While on an out-of-state vacation, I turned my ankle when I misstepped on a stair. It hurt but I thought it might get better on its own. Unfortunately, it was swollen the next morning, and even though it didn’t throb as much, I could barely stand on it. Theresa and I went to a local urgent care center called Patient First. I was very impressed with the place from the moment we walked in. There were two sign in terminals at the reception window which asked for basic information. It warned that if you needed emergency treatment, to abandon the form and interrupt the receptionist. I viewed this is an electronic triage device.
After only a few minutes, I was called in to show my ID and insurance card, relay my health complaints and sign papers etc. I was then escorted by a CNA to take my vitals. Immediately afterward, I was escorted to their on-site x-ray department. After three x-rays, the x-ray technician escorted me to an emergency-like room where I was met by a PA. The PA determined that I had indeed sprained my ankle. He prescribed an air cast, crutches, ace bandage and foot cover and medicine, all from their on-site pharmacy. If I had needed blood work, it would have been handled in their on-site lab.
As efficient as this was, it was not impersonal. The staff was very friendly. I felt that I received high quality service. Why am I writing this in my blog? Because, I have never seen a set up like this outside of a hospital. Our urgent care facilities where I live do offer friendly and quality service, but do not have on-site labs, x-ray and pharmacy facilities. Patient First seems to have found the balance between a hospital emergency room and a diagnosis clinic. I was very impressed.
Patient First is open 8am – 10pm 365 days a year, and can be utilized as a primary care provider. They operate 40 locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.