Urgent Care offers quick access to medical care

Article Image Alt Text

Jamie Ausk Crisafulli photo

Jana Parker hands crutches to Nurse Practitioner Leanne Brehahn at the new Urgent Care located at Glendive Medical Center. The new service provides easy access to medical care for minor actue illness and minor injuries.

Glendive Medical Center will officially open its Urgent Care service to the public on Monday, offering residents a convenient option for walk-in visits for minor illnesses and injuries.

“Across the country you are starting to see a lot of these urgent cares open up. It’s a new level of care and a new model for access to care,” GMC CEO Parker Powell said Wednesday.

GMC Urgent Care is located in the lower level of the medical center parking lot, in what was formerly the GMC Foundation and marketing offices. The space has been transformed into a welcoming new space that includes a waiting room and three exam rooms.

What is Urgent Care?

The new service replaces same day care through Gabert Clinic. The clinic will now house only primary care physicians.

“Part of the point of urgent care was to provide additional services. We don’t want to take away from you going to see your primary care physician,” Leticia Huber, director of nursing for acute care at GMC, noted.

Urgent care is a good option for those who are not able to get an appointment with their primary care physician and need to be seen right away.

Urgent care will offer care for numerous illnesses varying from allergies, bladder infections, influenza, sinus infections and more. A complete list of services offered will soon be available at gmc.org.

Some examples of minor injuries that can be treated at GMC Urgent Care include minor lacerations that require stitches, splinters, puncture wounds and sprains.

There are three medical providers who are providing service at GMC Urgent Care: Teresea Olson, PA; Doug Dalton, PA, and Leanne Breihahn, NP.

Cost of Care

Aside from providing better access to healthcare, the cost of services through urgent care is another advantage of the new service, according to Huber.

There are three levels of services and a fee system that allows patients to determine what the service cost will be prior to the appointment. The fee schedule will soon be posted on the GMC website and is available at the urgent care desk.

Level I appointments are $95 and Level III visits are $160. There are some extra charges for lab tests and other items, but those, too, are noted on the fee schedule.

“We are trying to be very transparent with the cost of service,” Huber said.

Payment for urgent care is due at the time of service. The office personnel will run insurance information to determine what portion will be paid and the patient must cover the remainder of the cost before seeing a provider.

Smooth Transition

Implementing urgent care is one of GMC’s strategic initiatives and plans to implements it have been in the works for over a year, Powell noted.

Huber said urgent care at GMC is the vision of VP of Patient Care Services Shauna Dorwart. Wendy Keller was instrumental in the beginning stages of setting up the service, and Jana Parker played a similar role later in the process.

GMC Urgent Care has been in operation since early March as the staff worked to get the service running smoothly and waited for health records software to be implemented.

Those who have used the service thus far have indicated they appreciate the easy access and the “quick in and out,” Huber noted.

“They can just pop down here, it doesn’t take long and they get their needs taken care of,” she said.

Educating staff internally has been a big part of preparing to open to the new service.

“We’ve been doing training with our staff in the clinic and the emergency room, just trying to get everybody used to what’s appropriate for Urgent Care, what’s appropriate for the clinic, what’s appropriate for the ER so we can make those transitions really smooth for the patients,” Huber said.

Urgent Care is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Huber said the hours were set according to what has traditionally been the highest volumes of appointments in the emergency room.

The entrance to the GMC Urgent Care is located on the lower level of the Gabert Clinic parking lot. A large sign indicating Urgent Care hangs above the door. There are several parking spots that are reserved for those using the new services as well.

GMC Urgent Care is walkin only, no appointment are taken. For more information about services offered, call 345-3311.

Reach Jamie Ausk Crisafulli at rreditor@rangerreview. com .