Brief survey: Patients without insurance
UCAOA is interested in obtaining insight on how your urgent care center manages patients that present to your facility without any insurance. Please participate in this week's brief 4-question survey. Results of this survey will be published in next week's UCAccess.
Is your center a soap opera? How to squash workplace drama
Constant blowups. Schedule turmoil. Whining about everything, from the patients to the equipment to each other. Resistance to change. Ever dread going into work because you know you’ll have to deal with all of these each and every day? In this practice management article by guest blogger Paul Edwards, learn about the most common drama-generators in an average urgent care center and what you can do to win the upper hand and restore harmony to your practice. Please note content for logged in members only.
Urgent care centers expand services, see big growth
This industry article details how an ER doctor's ruptured intestine inspired him to transfer his skills to a new kind of urgent care center that is staffed by emergency physicians and equipped to handle a good portion of patients that come through a hospital ER every day. The article also references the typical business models for urgent care and expected growth of the industry as well as cites data from UCAOA on the number of urgent care centers in the U.S. and in South Carolina.
Cyberattack on Premera Blue Cross affects 11 million
Becker's Health IT & CIO Review
Premera Blue Cross has reported a cyberattack on its IT systems that has compromised the data of 11 million customers, employees and business affiliates. The cyberattack affects Premera Blue Cross, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska and the payer's affiliate companies Vivacity and Connexion Insurance Solutions. Additionally, members of other Blue Cross Blue Shield plans who received treatment in Washington or Alaska may be affected, as are individuals who do business with Premera and provided the payer with their email address, personal bank account number or Social Security number.
Earn UCMC credit by reading UCAccess articles
In an effort to make obtaining the Urgent Care Management Certificate (UCMC) more efficient and economical, UCAOA now offers credit-related articles in the Practice Management section of UCAccess. UCMC applicants who are members of UCAOA can receive 1 credit for reading a particular article and passing a 5-question quiz. Upon passing, the credit will reside in your UCAOA profile under My Credits. Up to 5 UCMC credits can be obtained through participation in article-related quizzes. If you’re not enrolled in UCMC, get started today. UCAOA is also running a $50 discount on the UCMC application fee when you use promo code UCMCSpring50.
Spring Spotlight: Goals, Organizational Priorities, Leadership, and Performance Indicators
The UCAOA 2015 Spring Convention (April 27-30 in Chicago) is the event to attend to obtain the necessary skills and knowledge to advance personally and professionally in urgent care. The 2 ½-day convention features numerous advanced and basic clinical skills sessions as well as innovative practice management sessions such as this one: Goals, Organizational Priorities, Leadership, and Performance Indicators to be held on Tuesday, April 28, from 2-3pm. This practice management session presents urgent care leaders with ideas on how to manage business more profitably and get new patients more consistently. The session is fast-paced and jam packed with actionable advice and real-world examples from a business and brand perspective.
If you're not registered yet for the urgent care event of the year, act now because tuition increases $100 after March 26. Please note hotel accommodations are still available on certain nights at the UCAOA host hotel and additional housing has been secured at a second location.
| Additional Resource: Registered attendees of the 2015 Spring Convention and their guests can take advantage of Chicago's great architecture, scenic lake front, one-of-a-kind artwork, and more, by purchasing special event tickets.
Enhanced flu protection: 4 beats 3
Findings from a recent study of flu vaccines delivered by a small needle intradermally parallel earlier results that found adding a strain of influenza B could improve the effectiveness of a flu vaccine nasal spray and a traditional intramuscular vaccine that is injected as a shot in the arm muscle. During the study, volunteers who received the quadrivalent vaccine (includes two strains of A and two of B) had superior antibody responses to the B strains and equally robust responses to A strains compared to volunteers who received the trivalent vaccines (includes two strains of influenza A and one of influenza B) that did not contain the corresponding B strains.
