The following is an article by Froedtert explaining some of the benefits of the new Kenosha Urgent Care Center that opened Oct. 1 at 6308 Eighth Ave.
A middle-of-the-night child’s ear infection is every parent’s nightmare.
Bladder infections often strike suddenly and are usually painful and the bane of sufferers.
In cases like these, patients typically wait for doctor’s appointments or available walk-in clinics for treatment.
With the opening of Kenosha’s first 24/7 urgent care center at the Froedtert Kenosha Hospital site, however, such conditions can be seen and treated more quickly.
When it opened at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 1, the Kenosha Urgent Care Center located at 6308 Eighth Avenue became Kenosha’s only center providing urgent care services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays.
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Transitioning the former emergency department to a full-time urgent care center provides consistent availability of care as well as cost savings to patients, according to Dr. Gary Zaid, Medical Director of Emergency Services, and Linda Wohlgemuth, Froedtert South’s senior vice president and chief operating officer.
Prior to October 1, urgent care had not been available to the Kenosha area on a 24/7 basis at a site exclusively for urgent care patients. Froedtert South offers Immediate Care at its Somers Clinic and Pleasant Prairie Clinic and, other than the Somers Clinic which is open on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., these locations do not typically operate on weekends, on holidays, or after 4:30 p.m. (at Pleasant Prairie Clinic) or 5 p.m. (at Somers Clinic) on weekdays.
“The new Urgent Care Center will provide a resource to the community every hour of every day,” Dr. Zaid said. “It will serve patients with minor medical problems such as bladder infections who can’t get time off work to go to the doctor or who find they have symptoms in the middle of the night. Now they can come to the Urgent Care Center at any time, get a prescription and hopefully avoid a more serious problem.”
Froedtert South’s Urgent Care Center will also be a benefit to a parent with a young child who has symptoms of an ear infection in the middle of the night, he added.
Dr. Zaid will help with the start-up of the new Urgent Care Center.
“The scope of care will meet patients’ needs for conditions that are not life-threatening but can’t otherwise be met at that time of day at a doctor’s office. These conditions include things such as upper respiratory problems, urinary tract infections, simple cuts or lacerations, and minor burns or rashes,” said Dr. Zaid.
Minor orthopedic cases, such as simple fractures of the finger, ankle or wrist, as well as sprains, will also be treated at the Urgent Care Center, Dr. Zaid added.
“Urgent Care provides a resource to community members who have relatively minor medical problems that need to be addressed during all hours of the day, 365 days a year,” Dr. Zaid said.
IMPROVED CARE, COST SAVINGS
Efficient care and cost savings are two of the advantages of having 24/7 urgent care in the community, according to Wohlgemuth.
“24/7 urgent care is new to our area and will help lighten the volume at our Emergency Department to promote the most emergent of patients being cared for with likely less inconvenience to patients who need an urgent or lesser level of care,” notes Dr. Zaid.
“In the Emergency Department, it is not unusual for there to be a long waiting time to get to a room and once there, to have what seems like a prolonged treatment time for people with less serious illnesses or conditions. This is primarily due to the need for more seriously injured and ill people to be the priority for attention by the Emergency Department team. Because there won’t be patients being treated at the Urgent Care Center with life- or limb-threatening conditions or people who have called “911” for an ambulance, we believe patients who come to the Urgent Care Center will experience shorter waiting and treatment times than if they had gone to the Emergency Department,” added Wohlgemuth.
“We have a process for prioritizing the most serious of patients that helps direct who gets cared for first. In Urgent Care, however, because of the lower severity of conditions that are treated there, the wait and the treatment times will be shorter,” said Terri Harold, the nursing director who oversees emergency services for Froedtert South.
ADVANTAGES TO EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT SERVICE
Having a medical facility dedicated to urgent care helps free up and increase resources for those who truly need the services of the Emergency Department, according to Harold.
“In the past, a lot of people who wanted urgent care went to the Emergency Department because they didn’t have any other options,” says Harold.
“By more patients using our Urgent Care and Immediate Care sites for problems that need attention but aren’t considered emergencies, the resources of the Froedtert Pleasant Prairie Hospital Emergency Department will be primarily used to treat the increasing number of critical, emergent, and life- and limb-threatening conditions which only an emergency department is equipped to treat,” Wohlgemuth said.
“Conditions and symptoms that should go directly to the Emergency Department or for which “911” should be called include chest pain, stroke symptoms like facial drooping or weakness on one side of the body, acute abdominal pain, head injuries, severe headaches, high fevers, and broken bones that protrude from the skin,” Dr. Zaid said.
“Though we welcome patients of all levels of illness and injury to come to the Emergency Department, those with less serious conditions will likely have a more satisfying experience by going to Urgent or Immediate Care,” Wohlgemuth added.
PATIENT COST SAVINGS
For patients, there are also financial advantages to visiting Urgent or Immediate Care rather than going to the Emergency Department.
“The cost of care provided in Urgent or Immediate Care is generally less than the cost of care provided in an emergency department setting,” noted Wohlgemuth.
“Until now, if a patient couldn’t see their primary care doctor or get to one of our Immediate Care sites during the day, the only option they had was to go to the Emergency Department. Having a 24/7 urgent care option will likely be at a lower cost and could be very helpful to those patients,” Harold said.
“We hope that once people understand how the Kenosha Urgent Care Center can help with health problems that need timely attention but are not what most would consider emergencies, they will be inclined to go to the Kenosha Urgent Care Center when they are in need of prompt medical care,” Wohlgemuth said.
To learn more go to https://www.froedtertsouth.com/services/kenosha-urgent-care-center/