Should PrEP Be Part of the Discussion When Patients Present with Suspected STIs? One Urgent Care Operator Thinks So

Should PrEP Be Part of the Discussion When Patients Present with Suspected STIs? One Urgent Care Operator Thinks So

Patients who are concerned they may have contracted a sexually transmitted infection may favor urgent care over their “regular” doctor due to both the convenience and relative anonymity of this setting. Recognizing that such patients are likely to have engaged in unsafe sex practices, should any related counseling routinely include discussion of pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV (PrEP)? Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care apparently thinks so, as the company is pledging to include discussion of PrEP when …

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Be Aware: Hoping to Head Off a Twindemic, FDA Has Approved a ‘New’ Drug to Prevent Flu

Be Aware: Hoping to Head Off a Twindemic, FDA Has Approved a ‘New’ Drug to Prevent Flu

Baloxavir marboxil (Xofluza) was approved to help patients in the early stages of influenza infection. However, as the reinvigorated COVID-19 pandemic now coincides with flu season, the Food and Drug Administration has approved it as a preventive measure for patients who have simply been exposed to influenza. As with the original indication, it is approved for patients 12 years of age and older. In a statement accompanying the FDA announcement, Debra Birnkrant, MD, director of …

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Most Asthma Patients Don’t Receive Guideline-Directed Therapy in the ED; Can You Do Better?

Most Asthma Patients Don’t Receive Guideline-Directed Therapy in the ED; Can You Do Better?

Less than 6% of patients who present to the emergency room with an exacerbation of asthma receive guideline-directed medical therapy, according to research presented at the Virtual 2020 Annual Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. The data reflect patients between the ages of 22 and 75 who were admitted to the ED of an urban tertiary cancer center between May 1, 2013 and May 1, 2015. The research team used the …

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Urgent Care Provider Awareness of the Canadian Computed Tomography Head Rule: A Descriptive Cross-Sectional Survey Study

Urgent Care Provider Awareness of the Canadian Computed Tomography Head Rule: A Descriptive Cross-Sectional Survey Study

Urgent message: As visits to urgent care after possible traumatic brain injury continue to rise, so does the importance of understanding which patients require a CT scan. Assessing the value of the Canadian Computed Tomography Head Rule in making that determination can raise the urgent care provider’s ability to make informed decisions in this regard, reducing the risk of unnecessary radiation exposure in patients who are determined to not need a CT. Jessicah Ray, DHSc, …

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Necessity (or Not) for Patient Transfer from Urgent Care to the ED Following Traumatic Brain Injury

Necessity (or Not) for Patient Transfer from Urgent Care to the ED Following Traumatic Brain Injury

Urgent message: With patients who have sustained head injuries related to both sports- and non–sports-related activities presenting to urgent care more than ever before, it’s essential for the provider to have a nuanced understanding of which patients truly require transfer or referral to a high-acuity level of care, and which can be managed successfully and safely in the urgent care setting. Anthony P. Doran, PsyD; Robert G. Graw, Jr., MD; Marc Weber, MD; Stanford Coleman, …

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If Patients Are Using Ride-Sharing Apps to Visit the ED, Shouldn’t They Be Heading Your Way?

If Patients Are Using Ride-Sharing Apps to Visit the ED, Shouldn’t They Be Heading Your Way?

People who live in big cities or, for one reason or another, don’t drive still have to go to the doctor now and then. They could call a taxi but in some urban areas it can be a challenge to get one when you need it. And in rural areas, there might not be taxi service at all. That’s why some hospital systems and assisted-living facilities are partnering with Lyft and Uber, going as far …

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Patients Can Take COVID-19 Tests at Home—but Should They?

Patients Can Take COVID-19 Tests at Home—but Should They?

As you may know by now, the Food and Drug Administration recently granted emergency use authorization for the first at-home COVID-19 test. The benefits are obvious: patients don’t have to interact in close proximity to other possibly infected individuals or the healthcare professionals testing people all day long. Further, the home test kits promise results within 30 minutes. The less obvious benefit on the provider side is that fewer people are coming in and possibly …

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Be Aware: The Current Wave of COVID-19 May Even Be More Transmittable

Be Aware: The Current Wave of COVID-19 May Even Be More Transmittable

While some experts find it difficult to identify an endpoint or starting point to distinguish one wave of COVID-19 from another, there is now evidence that the current upsurge in cases may be partially due to diverse genotypes. A study published in mBio reports that the most recent cases have been caused by strains with the Gly614 variant of spike protein, which exhibits significantly higher viral loads in the nasopharynx than did the Asp614 variant …

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Keep Your Eye on the Local Marketplace; When Practices Close, Patients Need New Options

Keep Your Eye on the Local Marketplace; When Practices Close, Patients Need New Options

The recent closure of an urgent care center in Hartselle, AL, as reported by local television station WAFF, has left regular patients scrambling to find new options for same-day care. Some patients who came to rely on the practice as a de facto primary care office are in especially dire straits, needing a quick refill of subscriptions for hypertension and other chronic conditions. While the reason for this particular urgent care center’s sudden closing is …

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Be Alert for Signs of Delirium—They Could Mean You Also Need to Be Vigilant for COVID-19

Be Alert for Signs of Delirium—They Could Mean You Also Need to Be Vigilant for COVID-19

Patients are not likely to present to urgent care a primary complaint of delirium. That doesn’t mean patient exhibiting signs (such as hallucinations, but also more subtle things like restlessness, agitation, or lethargy) won’t come in for other reasons, however. There’s a very important reason to have delirium on your radar right now, though, as a new, retrospective study published in JAMA Open Network reveals that delirium is a common finding in patients who were …

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