco operates