Uncategorized Category

Urgent message: Given the ubiquity of smartphones and other mobile devices, urgent care operators must have a strategy and policy in place to deal with the privacy implications of personal technologies in the workplace. Mobile devices like tablets and smartphones have become ubiquitous in everyday life, and employers in every industry are increasingly seeing employees access their devices throughout the workday. While concerns over lost productivity should concern all employers, healthcare is unique in the added risks associated with patient privacy and personal health information (PHI). There are numerous waysRead More

Posted On January 1, 2018By Stuart WilliamsIn Uncategorized

A 44-Year-Old Man with Intermittent Dizziness

Case A 44-year-old man presents to your urgent care center complaining of intermittent dizziness. He denies shortness of breath, fever, chest pain, and syncope. Upon exam, you find: General: Alert and oriented Lungs: CTAB Cardiovascular: RRR without murmur, rub, or gallop Abdomen: Soft and NT without r/r/g View the ECG and consider what the diagnosis and next steps would be. Resolution of the case is described on the next page.  Read More

Posted On November 27, 2017By Stuart WilliamsIn Uncategorized

Clinical Challenge 2: April 2016

Case A 42-year-old woman presents with pain in her right shoulder that suddenly began after she caught herself with her raised right arm as she fell. She reports that she had been standing on a step stool and reaching for an object, and then fell forward. She has severe pain in the right shoulder, and it worsens with movement even through a minimal range of motion. She has associated numbness over the lateral portion of her upper arm. She does not have fever, vomiting, chest pain, shortness of breath, abdominalRead More
Independence Day Hours
The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission tells us we can expect a spike in emergency room visits on or around the Independence Day holiday next week. If you’ve done a good job of alerting your community to the fact that many ED-bound patients could be treated just as well (not to mention faster and less expensively) in your urgent care center, that means you can expect to see more traffic, too. Make sure your holiday hours are posted prominently inside and outside your location, as well as on your website,Read More
The number of marijuana-related visits to the emergency room and urgent care center at Children’s Hospital Colorado has more than quadrupled since Colorado legalized recreational use, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus reviewed ED and urgent care records for 13- to 21-year-olds, looking for visits where the patient either had a diagnostic code related to marijuana use or a positive urine screen; that number rose from 146 in 2005 to 639 in 2014. The results seem slightly at odds with national dataRead More

Posted On April 4, 2017By Stuart WilliamsIn Practice, Uncategorized

New Limits on Prescribing Opioids for Acute Pain

Ohio is placing new limits on the prescribing of opioid medications for acute pain, forbidding clinicians from writing more than a 7-day supply for adults, or a 5-day supply for minors (down from up to 90 days, currently). Prescribers will be allowed to override the acute pain limit if they identify a specific reason in their patients’ medical records, though this is not likely to apply in the urgent care setting. Further, the limits do not apply to prescriptions for chronic pain such as experienced by patients with cancer. RepresentativeRead More
Seven health systems—including more than one with a stake in the urgent care marketplace—are among the World’s Most Ethical Companies, according to a new listing from the Ethisphere Institute. Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Baptist Health South Florida, Cleveland Clinic, Covenant Health, Northwell Health, Sharp HealthCare, and University Hospitals were all recognized for their ethics and compliance programs; corporate citizenship and responsibility; creating a culture of ethics; governance; and their leadership, innovation, and reputation. More than just committed to doing business ethically, each of the honorees have responded to aRead More

Posted On March 21, 2017By Stuart WilliamsIn Uncategorized

Is Your Patient Allergic to Ragweed, or Weed?

Spring has officially arrived, and with the snow continuing to melt it won’t be long before seasonal allergens are in full bloom. Urgent care physicians are reminded, however, that symptoms of allergic reactions to pollen and ragweed can be identical to those seen in patients who are allergic to cannabis, ranging from mild sinusitis to acute exacerbations of asthma. Since allergy panels don’t typically test for reaction to marijuana, the only way to get a clear picture of what’s causing the patient’s symptoms is to do a thorough history, evenRead More

Posted On March 8, 2017By Stuart WilliamsIn Uncategorized

Drug-Resistant ‘Superbugs’ Are on the Rise

The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on clinicians and drug makers to help fight a worldwide surge in antibiotic-resistant organisms, some of which could be just as prevalent and as dangerous as Zika and Ebola. The rate of their emergence has picked up in recent years, thanks in part to inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics. As such, the WHO has echoed the pleadings of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for clinicians to follow antibiotic guidelines when prescribing antibiotics (eg, starting with broader-spectrum agents first), and toRead More
New data suggest that efforts to educate patients on when it’s appropriate to go to an urgent care center vs the emergency room need to continue, if not increase. Basically, the survey from CityMD shows too many are not selecting the appropriate setting for immediate care. More than 2,000 Americans 18 and older were asked which setting would be most appropriate for immediate care in eight separate scenarios, from having a child with a 104⁰ temperature accompanied by coughing and shivering, to a deep laceration (among others). Respondents who incorrectlyRead More