Survey results: Physician and staff attire in the urgent care center
Does physician and staff attire have an effect on patients' perception of care? According to latest UCAOA brief survey, 92 percent of participants agree that the clothes worn by physicians and ancillary staff have an effect on patients' perception of care. Click here to see the full survey results.
| Additional Resource: Look back at previous UCAOA mini survey data by accessing Data Insights.
Candidate videos now available
This year, there are four open director positions on the UCAOA Board of Directors. Running are Steve Sellars, MBA, (incumbent); Logan McCall, MBA; Damaris Medina, Esq; Sharad Patel, MD, MHA; and Jeanne Zucker. To allow members to become better acquainted with each nominee, pre-convention speeches have been recorded and can be viewed online. If you're not familiar with the ballot process, please read this informative page. E-voting will open on Monday, April 20 and conclude at 6pm CT on Wednesday, April 29. All UCAOA individual members and designated center member representatives are eligible to vote, regardless of whether you are attending the 2015 Spring Convention (April 27-30 in Chicago). Election results will be announced at the Spring Convention Closing Keynote and published in UCAccess on Thursday, April 30.
Hands-on Clinical Boot Camp selling out
Urgent care physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners new to the industry or needing an update will benefit from the advanced and basic sessions held during the Hands-on Clinical Boot Camp on Sunday, April 26 and Monday, April 27. Class sizes are limited to ensure an optimal faculty-student ratio, making hands-on learning more effective. Choose from the following sessions:
Splinting and Casting (Sunday, April 26 from 8:30am-4:30pm)
Advanced Suturing (Monday, April 27 from 8:30am-12pm)
Basic Suturing (Monday, April 27 from 8:30am-12pm)
Musculoskeletal Exam (Monday, April 27 from 8:30am-12pm or 1-4:30pm)
Joint Injections (Monday, April 27 from 1-4:30pm)
The UCAOA 2015 Spring Convention (April 27-30 in Chicago) will also feature Basic and Advanced Clinical Tracks, totaling 23 sessions. If you have not secured your seat at the urgent care industry's largest, dedicated gathering of urgent care business and clinical professionals, do so now! Online registration will end at 11:59pm CT on Wednesday, April 22. If you need hotel accommodations, UCAOA has a room block at the Swissotel ($259/night plus 16.4 percent tax), which is good through Friday, April 17; make your reservation now.
Congress and physicains bid farewell to SGR
On Tuesday, April 14, Congress sent to President Obama a bill to repeal the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and chart a new path toward a physician payment system that rewards not for volume, but for value. The President has said he will sign the bill. The vote ends a more than a dozen years of lobbying by the physician community to discard the flawed SGR. Read more
CMS proposes rule to shorten 2015 MU reporting period
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Friday released a proposed rule that would shorten the reporting period for meaningful use to 90 consecutive days in 2015. The agency will also either reduce or eliminate some requirements under the draft rules, including reducing the requirement that providers have 5 percent of their patients use technology to download, view and transmit their medical record to a single patient. CMS will accept public feedback on the proposed rule during a 60-day comment period. A draft final rule could be issued as soon as this summer.
Air pollutants could boost potency of common airborne allergens
American Chemical Society (ACS)
A pair of air pollutants linked to climate change could also be a major contributor to the unparalleled rise in the number of people sneezing, sniffling and wheezing during allergy season. The gases, nitrogen dioxide and ground-level ozone, appear to provoke chemical changes in certain airborne allergens that could increase their potency. That, in combination with changes in global climate, could help explain why airborne allergies are becoming more common. About 50 million people in the U.S. suffer from nasal allergies, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. And those numbers are on the rise.
Baxter initiates voluntary recall of select lots of IV solution
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Baxter International Inc. announced a voluntarily recall on select lots of intravenous (IV) solutions to the hospital/user level due to the potential presence of particulate matter. While Baxter manufacturing personnel were performing routine maintenance, particulate matter was detected and identified as material from a solution transmission system pump.
Post a chalkboard at the exit
UCAOA via Concentra
Concentra Urgent Care in Willoughby (Cleveland area), Ohio has posted a chalkboard at the center's exit so patients can comment on their experiences that day. Although the center performs a formal customer service survey upon which providers and staff are incentivized, this chalkboard provides an opportunity for patients to voice any concerns they may not have wanted to raise with staff and post feedback for staff as to patient perceptions as well as reinforces the positive feelings of other customers as patients leave the center (to spur repeat visits and positive word of mouth).
| Additional Resource: Do you have tips for success to share with other urgent care professionals and clinicians? Let us know by emailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
athenahealth to offer free CommonWell services to provider clients
Becker's Health IT & CIO Review
Nearly all providers, 95 percent, express frustration over the inability to share and access electronic health information across the care continuum, according to a national survey conducted by Epocrates, a medical reference app from athenahealth. To address this widespread dissatisfaction, athenahealth announced it will offer CommonWell Services for free to its 62,000 provider clients. "Being interoperable on paper or via system certification alone isn't good enough; vendors must take measures to advance actual interoperation activity across healthcare," said athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush.
Optum acquires urgent care company
Information and technology-enabled health services business, Optum, announced it is joining with MedExpress to expand access to high-quality, cost-effective healthcare services in communities nationwide. The combination serves the growing demand among consumers, health systems, employers, and health plans for more convenient, lower-cost services on an unscheduled basis for a comprehensive scope of outpatient healthcare needs. MedExpress currently operates 141 full-service neighborhood medical centers in 11 states, and plans to accelerate its expansion by opening 25 to 30 additional centers in 2015 in both existing and new states.
Researchers inching closer to effective Ebola vaccine
By Katina Smallwood
A new Ebola vaccine being developed by drugmaker Profectus now has substantial data supporting its efficacy. A report recently published in the journal Nature highlights the company's clinical trials testing the new vaccine on monkeys. The newly published data and funding has positioned Profectus as the frontrunner in the race to develop an Ebola vaccine, but Merck and GlaxoSmithKline have also developed vaccines that are being used to fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
3 technology trends transforming healthcare
The healthcare industry has always been changing, but what is different about our industry now is that the pace of change has sped up. Keeping up with those changes is almost impossible. More so when day-to-day activity prevents leaders from strategic planning the next three to five year direction of their organization.
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.