Practice Category

The upside of patients continuing to flock to urgent care is obvious: They get the care they need when they need it, instead of having to choose between waiting for days to see their primary care provider or heading to the emergency room with a complaint that isn’t actually emergent (meaning they’re clogging up the works there, and incurring higher healthcare costs to do so). The downside of this evolution is that sometimes PCPs are left out of the loop after patients see other providers. A new study by HarrisRead More
Telemedicine is gaining traction in many walks of medicine, though some providers still may be concerned they don’t know how to get started. In addition, many practices are looking at ways to offer more tests on site. The next wave of smartphone capabilities could be the next step forward in both respects. Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a device capable of processing samples of blood, saliva, or urine remotely using the light from a smartphone’s flash and camera, along with a 3-D printer. The device, the TRIRead More
President Trump recently declared the epidemic of opioid addiction and related deaths to be a national emergency, pledging the federal government would spending more money and pay more attention to stemming the crisis. While details are still to come, theoretically future actions could include mandatory education for prescribers nationally and increasing funds to treatment and prevention programs. Coinciding with that, Express Scripts, the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager, is trying to restrict access to opioids. The company announced recently that as of September 1 they will approve only a week’sRead More
Rates of infection with sexually transmitted disease are up. If you practice in urgent care, you probably don’t need statistics to know that, as many patients concerned about possibly having an STD find comfort in the relative anonymity of the urgent care center, and opt to get tested there instead of in their “regular” doctor’s office. Now the makers of “home tests” are taking aim at these same prospective patients with marketing messages that promote both anonymity and convenience. A new PBS report, however, raises the question of whether usingRead More
Citizens from coast to coast will have a rare opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse on August 21. States directly in its 70-mile-wide path—Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina—are bracing for a massive influx of sky watchers intent on witnessing the phenomenon. Urgent care centers are shoring up their staffing in response. For example, Oregon’s St. Charles Health System is bringing in extra staff from other regions it serves and turning its primary care locations into urgent care centers betweenRead More
Cases of Cyclospora cayetanensis infections have more than doubled in 2017 compared with the same period in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cases are not geographically centered, either: 27 states have confirmed the diagnosis, which is marked by watery diarrhea, anorexia, fatigue, weight loss, nausea, flatulence, abdominal cramping, and myalgia. Cyclospora infection can spread via food or water contaminated with the parasite; however, it is not transmitted directly from one person to another. A total of 206 cases of Cyclospora infections have been reported toRead More
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2017 report Antibiotic Use in the United States: Progress and Opportunities embraces urgent care as an active participant in both healthcare delivery and antibiotic stewardship more than ever before. The CDC notes that urgent care has experienced “tremendous growth” and that continuing to incorporate antibiotic stewardship as a core value “will be an important factor in optimizing antibiotic use.” To support those efforts, the CDC put together The Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship in Outpatient Settings last year, while also partnering with largeRead More
Patients who seek care for sunburn in emergency rooms and urgent care centers often have complicating concerns—some of which have little directly to do with the sunburn, according to a new report published in JAMA Dermatology. Psychiatric illness (9.3% of cases), alcohol use (6.4%), and homelessness (6.4%) were among the more common, according to researchers from Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and associated urgent care clinics. More closely linked with sunburn were blistering (37.3%), constitutional symptoms (18.6%), and secondary infections (1%). Regardless of any coexisting symptoms, NSAIDs, acetaminophenRead More
Though the rate of prescriptions for opioids has fallen over the past 7 years, more than one third of all adults in the U.S. were prescribed a narcotic pain medication in 2015. Worse, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), around 5% of the population is misusing opioids—eg, by not following directions or taking them without a prescription at all (having received them from family or friends in 41% of those cases). Around 1.9 million Americans are thought to have an opioid use disorder. Purely recreational use hasRead More
Lots of families are just heading out for summer vacation these days, which means they probably haven’t even considered whether children have all the vaccinations they need before going back to school. That gives you the perfect opportunity to remind them. The next time a child comes in for care, make sure you know their vaccine status—and what’s required based on their age, guidelines, and state law. Helping patients understand your role as a public health advocate will increase the likelihood that they’ll be back to get those shots (orRead More