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Urgent message: While common perceptions are that the plague—the infamous microorganism that claimed the lives of countless millions in ancient times—has been eradicated in modern society, infections still occur, even in the United States. While the odds of encountering a patient infected with the plague are thin, its presentation of flu-like symptoms—which could easily lead a patient to urgent care—make it a diagnosis urgent care providers should be aware of. Introduction Yersinia pestis—known commonly as plague, the disease it causes—is one of the most infamous microorganisms in the world. Surprisingly,Read More
Urgent message: Statistics indicate there is an epidemic of mental, physical, and emotional burnout of employees in the United States, painting a troubling picture that urgent care operators must proactively manage in order to assure continued patient satisfaction. Many of us have been there: getting out of bed in the morning feels like a monumental task. The thought of another work day evokes an exasperated sigh. Previously productive shifts give way to distracted clock-watching. Patience shortens while errors and mistakes creep up. The temptation to call in sick, or ditchRead More
Urgent Message: As “influencers in chief” charged with assuring the types of patient experiences that create patient loyalty and word-of-mouth, urgent care providers must understand the relationship between patient experience metrics, financial and clinical outcomes, care team coordination, and time spent with the patient. As value-based reimbursement becomes more prevalent in healthcare, providers are increasingly tasked with not only ensuring a great clinical outcome, but a superior patient experience, as well. Industry research supports this assertion; in fact, it demonstrably proves that the latter often begets the former. Too often,Read More
Urgent Message: To enable early detection and treatment to help curb future transmissions, CDC guidelines recommend HIV testing be available for patients in all healthcare settings, including urgent care centers. HIV testing can be a practical, profitable, public health service for urgent care centers. Many patients, especially millennials, rely on urgent care as their “provider of first choice.” These are patients who are generally healthy and have no chronic conditions requiring long-term management, but who do need someplace to go when the occasional illness or injury strikes. In addition, theseRead More
Urgent Message: While giving injections in urgent care may seem like a rote task, the significant safety risks of errors require that providers and staff pay special attention to the “Six Rs” when giving each and every injection. Unlike other service industries, when you ask people why they go into healthcare, the answer is typically “to help people.” Given your genuine and innate drive to improve the health and wellbeing of your patients, how awful would it be to give an injection incorrectly—causing you or the patient harm? Realizing thatRead More
The following is a summary of an article originally published in the Harvard Business Review. It explores how, in many organizations, leaders who attempt to elicit honest employee feedback often fail in their attempts to create meaningful dialogue. Urgent care providers must realize they have an important stake in this issue, as research shows when employees can voice their concerns freely, organizations see increased retention and stronger performance. Most leaders will declare that they have an “open door policy” for employees to address their concerns, but in most cases theirRead More
Urgent message: Recording thorough and accurate vital signs supports the urgent care physician in asking the right questions of the patient’s history of present illness, guides the physician in the physical exam, and thus is essential in reaching an accurate diagnosis and devising an effective treatment plan. Imagine you are a medical assistant on duty in a busy urgent care center. A patient walks in, and you check him in. You ask his height and weight, but do not take a measurement yourself. You take him to the exam roomRead More
Urgent message: As in most business settings, urgent care operators emphasize the importance of a positive cognitive culture. Given the close quarters and frequent interaction among colleagues and patients, however, emotional culture can also have a strong influence on quality of care, patient and employee satisfaction—and even the success of the operation. [The following summary of the January-February, 2016 Harvard Business Review Article spotlights how organizations are slowly realizing the importance of managing the emotional culture of their workplace. Traditionally, most organizations pay little heed to how its employees feelRead More