Many segments of our society have been forced to reduce services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After some initial, severe setbacks at the outset, however, urgent care has had the fortitude to consider where there could be opportunities to adapt for the mutual benefit of patients and the industry. Some locations became testing centers. Others broadened their virtual health offerings. Looking at the fast-approaching flu season and the ongoing pandemic, Cox South Hospital in Springfield, MO sees a need for urgent care centers that focus on respiratory services—so is establishing one in a temporary building in the hospital’s parking lot. Cox already has a COVID-19 unit within the hospital; the new space will be dedicated to caring for patients with symptoms of COVID-19, flu, and respiratory illness. It’s being outfitted with 16 recliners, x-ray equipment, rapid lab tests, and a small staff of physicians and nurses. Standards are being vetted to ensure there’s minimal risk of infection among patients and staff. Cox says it may consider more temporary units if the first one is a success and the need arises.
Urgent Care Operators Adapt to the Pandemic by Broadening Their Ability to Care for Patients