Brief survey: Influenza A (H3N2)
This year’s flu season is reaching epidemic levels, affecting 43 states and killing 21 children so far, according to the CDC. Almost all cases of flu this season have been Influenza A (H3N2), a strain that is generally worse than others and not well matched for the flu vaccine. Patient visits for flu-like symptoms are now almost even with the peak of 2012-2013 season, the last time H3N2 viruses predominated. UCAOA is interested in obtaining insight on how your urgent care center and patients are being affected by H3N2; please let us know by taking this survey now.
Check IV fluids stock in your center
UCAOA received notice recently about a New York investigation into reports of patients at two urgent care centers who were administered simulation intravenous fluids. The urgent care centers reported ordering normal saline through their regular distributor. The notice states for providers to carefully examine the labeling of IV fluids to ensure that they are intended for human use and are not intended for simulation and educational uses. This is the responsibility of each provider. Click here to read the posting from the New York Department of Health (NYDOH), and for further information, please contact the NYDOH or your local health department.
Urgent Care's New Year resolution: Zero errors
Would you fly an airline who boasts “we crash only once or twice a week?” Certainly not…every flight must land and anything less than 100% accuracy is completely unacceptable with airlines. Yet many urgent care operators not only tolerate errors, they build tolerance of error into their processes and systems. Errors in the urgent care center have a direct adverse impact on the center’s bottom line, result in employee disengagement and turnover, and lead to patient dissatisfaction affecting future business. In this month’s expert blog entry, Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc, UCAOA Board Director and Practice Management Content Advisor, encourages urgent care operators to make 2015 the year of “zero errors,” with the results being increased capacity for new business and cost savings through improved efficiency of providers and staff. Please note this article is for logged in members only.
All-new 2015 Spring Pre-Convention Program
Take a deep dive into the clinical and practice management topics affecting urgent care by registering to attend a 2015 Spring Pre-Convention Course held April 26-27 in Chicago. The in-depth Spring Pre-Convention Program offers two 2-day courses and three 1-day courses, so you can effectively maximize your time away from the urgent care center.
This year’s pre-convention program has been revamped, updated and expanded to meet the growing demands of urgent care. Each practice management course offers fresh perspectives and innovative insights backed by real-world scenarios, so you walk away with practical knowledge that can be applied immediately to your daily practice. The 2-day Hands-on Clinical Boot Camp has been expanded to offer two more sessions on advanced suturing and musculoskeletal exams, so you obtain succinct clinical skills tailored for the urgent care patient.
Explore the 2015 Spring Pre-Convention Program now and be sure to register early, as seats are limited. Best of all, early tuition is in effect until Thursday, Jan. 22, so you can save money on your continuing education.
Additional 2015 Spring Convention Resources: Award Nominations; booth reservations; sponsorship & advertising opportunities; hotel reservations
Two-part live webinar series: Why People Do What They Do & Better Communication at Work
Join us on Thursday, Jan. 15 and Thursday, Jan. 22 at 1 p.m. CT for a two-part live webinar series: Why People Do What They Do & Better Communication at Work. David Kirk, sales director at Transworld Systems. Inc., will present both presentations, providing an in-depth analysis on work relationships and what makes people tick and how best to leverage ‘cues’ to better communicate with others.
Special discounted pricing is being offered on the two-part bundled series: members $75 | non-members $115! UCAOA members, log in to the UCAOA website to register here. Guests, please click here to create a non-member individual profile to be able to register for this webinar and track purchases and CME credits.
Encourage patients to get the flu vaccine
UCAOA via CDC
Please encourage your patients to get the flu vaccine if they have not already had one. Getting vaccinated in January and beyond can still protect against influenza. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. Pregnant women, those with chronic health conditions, children, and those 65 years and older are especially at risk of serious complications from the flu. From missed work and school, to doctor’s visits or worse, the flu can take a big toll on families and individuals.
Your patients can also take everyday precautions against the spread of flu germs. These include covering your cough, staying away from sick people and washing your hands. These precautions are particularly important this time of year. Patients can learn more at www.CDC.gov and www.Flu.gov.
Additional Resource: Help UCAOA obtain information on this year’s flu season by participating in our brief survey.
| CERTIFIED URGENT CARE (CUC) PROGRAM
Q4 2014 ushered in 144 more certified centers
During the fourth quarter of 2014, 144 more facilities were awarded the Certified Urgent Care designation (CUC), making the grand total of CUC centers more than 700. Certification helps patients and the public identify urgent care centers and promotes and advances the urgent care industry. Each certified center has met nationally standardized criteria specific to urgent care centers, which clearly describe the level of services provided. Click here to view the latest centers that were awarded the Certified Urgent Care Center designation.
If your facility is a current CUC center, you are already on the path to becoming a UCAOA Accredited organization. All CUC centers are eligible to receive 10 percent discount off the Accreditation application fee. Learn more now.
