FDA warns against high-dose prescription acetaminophen
The Food and Drug Administration is asking doctors to stop prescribing combination medications that contain more than 325 milligrams of acetaminophen per pill, because of long-standing concerns about liver damage. The move, announced Jan. 14, is one of a series of actions the FDA is taking to limit high-dose use of the popular painkiller. The agency says it soon will withdraw approval for any of those medications containing more than 325 mg of acetaminophen.
Additional Resource: Access the FDA's webpage Don’t Double Up on Acetaminophen, which contains information, statistics and downloadable resources for consumers/patients.
National Urgent Care Convention to hold many special events
UCAOA's 10th National Urgent Care Convention, held March 17-20 in Las Vegas, exemplifies quality programming, networking and exhibition opportunities. This year's event is shaping up to further showcase these traits through expanded pre-convention and main convention course offerings; an almost sold out exhibit hall; an insightful and inspiring opening address by James Kane; two exciting hors d'oeuvres and cocktails evening receptions; and a celebratory UCAOA 10th anniversary awards and closing general session by David Glickman. Be sure to learn more about these special events here, and if you have not already done so, register today to be a part of UCAOA's pivotal event, the National Urgent Care Convention.
Webinar: Just What the Doctor Ordered — Marketing Your Website More Effectively
Join us at 1 p.m. (CST) Thursday, Jan. 23, for a live webinar presented by Chris Behan of Socius Marketing. During this one-hour event, Chris will present straightforward guidelines for how to create a stronger Web presence that brings more patients through your clinic's doors. Learn how to maximize your website's potential, decipher what online tactics will and won't work for your facility and comprehend the nuances of why certain websites rank better than others. To learn more and to register, click here.
Visible leaders equal better customer experiences
When consumers are asked "who does customer service particularly well?" there is a slate of companies that frequently gets mentioned such as Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, Marriott and Nordstrom. What differentiates these organizations from their competitors? It's their visible leaders. Managers in these companies spend significant time in customer-facing roles, walking through service areas to show their concern for the quality of each customer's experience and working alongside front-line staff observing and evaluating processes and systems. This visibility of management sends a strong message to employees that management cares about the work they do and reiterates that everyone has a role to play in delivering an outstanding patient experience. For urgent care, an operations manager or medical director who sits in his/her office reviewing performance reports is only getting a "portion" of the "big picture." By contrast, the most effective leaders are those who lead "from the front."
If you have tips or advice to share with others, please send your submission along with any photos to Amanda Mannina at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your idea may be included in an upcoming issue of UCAccess.
Now online in JUCM
A new urgent care Images Challenge case is now available only on the JUCM website. Review the case of a 27-year-old man with a cough and fever. Examine the X-ray, consider what your diagnosis would be, then check the case resolution to see if you were right. To take the Images Challenge, go to http://jucm.com/iucc/?id=163.
The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine supports the evolution of urgent care medicine by creating content that addresses the clinical practice of urgent care medicine and the practice management challenges of keeping pace with an ever-changing healthcare marketplace. Are you an urgent care provider who would like to write for our journal? Send an email to email@example.com for information on our author guidelines.
Providers see sharp rise in flu cases
With three patients in Brevard County, Fla., on life support and one person dead from the flu, more and more people on the Space Coast are seeking treatment for the virus at urgent care centers and other providers. At Premier Urgent Care in Melbourne, office manager Anna Cunningham also reported a noticeable increase in patients testing positive for the virus. "We had two to three last week," she said. "This week (through Wednesday), it has been 17."
Flu on the rise; 27 new cases in Michigan
Another 27 cases of the flu have been confirmed since a week ago, bringing the total number to 169. Of those cases, 157 are H1N1, and that's the low estimate, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health. "Just this morning we had 11 positive cases of the flu," said Dr. Christina Helms of Lansing Urgent Care. Nearly 93 percent of the flu cases out there are H1N1, according to the MDCH.
Flu outbreak prompts vaccine shortage
Pharmacies and doctors in North Texas are struggling to keep up with demand for flu vaccine. Right now, there are 30 suspected or confirmed flu deaths in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. CityDoc Urgent Care Center locations throughout the area have also seen a surge in patients in recent weeks, with flu concerns topping the list
CareSpot and Baptist Health continue expansion with 2 centers in North Florida
CareSpot, the largest urgent care provider in Florida, and Baptist Health — the most comprehensive healthcare provider in the region — continue to strengthen their exclusive affiliation started in 2010 with two new centers. The expansion brings the total number of jointly owned centers in North Florida to 13, and includes a brand new facility in Middleburg and a larger, renovated center on the Westside. Read more about the Westside and Clay County facilities.
