Practice Category

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Health Advisory to warn clinicians of emerging Shigella strains with elevated minimum inhibitory concentration values for ciprofloxacin. The advisory outlines new guidance for clinical diagnosis, management, and reporting, and offers new recommendations for laboratories and public health officials. Recent data from the CDC, and from various state and local health agencies, indicate these strains frequently have a quinolone-resistance gene that could lead to clinically significant reduced susceptibility to fluoroquinolones. (To see how one facility has been dealing with the growingRead More
Speakeasies were well-advised to make their locations hard to spot. Urgent care centers, not so much, especially given that patients are not at their best when they’re looking for you, and the industry’s “brand” is so tied in to convenience. Local zoning boards have rules governing location, size, and general appearance of signage, though, so be sure to stay on the right side of the law when devising yours. My Care Urgent Care in Columbus, GA is wrestling with this challenge as we speak. The signage outside its business districtRead More
The more time physicians spend dealing with electronic health record systems, the less money they make and the less time they have for providing care directly to patients, according to new data published in Health Affairs. The article says about half the time physicians spend working in EHR is during patient encounters. The other half of the time—when they’re not with patients, in other words—their time working within the EHR goes uncompensated, essentially. The authors considered 31 million EHR transactions involving 471 primary care physicians and 765,129 patient records betweenRead More
Rude behavior in the workplace might cost you good employees. Even worse, though, a new study indicates the consequences of incivility extend to patients. In a blog post for The Wall Street Journal, Dr. Gurpreet Dhaliwal, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and a practicing physician at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, describes what happened when clinical staff participating in an Israeli training exercise were broken into 24 pairs of teams, with half being introduced to the exercise by an intentionally rude visiting physicianRead More
As antibiotic resistance continues to grow, organizations from the Urgent Care Association of America to the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have asked their audiences to take a close look at what they can do to curb unnecessary prescriptions that exacerbate the problem. (The cover article in the May issue of JUCM will look at how one institution tackled this problem, as well.) Now the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), through the Quality Innovation Network–Quality Improvement Organization, has launched a newRead More
Children whose parents ensure they get flu shots stand a significantly lower risk for death from influenza than children who are not vaccinated, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, the CDC says between 2010 and 2014 flu vaccinations reduced the risk of flu-associated death by half among children with underlying high-risk medical conditions, and by nearly two-thirds among healthy children. The study, published in Pediatrics, is thought to be the first proving that flu vaccination significantly reduced a child’s risk of dyingRead More
Ohio is placing new limits on the prescribing of opioid medications for acute pain, forbidding clinicians from writing more than a 7-day supply for adults, or a 5-day supply for minors (down from up to 90 days, currently). Prescribers will be allowed to override the acute pain limit if they identify a specific reason in their patients’ medical records, though this is not likely to apply in the urgent care setting. Further, the limits do not apply to prescriptions for chronic pain such as experienced by patients with cancer. RepresentativeRead More
A new study published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report reveals that the risk for long-term opioid use—defined as use that lasts for at least 1 year—increases within just a few days of starting to take a prescribed opioid drug. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at data reflecting the care of more than a million patients who received at least one opioid prescription between June 1, 2006, and September 1, 2015. Patients with cancer and those with a substance use disorder were disqualified from theRead More
The episodic nature of the urgent care setting makes it a popular target for opioid addicts “doctor shopping” for someone new to write prescriptions. As such, urgent care clinicians must remain always-vigilant for ways to help stem rampant opioid addiction. One tool that’s built into the urgent care electronic medical record systems (eprescribing) can be a valuable weapon in that fight. Where a paper script—or, worse, a whole pad—can be lost or stolen, an electronic order goes directly from the EMR to the pharmacy. While states may start requiring thatRead More
Your child wakes up with a sore throat and a fever. Like any responsible parent, you take a sick day and call the pediatrician, only to hear “Sorry, nothing today. We may be able to squeeze you in tomorrow afternoon.” Now what? Well, 42% of the 2,000+ parents surveyed in the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health say they would take their child to an urgent care center, retail clinic, or the emergency room instead of waiting. Another 42% said they would call their child’s doctor “forRead More