Urgent Care Center Volume

9/20/2010

Contact: Tammy G. Love

Director of Marketing & Medical Staff Development

Phone: (336) 651-8116

By CHARLES S. WILLIAMS
Wilkes Journal-Patriot Staff

Urgent Care of West Park, Wilkes Regional Medical Center's new medical facility located in the Diagnostic Imaging Center in the West Park medical complex, got off to a fast start in its first week, according to Gene Faile, the hospital's chief executive officer.

"We’ve been busier than we expected," he said. "Considering that we have done very little advertising so far and we didn't get the word out as quickly as we had hoped, we think it has done well. We had budgeted for 60 visits a week, and we actually saw 72 patients." The operating hours for the center, which opened on Monday, are weekdays, 5-9 p.m., and weekends, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Faile said that the center staff saw five patients on Monday, four on Tuesday, 10 on Wednesday, 10 on Thursday, five on Friday, 22 on Saturday, and 16 on Sunday.

"The utilization of the urgent center over the first week has proven that Wilkes County residents want and need an urgent care center for their families," Faile added.

He added, however, that patient volume was still high at the hospital' s emergency department, saying, "We really have not seen a drop in volume."

The urgent care center is, according to hospital officials, designed to be an alternative to emergency room care when your family physician is not available. Patients are seen on a walk-in basis, and the center is set up to offer treatment for ear infections, eye infections, fever, sore throat, swelling, minor cuts and burns, or other medical problems, offering basically the same level of care available through the office of a family physician. More serious conditions are referred to the Wilkes Regional emergency department. Insurance is accepted, and a co-payment may be required.

The urgent care center is staffed by mid-levels (family nurse practitioners and physician's assistants) and physicians, including: Becky Shatley, FNP-C, Gary Nichols, PA-C, Dr. Binal Ladani, family medicine; Dr. Simret Dev-Raman, family medicine; and Dr. Ken Curl are among those who will be working at the center.

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