Photo: CareSpot Westside facility ribbon cutting
Urgent care center coming to former Jose Grant space in Connecticut
Doctors Express has signed a lease at 3000 Summer St. in Stamford, Conn., the space formerly home to Jose Grant Jewelers. Due to open this spring, the Stamford urgent care center will provide state-of-the-art treatment for acute illness and trauma (including minor surgical procedures) and be a viable alternative for emergency room care. The urgent care center will be a walk-in clinic and is scheduled to employ 15 to 20 people, including board certified physicians, physician assistants, X-ray technicians, medical assistants and lab techs. Read more
Is your urgent care center expanding, opening a new site or moving? Let us know and we will include it in an upcoming edition of UCAccess. Send your information and any accompanying photos to Jami Kral at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Health insurers and retail pharmacies head to mini-clinics
The Motley Fool
According to the Urgent Care Association of America, the number of urgent-care facilities, or mini-clinics, has climbed by about 20 percent to 9,400 in the last four years. These clinics offer walk-in services to adults and children. The Affordable Care Act is designed to bring healthcare coverage to millions of previously uninsured Americans. But to make healthcare affordable, health insurance companies are limiting coverage to certain hospitals and doctors, depending on a particular plan. So, urgent care clinics are an affordable alternative that will meet growing consumer demand.
Oversight sought for walk-in centers
A New York state health committee voted recently in favor of recommendations to standardize the names and services that can be provided by ambulatory care centers. The recommendations now go to the state health commissioner for review. State health commissioner Nirav Shah advocated for improved oversight of ambulatory care centers. Health officials hope to clarify the services provided at different centers and require their operators to report patient data, link in to regional health information organizations and coordinate services among state agencies, Shah said.
3 ways physicians can improve their adaptability skills
By Clint Hubler
Doctors who travel to new practices face a host of complex challenges. They interact with new colleagues and patients and often work with new tools and processes. Adaptability is one of the most important qualities a locum provider can possess. There are three tools that can help a doctor become more adaptable to new surroundings. In any new situation, having the right attitude, focusing on others when communicating and showing an increase of gratitude will help you adapt to any challenging environment.
13 new urgent care centers seek New Hampshire licenses
New Hampshire patients in need of quick access to healthcare are going to have many more options, especially in more rural areas of the state. Thirteen urgent care or outpatient clinics — including one in Belmont and one in Hillsboro — will petition the state this week for approval to open. The new facilities, if approved by the state's Health Services Planning and Review board, would bring the total number of non-emergency walk-in care centers in the state to 42. Last August, there were 23 such facilities licensed in the state.
January postage increases to impact urgent care marketing and billing/collections budget
Effective Jan. 26, postage rates will increase by 6 percent. These increases impact all classes of mail. The below chart provides an overview of the increases. For further information, visit www.usps.gov.
|First Class Stamp
|First Class Postcard
|Standard Automation – 3 digit sort
|Nonprofit Automation – 3 digit sort
For young athletes, injuries need special care
The Wall Street Journal
Children's hospitals are expanding programs to care for a fast-growing category of young patients: injured athletes. More than 3.5 million children a year receive treatment for sports injury, according to Stop Sports Injuries, a campaign whose backers include the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. And high school athletes account for an estimated 2 million sports injuries each year. While concussions account for about 15 percent of youth sports injuries, experts say many sports carry risks for musculoskeletal injuries, in large part due to increased emphasis on year-round competition, single-sport concentration and intense training regimens.
Unreliability of blood pressure measurements with manual readers
By Dr. Afsaneh Motamed-Khorasani
There have been intensive universal efforts to promote appropriate techniques to measure blood pressure. However, the quality and accuracy of blood pressure measurement is under question in clinical settings. Several studies have been conducted on the routine, manual office blood pressure readings, where inconsistent readings were frequently observed. Some of the factors affecting these imprecise readings included: poor measurement techniques, conversation with patients during the readings and patient anxiety.
Healthcare private equity investment — 5 areas to examine in 2014
Becker's Hospital Review
This article briefly outlines some observations on five key sectors for 2014: hospitals and health systems, pain management and anesthesia, ambulatory surgery centers, urgent care and dental practice management. Each of the sectors play a specific and interesting role in healthcare and each are attracting a lot of interest from the healthcare investment community. No. 4 on the list is urgent care.
Patients, physicians disagree on appropriateness of walk-ins
Patients and the physicians who treat them often disagree on the appropriateness of visits to walk-in clinics, according to results of a new questionnaire-based survey published online recently in Family Practice. "The aim of this study was to find out the appropriateness of visits to walk-in clinics, in Québec, Canada, as judged by both patients and doctors. A second goal was to study patients' and doctors' agreement on the appropriateness and whether this agreement depended on setting, doctor's experience, having a regular family physician and the time of visit. A final objective was to further explore patients' motives for their visit," the investigators write.
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| The Urgent Care Association of America is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.