Measles cases seen almost doubling in Ebola epidemic countries
Measles cases could almost double in countries hardest hit by the West African Ebola outbreak as overwhelmed health systems are unable to maintain child immunizations. West Africa's Ebola epidemic — the largest ever seen — has infected more than 24,000 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, killing almost 10,000 of them. Outbreaks of measles — one of the most transmissible diseases — often follow humanitarian crises as vaccination campaigns falter and populations are displaced and impoverished. Other vaccination campaigns that maybe affected include polio and tuberculosis and a combined shot that protects against meningitis, pneumonia, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis B and diphtheria.
Use Vine videos to 'humanize' your brand
UCAOA via HealthLeaders Media
Of the top tier group of social networks, Vine may seem the least accessible from a healthcare marketing perspective given each video is only six-seconds long. While such a brief video may seem limited in communicating healthcare topics, many organizations have proven that six seconds is plenty of time to start a dialogue. Cleveland Clinic is a good example of how they’re using Vine videos to interact with their nearly 6,000 followers. Content Marketing Director for Cleveland Clinic Amanda Todorovich said “Vine's six-second video length and video looping inspires creativity." Cleveland Clinic's marketing team has found that health tips, industry news, knowledge sharing, and awareness are the most successful conversation trends to use when engaging with the online health community.
PhysicianOne Urgent Care now offering online registration
PhysicianOne Urgent Care recently unveiled an online check-in platform that allows patients to conveniently prepare for their visits in advance, using either their computers or their mobile devices. PhysicianOne Urgent Care Chief Marketing Officer Caroline Kolompar said "When a patient registers online, we can expedite their visit to make it much more convenient and easy."
Doctors Care is bringing a new center to South Carolina
Doctors Care will be opening a new outpatient facility to accommodate the growing patient population in Columbia, SC. The office will offer patients online check-in with text notification. "We are very excited to have presence on Main Street and to be able to serve working professional and full-time residents alike," said Jill Armbruster, marketing director.
| Additional Resource: Utilize the UCAOA clinic startup resources to forge a strong foundation for a successful center. Please note content for logged in members only.
Kraft Foods Group voluntarily recalls 242,000 cases of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
As consumers, parents and healthcare professionals, this recall notification from Kraft Foods Group most likely will affect us in some form or fashion whether it's to check the one random box of mac 'n cheese in the pantry or be on alert for any patient that may have ingested tainted product and seeks out treatment at an urgent care center.
New protocol can help emergency departments more efficiently evaluate patients with acute chest pain
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
A recently developed risk-evaluation protocol can help hospital emergency department personnel more efficiently determine which patients with acute chest pain can be sent home safely, according to a randomized trial conducted at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The study, found that chest-pain patients who were evaluated with the new protocol, called the HEART Pathway, had 12 percent fewer cardiac tests, 21 percent more early discharges, and shorter hospital stays that those who receive standard care.
Do medical labels need a redesign? Study says yes
Becker's Infections Control & Clinical Quality
Researchers are finding greater need to redesign medication labels for intravenous medication bags. Standard labels are printed on one side of the clear IV bags, with small text and cluttered appearance, while the redesigned labels were opaque, white and written on two sides with white letters on a dark background. Studies demonstrated that the redesigned labels improved proper medication distribution by 63 percent.
Healthcare deductibles climbing out of reach
The Wall Street Journal
Deductibles are an element of any insurance product, but as deductibles have grown in recent years, a surprising percentage of people with private insurance, and especially those with lower and moderate incomes, simply do not have the resources to pay their deductibles and will either have to put off care or incur medical debt.
Telehealth's true success starts behind the scenes
By Karen R. Thomas
For the last few years, telehealth has been one of the biggest buzzwords in the healthcare industry, and businesses are scrambling to create devices that can keep up with the high demand. In this digital age, though, it's no wonder that the devices are what garner much of the attention. It's easy to focus first on a new technology and forget all the behind-the-scenes effort that makes a telehealth program really work. However, it's precisely the operational backend that is essential to making telehealth technologies work — and work well.
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.