The Urgency Room to Open in Woodbury in October

The Urgency Room will offer services similar to those provided by traditional emergency rooms, but its founders claim to have created a more efficient-and affordable-urgent care model.

The Urgency Room-an alternative to hospital-based emergency rooms (ERs)-will open its doors on October 4 in Woodbury. And its founders have ambitious plans to open three to five more locations in the Twin Cities during the next two years.

The new center-which its operators bill as the first of its kind-will offer services similar to those provided by traditional ERs. It will have emergency physicians, nurses, and paramedics.

The Urgency Room is being developed by the Emergency Physicians Professional Association (EPPA)-a group of ER physicians who oversee staffing in six local hospitals. It will have a staff of about 40, with the ability to access the EPPA's network of more than 130 doctors.

Unlike ERs, patients will not be transported to the Urgency Room by ambulance or helicopter. It's designed to serve patients with acute and urgent medical needs, including severe abdominal pain, kidney stones, severe headaches, asthma attacks, broken bones, chest pains, pneumonia, concussion, and other medical issues. If it's determined that a patient needs to be admitted to a hospital, the Urgency Room will make the necessary arrangements.

Patients can enter their names on the Urgency Room's Web site to secure a place in line before arriving at the center. In the lobby of the Urgency Room, patients will be able to view wait times on an LCD screen. If there's an extended wait time, patients can leave without losing their place in line-and the Urgency Room will call or text the patient when it's their turn.

“We've developed a level of service similar to what you might find at an upscale hotel,” Gary Gosewisch, a physician and CEO of the Urgency Room, said in a statement. “A patient will be greeted by friendly, courteous staff whose priority will be to put that patient at ease and make them comfortable.”

According to the Urgency Room, its patients will pay 25 to 40 percent less than if they visited the ER. It will also accept most health plans, and its co-pays resemble those of standard urgent care fees, which are about 50 percent cheaper than average ER co-pays.

“Going to the ER for acute and urgent medical needs will no longer be the only option for patients in the Twin Cities,” Gosewisch said in a statement. “Instead of a mom waiting for four hours to get five stitches for her child at the ER, her child can receive the same expert medical treatment much faster in an environment that is welcoming, friendly, and comfortable, as well as more affordable.”