One of Alleghany Health Networks key hospitals saw more patients choose its urgent care centers over its emergency room for the first time ever last year. Saint Vincent Hospital has also seen a steady increase in visits to its primary care offices—again, at the expense of the ED. Saint Vincent President Chris Clark, DO told attendees of the hospital’s annual meeting that’s the outcome of efforts to “do more patient care outside the four walls of the hospital” and to keep lower-acuity cases out of the ED altogether. While revenue was down slightly in 2017 compared with the previous year, Saint Vincent is staying the course, and even investing in future growth; they’ve hired 14 physicians and more than 160 nurses this year. It seems to be paying off already, as patient visits were up nearly 3% for the first 9 months of 2018. During that time, urgent care visits have grown 8%, while ED visits have dropped 4.7%.
AHN Flagship Sees the Balance Between Urgent Care and the ED Tip