Survey results: Antibiotic prescriptions in urgent care
UCAOA last week asked urgent care centers/clinicians their thoughts on antibiotic prescriptions. Of those that participated, 35 percent on average write between 73-144 antibiotic prescriptions per month with 64 percent writing a script rarely for a suspected viral infection when a patient demands it. Click here to see the full results and to read the participants’ comments.
| Additional Resource: Look back at previous UCAOA mini survey data by accessing Data Insights.
New UCAOA position statements
Three new position statements have been finalized by the UCAOA Health & Public Policy Committee. UCAOA Board Director and Committee Chair Laurel Stoinmenoff, PT, CHC, said “The urgent care industry continues its growth trajectory as consumers embrace its quality, convenience and affordability. This growth has not gone unnoticed by state and local legislators. A 2014 initiative of the Health & Public Policy Committee was to begin developing factual position statements about the industry that would be available to members and the public at large." The Committee will continue to work toward providing advocacy resources to members in 2015, including additional position statements as UCAOA sees emerging regulatory trends. Click here to read the UCAOA position statements on Improving Accessibility of Urgent Care, Urgent Care Centers: The Case Against Certificate of Need, and Health Professional Staffing in Urgent Care Centers.
Measles outbreak reported by a doctor, not a reporter
Jamie Friedman, MD, a tweeting pediatrician from San Diego broke the story about the connection between Disneyland and the measles on Jan. 6 after receiving an alert from the San Diego Department of Health. Dr. Friedman shared the information right away via Twitter resulting in other doctors sharing her original post. More than 15 hours after Dr. Friedman’s tweet, KTLA5 TV tweeted about the story, kicking off what would turn out to be more than 176,000 tweets, 5,200 blog posts and 22,000 news stories over the next 4 weeks. More and more doctors are establishing social media identities and audiences, becoming primary sources for healthcare news.
| Additional Resource: Urgent care centers are on the frontlines of patient care. Are you a physician or urgent care center with a Facebook or Twitter account? Follow UCAOA on Facebook and Twitter and we'll follow you back.
Simulating the potential spread of measles
To help the public better understand how measles can spread, a team of infectious disease computer modelers at the University of Pittsburgh has launched a free, mobile-friendly tool that lets users simulate measles outbreaks in cities across the country. Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics, or FRED, is based on anonymized US census data that captures demographic and geographic distributions of different communities. It also incorporates details about the simulated disease, such as how contagious it is.
US will need up to 90,000 physicians by 2025
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
The nation will face a shortage of between 46,000-90,000 physicians by 2025, according to a report by the AAMC. The study takes into account both demographics and recent changes to delivery and payment methods and projects shortages in both primary and specialty care. “The trends from these data are clear – the physician shortage will grow over the next 10 years under every likely scenario,” said AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD.
Urgent care industry survey now annual process
The urgent care industry is growing rapidly and trying to stay on top of industry trends can be challenging. For this reason, UCAOA has transitioned its Urgent Care Benchmarking Survey from a biennial process to an annual one starting this year. UCAOA also understands that completing an in-depth survey at one time is not feasible for some urgent care centers; therefore, this year's survey has been shortened — 1/3 of the questions were eliminated — and formatted into three phases to ease participation.
An email will be sent this month to urgent care centers across the United States requesting participation in Phase 1 opening April 1 (Phase 2 and Phase 3 open May 1 and June 1, respectively.) Those centers that complete 60% of the survey (phases 1-3) will receive a free PDF report and access to the benchmarking platform (if your center participated in 2014, your data is retained in the platform for year-over-year comparisons.) If you want to ensure you're included in this instrumental benchmarking tool, send your center's contact information to Jami Kral at email@example.com.
