Longitudinal Assessment: A Dent in the ABMS Armor?

With the volume of dissent against Maintenance of Certification (MOC) now at a fever pitch, American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) boards are finally making changes to their recertification programs with the intent of reducing the burden on physicians. The issue could not be more acute than in urgent care, where many UCA member physicians have been practicing for years. Working outside of their specialties of training and growing more distant from the best practice …

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Urgent Care and Antibiotics: Advancing Care and Stewardship

Antimicrobial stewardship is defined as a coordinated program that promotes the appropriate use of antimicrobials (including antibiotics), improves patient outcomes, reduces microbial resistance, and decreases the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms. Stewardship initiatives in the hospital are paving the way for the rest of healthcare through education campaigns, monitoring, and restrictions. Outpatient practice is beginning to catch up as the stories of resistance grow and the lines between nosocomial and community-acquired infections blur. …

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Anger Management: Hostile Encounters in Urgent Care

Eliminating disruption, distraction, and dissatisfaction is paramount to delivering efficient and high-quality care these days. More than ever, urgent cares are competing to differentiate themselves by moving patients through the encounter faster and with a more reliably exceptional experience. We’ve adopted slick technologies and  reconfigured work flows to improve care delivery. So, why do our teams still struggle with consistency? Why do we still see high levels of burnout and turnover—and what can we do …

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Slow Medicine: ‘Unprescribing’ America

#TimesUp; #NeverAgain; #Privacy; #OpioidCrisis; #BlackLivesMatter…. The last year has been a dramatic one for turning points in long-festering social issues. For decades, we turned our cultural cheek on problems we knew existed (misogyny and bias) or should have seen coming (opioids, mass killings and privacy). But in 2017 and into 2018 we are witnessing a tidal wave of resistance and public denunciations against the ugly side of American life. A collective enough is enough echoes …

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Chasing Flu: Predictably Unpredictable

Chasing Flu: Predictably Unpredictable

I have managed urgent cares for nearly 20 years and can officially say that predicting flu is for fools! Perhaps I should have known—after all, the CDC, WHO, ACIP and even Google all get it wrong, with spectacular consistency. Despite all the research, public and private money, and sophisticated analytics, we just can’t seem to find a way to predict the behavior of a fairly banal collection of viral RNA wrapped in a host membrane …

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The Change Gang: Adopting a Disruptive Culture

We’ve all heard it: Why do we have to change? This is the way we’ve always done things! Change is difficult, even for those of us who embrace it. But it is especially difficult for non-owner employees. After all, why welcome the discomfort and uncertainty of change if there is no upside to your personal bottom line? This is perhaps one of the biggest challenges we face as the urgent care industry matures and competition …

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Hiring Right Requires the Right Approach

Employing an organizational psychologist or paying for expensive employee screening services is simply not in the cards for most urgent care centers. Yet, hiring “right” is perhaps the most important thing we do and the implications on our practices are considerable. Here are just a few of the areas most impacted by our talent acquisition success (or failure): Risk, quality, and liability Patient satisfaction Operations and work flow Culture Now let’s look a little more …

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Expectations Disease

There are a few things from residency training that resonated so profoundly for me that they permeate everything I have done since. I will never forget my first delivery, not because I thought I would ever deliver babies in my practice, but because of the emotional and enduring collision of medicine and nature it represented for me. And who can forget the 36-hour shifts (now extinct) that I am quick to recount for young clinicians …

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From Don’t Be Evil to Do the Right Thing: The Code of Conduct Evolution

In the year 2000, Google famously adopted the corporate code of conduct motto, Don’t Be Evil to represent its approach to both business and workplace behavior. At the time, the approach seemed sensible, but today it feels strikingly out of touch. It’s a low bar that misses the mark on one of the most pressing issues of our time: respect and freedom from harassment, at work, at home, and at play. Don’t be evil is …

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Opioid Crisis: What Next, and What’s Lurking?

It pains me to write this column. The opioid epidemic is arguably the most catastrophic and enduring public health crisis since the flu epidemic of 1918—yes, even worse than the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the ‘80s. Since 2000, over 200,000 people have died from overdoses of prescription opioids alone, another 300,000 from heroin and synthetic opioids. Now synthetic fentanyl has infiltrated the market with the most toxic opioid ever known. The overdose death curve is steepening. …

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