NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – This year alone, 150,000 children will make a trip to the emergency room at Children’s Medical Center Dallas. But the hospital says some of those youngsters could be treated more quickly, and at a lower cost, if they went somewhere else.

To meet the needs of patients and ease emergency room stress Children’s has started a new program that the hospital says will feed a growing demand without sacrificing quality of care. The program ‘birthed’ the new My Children’s Primary Care Clinics.

Parents often face the dilemma of doctor’s office versus emergency room. Carolyn Guerrero and her daughter have been there. “Waiting, emergency room always means wait,” she said. “Take a pillow stand in line. Wait in a room. Paperwork paperwork, paperwork.”

When it comes to pediatric care, doctors say not all parents know where to go. According to the DFW Hospital Council, when it comes to emergency rooms in North Texas Children’s sees more kids than anywhere else.

Doctor Adrienne McMillian, a pediatrician from Children’s, said there was definitely a need. Dr. McMillian now works out of a new clinic on Buckner Road that opened in January.

clinic - sick child

Doctors at the clinic treat children with everything from colds, to cardiac conditions. Some of those coming in for help have insurance and some don’t. Medicaid covers most.

Along the ‘meeting people where they are’ approach, Children’s Medical Center knows where their patients live. So, when they saw that a lot of patients from Pleasant Grove were going to the ER they opened a My Children’s Clinic in the neighborhood. The location is one of nine My Children’s Clinics to open in underserved areas in the last year.

“We believe in patient care, in providing a good quality of patients care,” Dr. McMillian explained. “We wanted to also make sure we were targeting the places that needed us.

The clinics also give patients the chance to establish a relationship with a doctor, in essence a primary physician they can return to, even in an emergency. One patient said, “I feel more comfortable here. And I feel like I’m really being taken care of.”

It’s a relationship that is also valued by the provider.

The newest My Children’s Primary Care Clinic will open on October 28 in the Mill City neighborhood of south Dallas. There are 16 locations in all, across the metroplex.

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