Pertussis Visits Are on the Rise—Be Ready to Test, Treat, and Vaccinate

Pertussis Visits Are on the Rise—Be Ready to Test, Treat, and Vaccinate

Multiple counties in Alabama are reporting a jump in urgent care visits related to pertussis—enough that the Alabama Department of Health is warning parents of the signs (the most recognized being the tell-tale “whooping” cough). The numbers are expected to rise, too, given that Alabama’s public schools are already back in session and children are more likely to be sharing germs in the classroom. Ensure you have adequate testing supplies, especially if you have operations …

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FDA: Check for These Lots of EpiPens Before Tossing ‘Expired’ Product

FDA: Check for These Lots of EpiPens Before Tossing ‘Expired’ Product

Panicked parents may be likely to dash into an urgent care center in the hope that you’ll have EpiPens on hand. Many families tempt fate by not traveling with their own, while some say they can’t afford them to begin with, given that their expected shelf life is just 20 months. Cost is always a concern for healthcare operators trying to keep overhead down, as well, so it’s essential that you know the Food and …

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Hurricane Season is About to Peak: Do You Have a Plan in Place?

Hurricane Season is About to Peak: Do You Have a Plan in Place?

Storm watchers have had their eyes fixed on Hawaii for the past week or so, waiting to see what havoc Hurricane Lane might create. Besides the fact that the feared widespread destruction didn’t materialize, the real weather story is likely to unfold on the East Coast of the mainland over the next few weeks. The Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June through November, typically peaks in September. HealthIntelligence just posted an article examining the …

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Listen to the CDC: Push Flu Shots Early This Year

Listen to the CDC: Push Flu Shots Early This Year

After last year’s tough flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is already urging the public to get their flu shots early, recommending vaccination no later than the end of October. That means it’s not too early to start letting your patients know your urgent care center is the perfect place to get one. As always, the need is especially great for children, anyone with a compromised immune system, the elderly, and pregnant …

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A Full Tank of Gas, a Big Bowl of Chili—and a Quick Throat Culture While You’re at It

A Full Tank of Gas, a Big Bowl of Chili—and a Quick Throat Culture While You’re at It

Truckers are used to a lot of the hardships that come along with driving nearly nonstop every week. Having to choose between doing their jobs and taking care of their health should not be among them. So, VelocityCare/Carilion Clinic is building an urgent care center smack dab in the middle of a truck stop in Raphine, VA, complete with an on-site pharmacy. Seeing as Raphine is located in the scenic—but rural—Shenandoah Valley, the seemingly unusual …

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Be Alert for Chagas Infections—300,000 Americans Already Have It

Be Alert for Chagas Infections—300,000 Americans Already Have It

Some of the symptoms are relatively generic—fever, headache, fatigue—but that’s actually one of the risks for patients infected with Chagas disease, which can cause stroke and heart failure if it’s not caught and treated in time. If you have patients with those common complaints, look further to see if they have a rash or swelling without an explanation; if so, consider sending out a blood smear for analysis or referring them for testing immediately. Chagas …

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Nobody Wins When Social Media Battles Get Out of Hand

Nobody Wins When Social Media Battles Get Out of Hand

There’s no question that positive reviews on social media can help drive new patients to your urgent care center. The counterpoint to that is that negative reviews have the potential to keep even formerly satisfied customers from returning. Things have escalated beyond simple comments online in the case of a Michigan healthcare facility and a family that was unhappy with the care they received. That family first aired its grievances over the care one family …

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Free JUCM Webinars Offer Tips to Optimize Utility—and Profitability—of Imaging Services

Free JUCM Webinars Offer Tips to Optimize Utility—and Profitability—of Imaging Services

If there’s one word that’s representative of the ethos of the urgent care industry, it would be innovation. The very idea that a patient could wake up with a symptom that needs immediate attention but doesn’t constitute a true emergency, and receive care from a physician the same day without an appointment revolutionized the entire field of healthcare. That was just the baseline, of course, as true innovators continue to refine the urgent care approach …

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Facility Fees Are Becoming More Common—But May Also Disappear

Facility Fees Are Becoming More Common—But May Also Disappear

For every independent urgent care operator who claims facility fees give them a competitive edge over their health system counterparts, there’s a hospital-based numbers cruncher licking his lips over the revenue those fees provide. Either way, with more and more hospitals bringing single-location or small-group operations into the fold, patients may start to wonder why the same care provided by the same providers in the same location no longer costs the same. If you’re a …

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Requiring Flu Vaccination Drives Provider Compliance

Requiring Flu Vaccination Drives Provider Compliance

It won’t be long before providers will be pitching much-needed flu vaccinations to the patients coming through your front door. Their advice might ring truer if they themselves have had a flu shot, of course. Whether due to a false sense of invincibility or stubbornness, some clinicians defy all logic—and pleading by their employers—and just don’t get vaccinated. In the 2015–16 flu season, in fact, only 79% of healthcare workers got flu shots, according to …

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