LGH set to open Urgent Care here

By on May 9, 2012

Lancaster General Health will open a new Urgent Care in Ephrata May 29.

The one-story, 5,000 square-foot facility will be located in the 222 Commons next to the Sheetz convenience store at 895 E. Main St. and will provide extended hours for minor medical emergencies and outpatient laboratory, X-ray and EKG services.

"This hybrid model meets the needs for patients requiring immediate urgent care and for LG Health patients who live in the area and need a convenient place to come for outpatient lab and imaging services that are closer to where they live," explained Susan Wynne, senior vice president of ambulatory services for LG Health.

Wynne also noted that LG Health and Ephrata Hospital have and will continue to collaborate to provide services to patients in the area.

"From our experience, we know that urgent care centers attract patients from a much wider geographic region," she said. "The location at the major artery of Route 322 will bring a large number of transient patients, including those from out-of-state, who are familiar with and are seeking the convenience of the urgent care setting."

LG Health anticipates 9,800 medical visits, 12,000 lab visits and 3,500 X-ray procedures to the new Urgent Care in its first year of operation. These projections are based on experience, market research, overall demographics and the number of vehicles that pass by the location daily, said Wynne.

"A team of LG Health physicians is dedicated to caring for patients at our Urgent Care Centers," said Wynne. Providers on this team can be viewed at lghealthurgentcare.org/Providers.aspx.

The facility will be open seven days a week, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. A visit to Urgent Care does not require an appointment, which makes it ideal when medical attention is needed for sprains, cuts, burns, infections or flu symptoms and when patients cannot get in to see their family doctor, such as after hours or on holidays. Urgent Care will be open on all holidays except Christmas, said Wynne.

"While the wait time depends on the volume of patients, our goal is to see patients who walk in with urgent minor injuries within the hour. Individuals who make an appointment for the outpatient services (lab tests, X-rays and EKGs) will be seen right away," said Wynne.

In addition to offering daily medical services, outpatient lab and radiology services will be available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.

"The hours for outpatient services were established based on anticipated need at this time and as an extra offering and alternative location for residents living in the community to go for services," said Wynne. "Over time these hours will be assessed and increased as needed."

Urgent Care is designed to provide a convenient alternative to the family doctor and the emergency room, but the cost of an Urgent Care visit would be more than a visit to the family doctor, said Wynne. However, the cost would be significantly less at Urgent Care than at the emergency room, she said. Standard co-pays apply for patients with insurance, said Wynne, and the cost will vary depending on the resources and care received for patients who pay out-of-pocket.

"Patients are seeking fast, convenient and cost-effective alternatives when their primary-care physicians are not available and their conditions do not warrant visits to the emergency department," added Jasmeet Bhogal, MD, medical director for LG Health Urgent Care. "True emergencies like chest pain, stroke, severe burns or trouble breathing should always be treated at an emergency department."

The Urgent Care physicians will provide follow-up reports to patients’ primary care physicians. Physician practices using the same electronic medical record system as LG Health will have immediate access to patient records, including laboratory and imaging studies performed at LG Health.

LG Health will offer occupational medicine services, including standard physicals and Department of Transportation physicals, vision testing and work injury follow up, beginning in the fall. Flu and other vaccines will not be offered, said Wynne. By the end of the year, Smilebuilderz urgent care dental services plans to locate next door to the LG Health Urgent Care.

The public is invited to tour the new facility and learn more about its services during an open house May 26 from 8 to 11 a.m.

Visit LGHealthUrgentCare.org or call 1-888-LGH-INFO (544-4636) for more information. More URGENT CARE, page A18

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