Conjunctivitis: When the Eyes Have It, How Many Patients Turn to Urgent Care?

“Care must be taken to differentiate bacterial infections from viral diseases and allergic conditions.”1 Things don’t get much plainer than that statement, quoted from an article published in Review Of Ophthalmology back in 2006. And yet, care is not always taken to differentiate bacterial infections of the eye from viral diseases and allergic conditions. That was made abundantly clear in this month’s cover article, Evaluation of Infectious Conjunctivitis by Clinical Evaluation and Novel Diagnostics (page XX), which revealed that 58% of patients with pink eye filled a prescription for antibiotics—even …
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Physician Assignment Searches: Urgent Care is on the Rise, Hospitals on the Decline

This is an interesting time to be in the healthcare field. We keep hearing (and are starting to see the effects of) a serious shortage in available physicians across multiple settings, but most direly in primary care. To compensate, many practices are relying more on the skills and high-level training of nurse practitioners and physician assistants, now known collectively as advanced practice providers (APPs). At the same time, consumers continue to demonstrate a growing preference for walk-in care facilities where they don’t necessarily have an ongoing relationship with a clinician …
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Urgent Care Is an Appropriate Setting for Any Age—But What Ages Are Showing Up the Most?

This issue of JUCM, without any plan to do so, demonstrates the age range of patients who realize the value of high-quality, relatively low-cost, convenient care on a walk-in basis. In the preceding pages, there’s an in-depth report on how to ensure you’re prepared to provide the appropriate care for a child who’s been vomiting for previously unexplained reasons. Abstracts in Urgent Care features analysis of articles on topics of greater concern in midlife (the need—or non-need—for a stress test) and older patients (patients who may have had a seizure …
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Telemedicine in Urgent Care—Yay, Nay, or Too Soon to Say?

If you read this month’s Urgent Perspectives column (page 1), you were treated to a dynamic conversation between two urgent care leaders about the relative merits—and potential drawbacks—of utilizing telemedicine in the urgent care setting. The disparate opinions presented there are reflected in the larger urgent care marketplace, as well. The Urgent Care Association’s 2018 Benchmarking Report notes an interesting dichotomy: Only 1.58% of the sampling reflected in the report say they provide telemedicine—a drop from 9% in the previous report. However, 87% of respondents said they intend to offer …
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New Data Show Urgent Care Outpacing Retail and ED Traffic

Urgent care started as something akin to the California Gold Rush; if a physician had the resources, the inclination, and the chutzpah to do so, they could stake a claim in the great wilderness of this new way of practicing medicine. The more reticent (some would have said prudent at the time) stayed in their lanes to continue practicing traditional family medicine, or pediatrics, or take shifts in the emergency room. Competition was scarce. That didn’t last long, of course—to the extent that urgent care operators are not just competing …
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