Practice Category

Registered radiology technologists working in pediatric urgent care centers produced better-quality images than attending physicians in a newly published study at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. The report was published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. The aim of the study was to assess radiograph quality at urgent care centers staffed with and without technologists, as well as the utilization of radiography in a pediatric urgent care setting. The researchers looked at 235 radiographic exams performed without a radiology technologist (study group) and 83 with a technologistRead More
Patient advocates have been pushing back on legislative and clinical efforts to put the brakes on widespread prescribing of opioid pain medications, on the grounds that the medications are a necessity for some patients in extreme pain. The problem—so far—is that there don’t seem to be any viable alternatives that work as well. A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that could be changing, though. Chang, et al compared the effectiveness of ibuprofen 400 mg plus acetaminophen 1,000 mg vs four opioid-containing treatments (oxycodoneRead More
The 2018 Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults Aged 19 or Older from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) includes a couple of key changes especially relevant to urgent care providers who offer immunization services. As of now, among other updates, ACP recommends: Recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV; Shingrix) to prevent shingles in adults as follows: Two doses of RZV 2 to 6 months apart to adults age ≥50 years and older with competent immune systems regardless of a history of herpesRead More
The 2017–2018 influenza season doesn’t just seem long, thanks to the high volume of cases—and deaths—this year; it’s actually going to last longer than usual, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, the CDC says flu season hasn’t even peaked yet; flu activity continues to be widespread in every state except Hawaii and has remained unchanged for 3 weeks—and indicator that the natural wane is still ahead of us. Nearly 12,000 patients have been hospitalized since October 1, and the death toll among children has risenRead More

Posted On January 24, 2018By Stuart WilliamsIn Practice

Epic Comes Under Fire for Possible Anticompetitive Practices

It’s common for competitors to question each other’s practices as they fight for every percentage point of market share—less so for potential customers to accuse companies of being “one of the biggest impediments to innovation in healthcare.” That’s what happened recently in the EMR marketplace, though, as Fairview Health Services CEO James Hereford leveled that very charge at Epic, the EMR provider, according to an article in the St. Paul Business Journal. Epic has been accused of being overly protective of data that could be helpful to the broader healthcareRead More

Posted On January 22, 2018By Stuart WilliamsIn Practice

New Approaches to Opioid Abuse Zero in on Physicians

As researchers and legislators in some states consider restrictions on physicians to write prescriptions for opioid pain medications, new research indicates there could be a way to continue prescribing safely—albeit a way that is likely to raise some eyebrows. First, in Indiana, the state hospital association, medical association, and health department have pooled their resources to create guidelines for physicians in the state. In a nutshell, they’re advising physicians to cut back on prescribing opioids for patients with acute pain by employing a stepwise approach to pain management that includesRead More
Influenza tends to get all the headlines at this time of year, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only seasonal complaint patients are likely to present with at urgent care centers. Frigid temperatures and icy roadways and sidewalks are sending many patients to healthcare providers in multiple settings. Local newspapers in the Davenport, IA area recently noted that nearly 300 people were treated for falls and other weather-related hazards over the space of a couple of weeks—more than 150 at Genesis Medical Center in Davenport, alone. Diagnoses included concussions andRead More

Posted On January 10, 2018By Stuart WilliamsIn Practice

Urgent Care to Write Home (or the Local Paper) About

When a patient leaves your urgent care center after receiving excellent care and service, usually the most you hope for is that they’ll tell a friend. When they decide they want to tell the whole community, you know you’re doing something right. Such was the case for a patient after visiting Virtua Urgent Care in Voorhees Township, NJ the morning of New Year’s Eve. As he recounts in a letter to the Courier-Post, he woke up that morning with a severe cough and rales. Having a history of pneumonia, heRead More

Posted On December 29, 2017By Stuart WilliamsIn Practice

New Data Track Pediatric Use of Urgent Care

A new report published in the Journal of Pediatrics reveals traits common to pediatric Medicaid patients who visit urgent care centers. Roughly 8% of the 2.7 million children under age 19 in the 2013 Marketscan Medicaid database had at least one urgent care visit. More common attributes among those included age 1-2 years and presence of a complex chronic condition.  “High” urgent care utilization was associated with five or more primary care visits for acute care and three or more emergency department visits, leading the authors to conclude that “evenRead More

Posted On December 29, 2017By Stuart WilliamsIn Practice

The Holiday Rush Isn’t Over for Urgent Care

The retail frenzy may subside once Christmas Day is past, but spikes in holiday traffic continue for immediate care providers. Emergency rooms and urgent care centers see their busiest days of the year during the end-of-year holidays, traditionally. Whether it’s food poisoning or carving injuries that present the day after Thanksgiving, broken bones sustained while hanging Christmas lights, or various injuries associated with over-celebrating the New Year, EDs around the country report their visits increase anywhere from 5% to 12% across the holiday season. The swell of flu cases duringRead More