Things to consider when you need same-day care…

We have same-day appointments! In fact, we plan for them…

The world of healthcare can be baffling and sometimes overwhelming. With so many options (emergency departments, primary care offices, urgent care centers, retail clinics, etc.) Americans must do their research and choose accordingly when faced with medical needs. Urgent care centers only began popping up in the early 1980’s and since then, the industry has gone through some highs and lows before becoming a more comprehensible option for patients. According to the Urgent Care Association of America, urgent care is defined as “a medical clinic with expanded hours that is specially equipped to diagnose and treat a broad spectrum of non-life and limb threatening illnesses and injuries.” Although urgent care clinics are open late or even 24/7, we pride ourselves at AFP on being available for our patients 7 days of the week. Although our days wouldn’t work efficiently without appointments, our walk-in patients are what help us fill our schedules because we plan for them!

According to an article in the Boston Globe, “More than 40 percent of emergency room visits — or about 1 million a year — are thought to be avoidable, according to state data. Many of these patients show up at hospitals with minor infections, sore throats, skin rashes, allergies, and back pain. Such visits can add to wait times in emergency rooms and drive up costs.” What’s often missed is the scope of services offered right here at our practice. Our providers know how to treat many if not all of the conditions mentioned above. The ER should be used for severe medical cases or life-threatening conditions.  Here are a few reasons patients choose urgent care facilities or the emergency room because they didn’t know they could receive the same care right here in our office.

    • Brakes/Fractures – Standard protocol always requires an x-ray right? Wrong. More often than not, our providers can tell if you’ve broken or fractured a bone without an x-ray, saving you time and money. 
    • Mild Chest Pain – Experiencing chest pains can be scary. Without walking in to see a stranger in an urgent care center, you can be seen in our office and if necessary, we can order you an EKG. Results can come back in as fast as 30 minutes.
  • Stitches – Our providers are trained and fully qualified to stitch up a wound. 

Others include:

  • Allergic Reactions
  • Labs
  • Concussions
  • Fevers
  • Urinary Track Infections (UTIs)
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Non-life threatening animal bites

The desire to establish a primary care provider is also becoming more inconsistent between generations. When it comes to care, more and more millennials are deciding against establishing a primary provider. In the Washington Post article, “a national poll of 1,200 randomly selected adults reported that 45% of 18- to 29-year-olds had no primary-care provider, compared with 28% of those 30 to 49, 18% of those 50 to 64 and 12% age 65 and older.” Speed and convenience seems to trump the benefits of having a medical home that knows patients best. At AFP, our goal is to be accessible. We are passionate about being your home base for quality medical care. We understand your conditions, history, and needs better than a stranger you see in an urgent care office.

This year, we received a certification establishing our office as a Patient-Centered Medical Home. With this milestone, we proved that we would ensure comprehensive care to our patients, providing them with a “home base” for all their medical needs. With that being said, we also act as a liaison when care outside of our office is required. When other services are needed, we want to ensure our patients are seen by the right people at the right time, but too often our patients are going to alternative facilities because they didn’t know we were an option. We always have a provider on-call, we offer Saturday hours as well as same day appointments for urgent needs. If you’re unsure if you can be seen for a specific condition that day, reach out to us – we will do everything we can to get you seen.

If you are an existing patient and have any any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Unfortunately, our office not taking new patients as of December, 2018 but if you call, we will be able to give you suggestions for alternatives. Stay safe and warm out there!