Business as usual is no longer an option for healthcare providers, including those who practice urgent care medicine. Whether your practice is seeing an influx of patients concerned that they’ve been infected with COVID-19 or not, it’s likely there are facilities in your area that are struggling under the weight of too many individuals seeking testing or treatment for the virus. A number of urgent care operators have adapted daily practices to meet the ever-changing needs of a frightened population. Augusta Health, for one, has designated its location in Waynesboro, VA as a COVID-19 center “to see, evaluate, treat and educate patients who are currently experiencing the signs and symptoms associated with respiratory disease and COVID-19: fever, shortness of breath and cough.” Patients with more typical urgent care presentations are advised to visit other Augusta Health locations. August Health also operates a COVID-19–dedicated call center. In Louisiana, Ochsner Health has separated three of its locations from the pack in order to divert patients looking to be assessed for COVID-19. Ochsner also makes it clear on its website and in local media reports that patients who want to visit one of the COVID-19 centers should call first in order to explain their symptoms, possibly reducing the odds of someone who really doesn’t need a test being exposed to other patients who really are sick. The company is also relying more heavily on its Ochsner Anywhere Care virtual visit group to reduce foot traffic.

 

Urgent Care Operators Are Taking a Divide-and-Conquer Approach to COVID-19 Demands
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