Practice Category

Here’s the scenario: Your clinic opens at 8. A nonclinical staff member arrives at 7:50, only to find a woman in distress waiting at the locked front door, complaining of chest pains and shortness of breath and heading toward a full-blown panic. You hope your staffer would: Let the patient in immediately, then call the first clinician scheduled to work to see how close they are to arriving Let the patient in immediately and call 911 Not let the patient in, but stay with her and call 911 Tell theRead More
A new study by Safe Kids Worldwide reveals more than 400,000 children are injured in bike, scooter, skateboard, and roller blade accidents every year. Now that wheels of every variety are coming out of the garage for the first time in months, there’s an opportunity to stress your urgent care center’s vital role in community health and safety—before and after injuries occur. First, ask patients if they’re planning to make good on promises to get more fit this year. If their plans involve getting back on a bicycle, recommend theyRead More
Growing investment by service providers, occupational medicine companies, and entrepreneurs, along with wider acceptance by health plans, seems to confirm that telemedicine is no longer the Next Big Thing, but a newly essential service that urgent care operators need to consider offering. Most recently, U.S. HealthWorks announced that it’s launching a comprehensive telemedicine program called USHW CareConnectNOW, which will link patients to state-licensed medical providers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So far, that’s available to self-pay urgent care patients in multiple states, and to worker compensation patientsRead More
The Food and Drug Administration—not considered to be strong advocates of new-age approaches to medicine, typically—suggested recently that alternative and holistic therapies like acupuncture and chiropractors can play an important role in managing pain for patients. It’s actually part of the FDA’s ongoing plan to reduce the need for opioid pain medications in the U.S. The agency recommends that healthcare providers “become more familiar with alternative therapies for treating pain, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, physical therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractics.” The point is not to get doctors to learn howRead More
There aren’t many things more truly urgent than a child considering suicide. More adolescents kill themselves than die from cancer, heart disease, and many other causes combined, in fact. Now researchers at the University of Missouri‒Kansas City School of Medicine say a brief screening tool designed to detect suicidal risk was shown to be effective in a pediatric urgent care clinic. Considering previous studies showing that 17% of high school students had seriously considered suicide—and 8% had actually attempted suicide—over the previous 12-month period, and that many had no accessRead More
Oncology is not likely to pop up on a list of specialties formerly pursued by urgent care clinicians, and patients are not going to be getting chemo at their neighborhood urgent care center. Nonetheless, familiarity with various cancers—and even more importantly, their treatments and complications—is reaching need-to-know status for urgent care providers. Whether it’s sudden concerns over symptoms of infection or even “just” a high fever, cancer patients need immediate care more often than patients who are typically in good health. As we told you months ago, Johns Hopkins setRead More
Less than 3 years ago, barely more than half of healthcare providers used telemedicine and related services. Today, however, that proportion sits ag 71%, according to two new HIMSS Analytics studies that analyzed inpatient and outpatient telemedicine. The data indicate that “hub-and-spoke” models, in which the flow of care draws patients from lower acuity outpatient settings to larger, more comprehensive facilities, are the most popular, accounting for 59.6% of provider use. (These are more common in inpatient services than outpatient, however). In the outpatient setting, around 35% of providers useRead More
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