Most Urgent Care Centers Give Immunization a Shot—of One Type or Another

If you haven’t noticed, it’s flu season. In fact, it’s been flu season longer than usual for this point compared with past years, thanks to an unexpectedly early arrival. With months to go, though, there’s still time for patients who have not been immunized to reap the benefits of getting a flu shot. This is not to say that influenza is the only immunization patients need. With reports of measles also beginning to climb as …

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Flu Season is Nearly Synonymous with Rapid Test Season—Are You Ready?

Flu Season is Nearly Synonymous with Rapid Test Season—Are You Ready? Patients come to urgent care because they know they can get excellent care without an appointment, and without languishing in the waiting area of the ED. So, it stands to reason that if they need lab tests they want to get them on site, at your facility, with the same degree of efficiency that drew them in to begin with. This is never truer …

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Conjunctivitis: When the Eyes Have It, How Many Patients Turn to Urgent Care?

“Care must be taken to differentiate bacterial infections from viral diseases and allergic conditions.”1 Things don’t get much plainer than that statement, quoted from an article published in Review Of Ophthalmology back in 2006. And yet, care is not always taken to differentiate bacterial infections of the eye from viral diseases and allergic conditions. That was made abundantly clear in this month’s cover article, Evaluation of Infectious Conjunctivitis by Clinical Evaluation and Novel Diagnostics (page …

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Physician Assignment Searches: Urgent Care is on the Rise, Hospitals on the Decline

This is an interesting time to be in the healthcare field. We keep hearing (and are starting to see the effects of) a serious shortage in available physicians across multiple settings, but most direly in primary care. To compensate, many practices are relying more on the skills and high-level training of nurse practitioners and physician assistants, now known collectively as advanced practice providers (APPs). At the same time, consumers continue to demonstrate a growing preference …

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Urgent Care Is an Appropriate Setting for Any Age—But What Ages Are Showing Up the Most?

This issue of JUCM, without any plan to do so, demonstrates the age range of patients who realize the value of high-quality, relatively low-cost, convenient care on a walk-in basis. In the preceding pages, there’s an in-depth report on how to ensure you’re prepared to provide the appropriate care for a child who’s been vomiting for previously unexplained reasons. Abstracts in Urgent Care features analysis of articles on topics of greater concern in midlife (the …

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Telemedicine in Urgent Care—Yay, Nay, or Too Soon to Say?

If you read this month’s Urgent Perspectives column (page 1), you were treated to a dynamic conversation between two urgent care leaders about the relative merits—and potential drawbacks—of utilizing telemedicine in the urgent care setting. The disparate opinions presented there are reflected in the larger urgent care marketplace, as well. The Urgent Care Association’s 2018 Benchmarking Report notes an interesting dichotomy: Only 1.58% of the sampling reflected in the report say they provide telemedicine—a drop …

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New Data Show Urgent Care Outpacing Retail and ED Traffic

Urgent care started as something akin to the California Gold Rush; if a physician had the resources, the inclination, and the chutzpah to do so, they could stake a claim in the great wilderness of this new way of practicing medicine. The more reticent (some would have said prudent at the time) stayed in their lanes to continue practicing traditional family medicine, or pediatrics, or take shifts in the emergency room. Competition was scarce. That …

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Does Your Website Show Patients How Much Financial Flexibility You Offer?

This month’s Practice Management feature article, Perfecting the Consumer Financial Experience in Your Urgent Care Center, reveals that with increasing flexibility in accessing healthcare, patients also want more flexibility when it comes to paying their bill. Their insurance status comes into play, as do methods of payment. It’s been suggested that such details may even play a part in choosing where they go when they need to see a provider. As such, it could be …

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Proof: Availability of Urgent Care Lowers ED Traffic—and Could Save Up to $1 Billion

It has always seemed self-evident that urgent care centers, offering a lower-cost and usually faster experience that is also on par clinically for nonemergent complaints, should help draw patients away from overcrowded emergency rooms. Just as obviously, that would mean more efficient use of the ED for patients who truly need to be there, and less of a financial burden on the healthcare system. One problem has been a lack of conclusive data to back …

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Can Urgent Care and Advanced Practice Providers Fill the Void as PCP Numbers Dwindle?

The much-discussed shortage in primary care physicians isn’t going to get any better over the coming decades. In fact, it’s probably going to get a lot worse—and urgent care is likely to play a significant role in mitigating the risk for the U.S. population, according to a new report from UnitedHealthGroup.1 The problem isn’t that fewer physicians are committing to primary care as a career choice; their ranks are actually expected to grow by 6% …

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