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A couple in Texas spent more than an hour locked in an urgent care center after the staff left for the day. According to local news reports, Austin Jennings and his partner, Christina Tirado, went to the Mont Belvieu Urgent Care for treatment for Jennings’ flu symptoms. They arrived for a 6PM appointment and were directed to an exam room at 6:30PM where Jennings started a breathing treatment. When he opened the exam room door 20 minutes later, a security alarm sounded. The center had closed at 7PM, and the staff had gone home. The couple called law enforcement, and a staff member arrived at 8:15PM to open the door.

Everyday fixes: Many urgent care centers use closing checklists, patient tracking tools, and communication protocols to ensure every patient is accounted for. Operators might also consider implementing protocols for clinicians to close out open patient charts when each encounter ends. And certainly, communication between clinical staff and front desk staff is imperative regardless of the situation.

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Couple Locked in Urgent Care Center in Texas