Because COVID-19 is a novel virus that was at first dismissed as a problem unlikely to affect the U.S., only to spread very quickly once it reached our borders, the healthcare system was largely caught off unprepared to prevent the virus or treat those afflicted. Urgent care was certainly no different. It hasn’t taken long for our industry to start catching up, though. In concert with the American College of Emergency Physicians, the College of Urgent Care Medicine just released a revised Risk Stratification Guide for Severity Assessment and Triage of Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 Patients (Adults) in Urgent Care. Intended to be used as “an adjunct to the clinical evaluation that is performed by the clinician at the urgent care site,” the guide is designed to decrease unnecessary patient volume in the emergency room. Further, it breaks down presenting symptoms into categories (eg, for Category I, which includes symptomatic patients with a resting O2 sat >94% on room air with no desaturation with ambulation, and no tachypnea with a respiratory rate <20, the guide recommends that discharge be considered, with explicit home monitoring instructions given by the provider. The entire guide is available here.
New (and Must-Read) from CUCM: A COVID-19 Risk Stratification Guide for Urgent Care