Promote your real estate listing with UCAOA
If you're a realtor with listings ideal for urgent care centers, get your message in front of thousands of urgent care professionals by placing a classified advertisement with UCAOA. We offer specialized classifieds to promote real estate for potential development or lease as well as for non-medical equipment sales. Your 30-day or 60-day posting will be advertised one time in UCAccess as well as reside under latest news on the UCAOA web site. If you're looking to place a classified advertisement, please contact Jami Kral at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pricing per posting: 30 days: $100 member | $150 non-member / 60 days: $150 member | $200 non-member
Find qualified urgent care professionals through the UCAOA Job Bank
The UCAOA Job Bank is an online employment solution for companies seeking qualified urgent care professionals and a career center for urgent care professionals desiring a new position. Targeting and recruiting top talent is made effective and efficient through the UCAOA Job Bank. Rates for posting a position are based on duration and quantity needed, and UCAOA members receive a 10 percent discount. For more information on the UCAOA Job Bank, or to post or search available positions, visit http://jobs.ucaoa.org/.
Share your urgent care content with UCAOA
Do you have media clips, helpful videos, articles or blog content that can help educate urgent care professionals or clinicians? UCAOA is a great resource for sharing ideas with like-minded urgent care peers, and through our robust communications vehicles, your knowledge and expertise can be disseminated to thousands. If you have educational content to share with urgent care professionals and clinicians, please email Amanda Mannina, marketing director, at email@example.com or call 331-472-3743.
PromptMed Urgent Care opens in Waukegan, Illinois
PromptMed Urgent Care recently opened its doors to the communities of Waukegan and Gurnee, Illinois. The organization took over the site of a previously-occupied Blockbuster Video. “We look forward to providing fast, affordable, quality walk-in medical care and meeting the high demands for our much needed urgent care services in these two communities and the surrounding area,” says Hunter Davis, president and chief executive officer.
CityMD is featured in Bloomberg Businessweek
Urgent care centers are taking advantage of vacancies left by failing retail stores. These properties have been converted to state-of-the-art medical centers all over the nation. CityMD is one the many urgent care organizations who have taken advantage to vacated space to expand their services. These locations offer greater convenience to residents, being set in prime locations.
American CareSource adds 2 urgent care centers
Dallas-based American CareSource Holdings just announced that it acquired two Northern Virginia urgent care centers. The centers were previously owned by Dr. Charles Okorie, who has also agreed to become a new employee of American CareSource. With the two centers in Virginia, American CareSource now owns 10 urgent care centers in Alabama, Florida and Georgia.
Illinois law ends restriction on term 'urgent care'
Effective Jan. 1, Illinois has removed a provision to its law that prohibited use of the term “urgent care” by any facility other than a licensed hospital or freestanding emergency department. With this change, centers which have had to refer to themselves as "immediate care," "convenient care," "walk-in care," and other terms can now appropriately utilize the term "urgent care" in their signage and branding. Dr. John Koehler of Rockford, Illinois, former UCAOA Board Member and founding partner of Physicians Immediate Care, played an instrumental role in lobbying for this change. For more specifics on SB3506, click here.
Urgent care providers: Tips for a severe flu season
By Robin Shannon
Urgent care providers are preparing for the onslaught of patients as the flu season reaches its peak — and recent news indicates that we could be in for the worst flu season in quite some time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned of a severe flu season this year, after findings suggested that the flu vaccine was less effective than in previous years. Currently, influenza A H3N2 is the most common virus strain seen by providers, and this year's vaccine did not inoculate against this particular strain.
15 legislative changes taking effect in 2015
Becker's Hospital Review
The New Year has ushered legislative changes to the healthcare system. There are 15 state laws that can affect healthcare practitioners. Some of these laws affect how transparent a healthcare practitioner must be about pricing. Others give more freedom for mid-level providers. Find out what legal proceedings are moving forward in your state.
Portsmouth urgent care center treats kids' mental health
A new model in urgent care for mental health premiered in the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, serving children ages 5 to 17 from the Eastern Shore to Williamsburg. Lisa Hogge, clinical services administrator for the Community Services Board, remarked how this different approach to patient care will keep children out of hospitals while providing immediate access to a licensed clinical assessment by licensed child psychiatrist.
Additional Resource: Psychiatric treatment as an urgent care model, The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine.
Flu now widespread in 43 states; 6 new deaths reported
Becker's Infection Control & Clinical Quality
Influenza is now considered widespread in 43 states. According to the Center for Disease Control, there are 6 flu-associated pediatric deaths as of Dec. 27 and 21 total pediatric deaths so far this flu season. The only states where the flu is not wide spread are Alaska, Arizona, California, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, and Hawaii.
Healthcare spending growth continues to lag overall economy
Healthcare spending rose 4.6 percent on an annualized basis in the third quarter. The quarterly increase likely reflects consumers have begun spending on healthcare series they postponed during and after the Great Recession. However, overall U.S. healthcare spending in the third quarter was put at $1.84 trillion compared to an inflation-adjusted $1.82 trillion in the second quarter.
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