By Ariel Graham | DFW Newsflash | June 2018
A brand new urgent care clinic is now open for business inside of DFW Airport’s Terminal D.
Code 3 Emergency Partners, a Frisco-based group of over 100 board-certified emergency medicine physicians, will be operating the new urgent care clinic. The group already operates 3 active ERs in Carrolton, McKinney and Mesquite, as well as urgent care clinics in Carrollton, Mesquite, and Rockport, Texas, and at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Dr. Carrie de Moor, CEO of Code 3 Emergency Partners, said that Code 3 had originally wanted to construct a free-standing, 8,125-square foot emergency room as part of the airport’s Southgate Plaza Development. Once completed, it would be the first full-service emergency room on an airport property in the United States. However, de Moor said the airport wanted to take the plan one step further, and build a clinic within the airport itself.
“Our idea was just to put a free-standing emergency room and urgent care center there on the outside,” de Moor said. “We went in and met with them and…that meeting went great. And when we came back for our second meeting, they asked ‘Hey, would you like to do a clinic inside the terminal? We’ve got the perfect space for you. Could you do a pharmacy and a clinic?’ And we were like, ‘Wow, the airport asking us if we could do something! Yes, of course we’ll do it!’ We’re a small business, so we thought that was pretty amazing.”
De Moor added that, while having clinics inside of airports is a more common practice now, they are excited to be the first group to provide full-scale emergency room service to an airport. “The urgent care clinic in general isn’t a new concept at airports,” de Moor said. “There’s one at San Francisco that’s been three for forty years. But nobody has ever done actual full emergency room services, and that’s really where we’re aiming. “
The Terminal D clinic officially opened for business on August 31st. Ken Buchanan, Executive Vice President of Revenue Management & Marketing/Customer Service, released a statement welcoming Code 3 to the airport. “We are proud to welcome Code 3 to DFW Airport, and we look forward to providing our customers with convenient urgent care medical services,” Buchanan said. “This is another example of how DFW works with our partners to anticipate our customers’ needs and wants to deliver an elevated level of service.”
The new clinic comes equipped with all the tools and expertise needed to treat many conditions, from allergies and insect bites to more serious lacerations and infections, plus an onsite X-ray for sprains and simple fractures and lab testing for common illnesses such as flu and strep throat. The clinic will also feature an on-site pharmacy for travelers to obtain medication prescribed for them by the Code 3 physicians or current medications they may have forgotten en route. “If they forget their medications, they can bring their prescriptions or their doctor can call in and fill the prescription at our pharmacy,” de Moor said. “They can also see one of our physicians and if they need to get back on the plane, they can fill [the prescription] there at the airport and…go and fill it just like you would at your corner drug store.” The pharmacy is expected to open before the end of the year.
De Moor said that the need for urgent care at an airport is surprisingly high, and that she and her staff are focused on getting people treated in time to get back on their flights and resume their work or travels. “We know that the EMS at the airport transport anywhere between 3500 to 5000 patients a year out of DFW to area hospitals,” de Moor said. “And from what we know about emergency medicine in general, about 87% of people who go to the hospital actually end up going home [the same day]. So we know that we can get people back on their planes and not disrupt their lives as much.”
Adam Daley, director of airport operations for Code 3, said that the new airport clinic will serve a great need to not only travelers, but to the employees of DFW Airport as well. “We think there is a huge opportunity for these [clinics] to provide fantastic service to traveling folks, as well as the tens of thousands of people who call a major airport like this their work-home,” Daley said. “But even beyond that, it’s an opportunity to provide needed medical care where people really, truly need it, which is at a place of employment for the people who work out here and the folks who are in transition. If we can save someone the agony of dealing with something like pinkeye…or a bronchial infection, we can help them with that before they get on an airplane and spend nine hours in the air and get them healing as they’re traveling, it’s just a much better situation.”
Code 3 Urgent Care & Pharmacy is located inside Terminal D on the upper level between Gates D25 and D27, and is open from 6 AM to 10 PM daily. Construction will begin on the Code 3 emergency room in Southgate Plaza later this year and is now expected to be completed Summer of 2018.