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One urgent care center’s competition is another center’s opportunity. In this case, Lexington, SC-based Doctor’s Care is finding that telemedicine is increasing patient satisfaction and reducing wait times, not keeping potential customers away from its clinics. The key is that the company facilitates the virtual visits on both ends: If one center is unusually busy and another has no wait time, the patient who is already on site at location A has the option of “seeing” a provider in location B immediately, without even leaving location A. The company says the investment over its already-in-place technology has been minimal, and includes an all-in-one camera that supports otoscope and dermatology examinations of the eye, ear, nose, throat or skin. Bluetooth-enabled stethoscopes are also used on both ends of the link-up. If it’s determined that x-rays are needed, the patient can always get them in the presenting location. Doctor’s Care has found certain complaints more appropriate for evaluation via telemedicine than others—sinusitis, upper respiratory symptoms, and fever, to name a few. While the concept is still relatively new, it has not affected patient volume at participating centers.

Urgent Care Center Finds Happy Patients, Not Competition in Telemedicine