When thinking of hospital emergency rooms the first thing that comes to mind is the dreaded wait. Hospitals pack you like sardines in an area full of sick people for hours, while you pray to be seen by a doctor. Sometimes just the thought of it is enough to make a person in need of emergency medical attention stay home. It’s a problem, but not one that many of us imagined could be solved.
Thankfully, 32-year-old Dr. Foyekemi Ikyaator saw things differently. Frustrated with explaining lengthy wait times to emergency room patients day-in-and-day-out, she and her husband opened Life Savers Emergency Room, a stand alone full service emergency room in northwest Houston, with a no wait policy.
No wait? How is that even possible?
It’s quite simple explains Dr. Ikyaator: “When you go to a regular hospital you check in and are essentially given a number. The doctor sees you, orders tests and then they go to the lab and you wait for the results to come back. The whole hospital is using the same lab and the same testing equipment, and the system gets clogged so there is a wait. We are a freestanding ER, which means that we’re not located in a hospital. But we have everything needed to provide the same level of care.”
“So a patient who might have to wait an hour to get a C-T scan at a regular hospital, and even longer to get the results, can get tested and the results back in 10 minutes.”
And if a patient has an issue that requires services that can only be provided in a hospital, such as surgery, they handle the details with the hospital so that you can be admitted the minute you arrive. She says it’s where medicine needs to move in terms of emergency care.
Dr. Ikyaator, however, is quick to point out that she didn’t invent the wheel.
Free standing ER’s are not uncommon in Texas. It was through working at a few of these facilities that she was inspired to open her own. That, and the fact that she was able to see the benefits of quick ER testing through an experience related to her mom.
Back in 2004, her mother began having abdominal pain, and after a few months of testing with her primary doctor, nothing turned up. It was only when she went to an ER that she was able to get a bunch of test done at once, and it was determined that she had ovarian cancer. “Going through the regular system of testing can take time and there are delays, the ER is good because you can get all your testing done at once, and have an immediate answer.” Ultimately, her mom still passed, but the situation definitely influenced why she became an ER doctor. Sometimes an early diagnosis can be the difference between life and death.
Her mother also influenced the type of doctor she is today. “My mom was a nurse and I remember her receiving cards in the mail from patients who wanted to thank her. It showed me the type of relationship that it was possible to have with your patients.”
Indeed, reviews online sing Dr. Ikyaator’s praises.
For a woman who just turned 32-years-old, she’s doing well. Dare we mention that she and her husband who handles the administrative side of the hospital’s business have a one-year-old son? How does she do it?
“We have a lot of support,” laughs the doctor, “a nanny, a few mentors, but mostly, God. Have you heard the bible verse, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me?’ Things have been working out.’”
Yes, they have. We wish her much success!
Check out Erickka Sy Savané’s column, Pop Mom, right here on Madamenoire and visit her site PopMomDaily. Before Erickka became a writer/editor, she was a model, actress, and MTV VJ. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Jersey City. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.