When someone with cancer experiences unexplained pain, nausea, or any number of symptoms that could be alarming given their condition, their first reaction may be to call their oncologist. The problem is, they’re often not available spontaneously. The next logical option, historically, has been the emergency room. We all know that sitting in a crowded waiting room full of sick people for hours is definitely not what the doctor would have ordered, though. As you’ve read in JUCM, (see An Urgent Care Approach to Malignancy Complications and New Urgent Care Models Help Cancer Patients in our archive) urgent care can often be the perfect solution, especially if the operation makes caring for cancer patients a priority. One clinic in Texas is proving as much. A study published recently in the Journal of Oncology Practice found that the rate of increase in ED visits was cut by more than half when cancer patients had the option of going to a cancer-focused urgent care center. Prior to the clinic opening, ED visits had been increasing by 0.43 visits per 1,000 patient-months. After the clinic opened, they grew at a rate of 0.19 visits per 1,000 patient months. The one caveat was that operators should assess their patients’ needs and ensure they have the resources on site to treat them accordingly, as always.
ED Traffic Slows When Cancer Patients Choose Urgent Care for Immediate Concerns