Urgent Care Center Lessons

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Lessons To Be Learned From Urgent Care Centers September 5, 2002 Submitted as a partial fulfillment of the requirements for election to Fellow status in the American College of Medical Practice Executives Introduction “The successful practice,” “the efficient practice,” “tips for improving performance” – all phrases describing the “best” ways to practice. Medical groups are currently offered a large body of seminars, surveys, books, and magazine articles broadcasting well-documented techniques and benchmarks leading to success. Currently-listed titles on the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) website include topics…show more content…
This paper will address four practices including physician productivity, space utilization, hiring and staffing, and patient relations. Physician productivity The success of an urgent care center is, from the day it opens, dependent upon the physician providing the services. One developer of urgent care cites two practices regarding physician productivity as being critical to the business. Dona Sandefur, Vice President of Development for Centra Care Medical Centers, Inc., in Orlando from 1988-90 and now Vice President of Management Services, HCA Physician Services, says, “First of all, there has to be some recognition that ‘this is a physician business.’ Another way of saying physician productivity is ‘seeing patients.’ That’s what doctors do – they see patients. And anything we do should help the physician to see patients.” Sandefur points to common diversions: “In larger organizations, especially those that are hospital-owned, it’s easy to think that the process supports accreditation, or compliance, or HIPAA.[xiv] Now it’s not that we shouldn’t want those things to occur, but our primary emphasis should be toward physician productivity – seeing…show more content…
As medical groups, in general, have become more responsive to patient needs, and as patients have become more courageous and more vocal in making their needs known, urgent care practices have become more like family practices, and family practices have adopted some of the traditional operational characteristics of the urgent care centers: lengthening hours of operation, opening the doors on the weekends, and offering walk-in appointments. Urgent care medicine, and the centers that offer urgent care services, have not evolved to a state of perfection; they are not the best practice of medicine. They simply exhibit, as a group, some of the best

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