Practice Category

The University of Colorado Cancer Center in Aurora, CO has quantified just how much urgent care can contribute to the overall health of patients with cancer—and it’s considerable. The Clinical Assessment and Rapid Evaluation (CARE) Clinic within the cancer center helped keep 21% of cancer patients out of the emergency room, generating over $176,000 in revenue over a period of 7 months. There’s no telling how many potentially serious complications were prevented by saving immunocompromised cancer patients from the risk of sitting in the ED waiting room for hours. TheRead More
Four additional hours in a shift makes a big difference to busy nurses, according to new data published in the Journal of Nursing Education and Practice. Nurses working 12-hour shifts are more likely than those who put in 8 hours to experience anxiety, musculoskeletal disorders, disturbed sleep, and stress. The metaanalysis focused on 12 studies. The authors concluded that it was not so much the mere act of working for 12 hours, but the prolonged exposure to stressful situations that took a toll. Of note, critical thinking performance did notRead More
Mumps Cases Among College Students Are Climbing—Probe for Vaccine Status
Summer vacation just started, but it won’t be long before college students are getting ready to head back to campus. With mumps cases continuing to be reported at Harvard University, among other schools, reminders that patients need to ensure they’re up to date on vaccinations should be considered in every patient who comes into your urgent care center. Harvard has seen a resurgence in mumps cases over the past year. In spring 2016, there were 66 active cases, according to the university health services department; now two new cases haveRead More
Adolescent Concussions
Add adolescent concussion to the growing list of conditions for which telemedicine can be useful, in terms of effectiveness, cost, and satisfaction scores, according to data presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Researchers employed a nurse practitioner-led, remote assessment of young athletes (13–18 years of age) with concussions, in conjunction with in-person athletic trainers. The most common positive feedback involved the accessibility of the program from any location, notably urban areas where parents might have trouble getting their children to a physician in aRead More
Independence Day Hours
The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission tells us we can expect a spike in emergency room visits on or around the Independence Day holiday next week. If you’ve done a good job of alerting your community to the fact that many ED-bound patients could be treated just as well (not to mention faster and less expensively) in your urgent care center, that means you can expect to see more traffic, too. Make sure your holiday hours are posted prominently inside and outside your location, as well as on your website,Read More
The ink is barely dry on agreements allowing more telemedicine than ever before, but there are indications that some corners of the healthcare marketplace are already moving on toward The Next Big Thing: text-based medical encounters. A Denver-based startup called CirrusMD has pulled together $7 million in capital it plans to devote to expanding what’s thought to be the industry’s first “text-first” workflow. CirrusMD has cut its teeth on working with large health systems and plans that are focused on value-based care models, supporting their efforts to provide quicker accessRead More
Here’s what we know: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is going to stop including Social Security numbers on Medicare ID cards. Here’s what we don’t know: How this is going to work, and how it’s going to affects healthcare providers. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act requires CMS to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards due to increasing risk for identity theft and fraud. The year-long process of issuing new Medicare cards, with all-new ID numbers, will commence in April 2018. CMS issued a briefRead More
The weather is warm, schools are getting out, and people are venturing off into the wild for outdoor adventure—and to face the perils of tick-infested woods and fields. Visits to urgent care sparked by fear of tick-borne illnesses are sure to follow. In addition to well-known (though still relatively uncommon) diagnoses like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, the newly identified Human Powassan (POW) virus can be deadly in some cases. Its symptoms are similar to Lyme disease—fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, loss of coordination, speech difficulties, and seizures—makingRead More
Urgent care operators who have been waiting for the elusive “right time” to start offering telemedicine might want to keep an eye out for hospital closures in their area—especially if those hospitals have been providing care where there aren’t many other options. A new study by the Texas A & M Rural and Community Health highlights telemedicine as a viable, and valuable, alternative for care when hospitals shutter their doors. The researchers even went so far as to recommend that civic leaders in communities where hospitals are closing seek outRead More
It’s been more than a year since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that opioids not be used to treat chronic back pain. Unfortunately, too many prescribers have yet to get the message, according to new data from an NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll. The data, reflecting the experiences of 3,002 patients participating in a telephone survey, show that 40% of the visits to a doctor for low back pain ended with a prescription for a pain medication. Some of those were for opioids, which have been shownRead More