Watch Your Language; The Words You Choose Can Actually Diminish the Quality of Care You Provide

Watch Your Language; The Words You Choose Can Actually Diminish the Quality of Care You Provide

Shakespeare may have opined that “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” but a new report from JAMA Network Open reveals that the words you choose when speaking with patients matter a great deal—to the extent that they can actually affect healthcare quality and patients’ opinions of you as a provider. Researchers who looked at 600 patient encounters involving 138 physicians discovered six ways that physicians express “positive” feelings (eg, compliments, approval, …

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Many Chronically Ill Patients Are Afraid of Visiting the ED (Again). Could Urgent Care Be a Safe Haven?

Many Chronically Ill Patients Are Afraid of Visiting the ED (Again). Could Urgent Care Be a Safe Haven?

Whether it’s fear of getting infected or just a refusal to wait for hours while patients who are concerned they could have COVID-19 take precedence, too many people with chronic illness are shying away from the emergency room when they are having an acute experience these days. An article published recently in Medscape Medical News detailed the story of several patients who fear that their local hospital just won’t have room for them when they …

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Here We Go Again: Urgent Care Centers Are Changing Operational Procedures As COVID-19 Cases Mount

Here We Go Again: Urgent Care Centers Are Changing Operational Procedures As COVID-19 Cases Mount

As many parts of the country approach caseloads and transmission rates similar to what they faced at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, some urgent care centers are likewise returning to emergency procedures they established to help reduce risk for infection of patients and staff. Cook Children’s Hospital in the Dallas–Fort Worth area, for one, is closing many of its centers earlier than usual, funneling late-night patients to a single location. They’re also keeping patients …

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Hospitals Are Shutting Offsite EDs to Concentrate Staff. Can Urgent Care Pick Up the Slack?

Hospitals Are Shutting Offsite EDs to Concentrate Staff. Can Urgent Care Pick Up the Slack?

Hospital systems in Texas are so overwhelmed with patients presenting with symptoms of COVID-19 that many operators have opted to close offsite emergency rooms in order to more fully staff EDs at their main sites—possibly leaving communities in the lurch when they need walk-in care not related to the virus. According to a report from the Associated Press, Memorial Hermann Health System, St. Luke’s Health, Texas Health Hospital, and Hunt Regional Healthcare all temporarily closed …

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‘Anti-Maskers’ May Be Getting Aggressive with You or Your Staff. Are You Prepared?

‘Anti-Maskers’ May Be Getting Aggressive with You or Your Staff. Are You Prepared?

With the Delta variant continuing to increase the number of COVID-19 diagnoses and hospitalizations across the U.S., many states and cities are returning to the mask mandates that proved so controversial—and rage-inducing—earlier in the pandemic. While the problem hasn’t made headlines here yet, a report released by the British Medical Association reveals that physicians in Northern Ireland have been seeing increasing incidence of aggression from patients who refuse to wear masks during appointments. Regardless of …

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Still Have Staff Refusing to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine? Your Elected Officials May Be Ready to Help

Still Have Staff Refusing to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine? Your Elected Officials May Be Ready to Help

Healthcare workers who have refused to get the COVID-19 have been a concern not only for patients and colleagues, but also in terms of public perception of the advisability of vaccination. To put it bluntly, they’re setting a bad example. Some municipal and state governments apparently agree, as they’ve taken steps to require certain HCWs to get the vaccine unless they qualify for specific exemptions, depending on the state. As noted in Patient Care, the …

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With Teachers Backing Vaccine Mandates, It’s Time to Offer Your Services to Local Schools

With Teachers Backing Vaccine Mandates, It’s Time to Offer Your Services to Local Schools

Outside of the healthcare environment, you’d be hard pressed to find a professional who is more at risk for COVID-19 by virtue of long-term exposure to large numbers of people than teachers (especially those who teach younger children who are ineligible to receive the vaccine at this time). Those educators then share whatever exposure they’ve had with loved ones at home, of course. In spite of this, as in other settings, some teachers are begging …

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Publicizing Your Pandemic Rules Could Facilitate Smoother—and More Plentiful—Visits

Publicizing Your Pandemic Rules Could Facilitate Smoother—and More Plentiful—Visits

As you know, some patients consider it an infringement on their constitutional rights if they’re required to wear a mask in a private business, including an urgent care center. Others are likely to choose a location over another if they know everyone will be masked. Whatever your rules are, it’s in your (and your patients’) best interest to be as transparent as possible in order to avoid conflict and continue drawing patients who will be …

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Patients Who Left You During the Pandemic May Not Return Without an Invitation

Patients Who Left You During the Pandemic May Not Return Without an Invitation

As JUCM News has reported, many urgent care operators started suffering downturns in patient visits in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. It could be hard to get those patients back without a concerted effort on your part, according to an article just published by JAMA Network. The authors sought to determine the effect of targeted messaging on getting patients who had delayed care back into the doctor’s office, comparing sending a letter vs …

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Operators May Not Be to Blame When a Physician Assaults a Patient—but They’re Sure to Pay the Price

Operators May Not Be to Blame When a Physician Assaults a Patient—but They’re Sure to Pay the Price

An urgent care physician in the San Francisco Bay area was arrested recently on suspicion of sexual battery. A patient charged that he made repeated, unwanted sexual advances and even forced himself on her three times. Local media reports raise the specter that there could be other victims yet to come forward. There’s no indication that his employer had any idea about his alleged predatory behavior, and at this point there’s no indication that they’ll …

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