The University of Colorado Cancer Center in Aurora, CO has quantified just how much urgent care can contribute to the overall health of patients with cancer—and it’s considerable. The Clinical Assessment and Rapid Evaluation (CARE) Clinic within the cancer center helped keep 21% of cancer patients out of the emergency room, generating over $176,000 in revenue over a period of 7 months. There’s no telling how many potentially serious complications were prevented by saving immunocompromised cancer patients from the risk of sitting in the ED waiting room for hours. The program started as a pilot program after administrators began looking at the reasons patients from their infusion center wound up in the ED; acute and limited pain management, nausea/vomiting, electrolyte replacement, and diarrhea—all complaints that could be handled in an urgent care setting, potentially—were among the most common. Hospital-based urgent care centers could run similar pilots to weigh the feasibility of setting up their own facilities for cancer patients. Alternately, centers that are not owned by healthcare systems could become the go-to referral for oncologists in the area. Either way, to learn more about how you can help provide care for cancer patients in your urgent care center, read An Urgent Care Approach to Malignancy Complications in the JUCM archive.
Data Confirm that Urgent Care Can Keep Cancer Patients Out of the ED