• Five ways to partner with urgent care centers

    As the number of urgent care centers has exploded in recent years, many primary care physicians have viewed them as competitors and expressed concerns about their quality of care. But as more patients turn to urgent care, physicians will need to find ways to make their relationship with urgent care more productive.

    Here are five things you can do:

    1.    Educate patients about what to do when you are not available. Make sure patients are aware of important aspects of their medical history, which they can share with the urgent care center staff. This can include using a smartphone to store medication and allergy lists or giving them access to their health information through a web-based patient portal.

    2.    Partner together to improve access. Patients don’t always require care during business hours, and you may feel thankful that the urgent care center was there to meet your patients’ immediate needs when your office wasn’t open.

    3.    Find a way to communicate. If possible, work out a method to share patient information securely between your practice and the urgent care center so you are not left in the dark. Also, if you have a question or concern about the quality of care your patient received at an urgent care center, don’t hesitate to contact the urgent care provider, office manager, or medical director.

    4.    Stop in and say hello. Visit the urgent care center so they know you more personally. You can even let the staff know that they can refer patients to you if they do not have a primary care physician.

    5.    Remember what it’s really about. Taking an adversarial stance with urgent care centers doesn’t necessarily serve our patients, whose care is what matters.

    Adapted from “How to Make Friends With Urgent Care."

    Posted on Oct 17, 2018 by FPM Editors

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