Prepare your UCB for the maximum sale price and terms
The Ambulatory M&A Advisor
In this Q&A article, Blayne Rush, president/investment banker with Ambulatory Alliances, and Curtis Bernstein, managing director, valuation services with Altegra Health, speak to the different life cycles of an urgent care business and how Reverse Positioning can help a center. Urgent care market life cycle is also discussed along with pointers on when the best time is to sell
Save $50 on UCMC app fee
Earn your Urgent Care Management Certificate (UCMC) to demonstrate your knowledge and confidently lead an urgent care center to the next level of excellence. Nearly all practice management courses held at the 2015 Spring Convention (April 27-30 in Chicago) and listed on the Online Education portal count toward earning your certificate. Apply for UCMC now and receive $50 off the application fee by using the promo code UCMCSpring15.
Live webinar: Hazard Communication Standards
Join presenter Ann Bachman, BS, MT (ASCP), CLC (AMT), when she leads the live webinar "Hazard Communication Standards," on Thursday, March 19 from 1-2pm Central. Participants will review new safety data sheets and labeling requirements set by OSHA. The enforcement of these new standards goes into effect June 1, 2015. Click here to learn more and to register.
Regular registration ends March 26 for 2015 Spring Convention
If you have not already secured your badge for the 2015 Spring Convention (April 27-30 in Chicago), be sure to do so by March 26 to avoid a $100 tuition increase. The annual Spring Convention is the largest gathering of urgent care professionals, clinicians and representatives, offering progressive and innovative practice management and basic and advanced clinical sessions. This year’s event exemplifies UCAOA's high-quality programming, networking and exhibitions with 68 sessions spanning up to six tracks, 2 influential keynotes, 2 evening receptions, 1 members' breakfast meeting, 1 awards ceremony, 10 special ticketed events, 5 pre-convention courses, 1 sold out exhibit hall, 1 all-new mobile app, and countless other activities. UCAOA still has rooms available via the hotel room block at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, but quantity is limited; be sure to mention the applicable code when making your reservation by phone or online.
Hide ad hoc signage
Signs that are intended to communicate to staff should not be within patient view. If a center has an effective training program, not only are such signs unnecessary in communicating to staff, excessive signs create "white noise" meaning they're largely ignored, centers typically don’t have a program to check the validity of signs and replace them upon expiration (meaning the signs end up dated), they clutter up and damage the walls and create an unprofessional appearance for the center. Important memos for providers and staff should be compiled into a binder for their daily reference.
| Additional Resource: Are you a UCAOA member doing great things or do you have tips to share with other urgent care centers? Let UCAOA know about it by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and send any photos you may have.
Doctors Express expands Chattanooga facility to enhance patient experience
Doctors Express urgent care center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is expanding its facility in order to better serve patients. Expansion plans include a 50 percent larger lobby with more seating for patient comfort, as well as three additional exam rooms. "We experienced a significant growth in the number of patients seen last fall and want to better accommodate this increase in patients," said Dr. Rudolph, lead physician. "Now, our expanded lobby and new patient rooms will be ready to meet this demand with professionalism and comfort."
Urgent care vs ER: Know the difference
Mankato Free Press
UCAOA Certified Urgent Care (CUC) Center Mayo Clinic Health System Mankato (Minnesota) is highlighted in this industry article about the growth of urgent care across the country as well as the differences between urgent care and the ER, and when each is appropriate. The story also includes messages about high-quality of care for non-life threatening situations, the increased need in the marketplace driving growth and the convenience and affordability of urgent care.
A 'big 1st step' toward slowing the aging process with new class of drugs
Medical News Today
The results of a new study have pushed researchers one step closer to developing drugs that slow the human aging process. Published in the journal Aging Cell, the study reveals how the newly discovered drugs — named "senolytics" — successfully target and kill aging-related senescent cells without damaging other cells nearby. The new class of drugs that dramatically improved cardiac function, reduced symptoms of frailty and prolonged the healthy lifespan of mice.
Most healthcare organizations planning IT investments this year
A majority of healthcare organizations plan to spend money on the transition to ICD-10 in 2015, with many also expecting to invest in other health IT priorities, according to a peer60 report, FierceHealthIT reports.
CMS to keep updated doctor directories
Government Health IT
Starting next year, the federal government will require health insurers to give millions of Americans enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans or in policies sold in the federally run health exchange up-to-date details about which doctors are in their plans and taking new patients.
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.