Many times, any discussion of urgent care clinics and emergency rooms focuses on the importance of distinguishing between their services and seeking care at the right type of clinic. However, a hospital in Ohio is hoping to create a symbiotic relationship between these two different types of medical centers: the Akron Children’s Hospital, located in Montrose, recently decided to convert its emergency department into a pediatric urgent care clinic. Emergency room care will be available at another hospital nearby.
According to the hospital, the emergency department is being converted into an urgent care center in order to better serve patients, whose parents are increasingly searching for affordable treatment for relatively minor injuries and illnesses. Doctors at the department reported that this concern had grown increasingly prevalent due to rising insurance co-pays and deductibles. The conversion will therefore likely please many in the area: while emergency rooms have become known for their high expenses, urgent care clinics can charge as much as 40% less for the same conditions. Moreover, the Children’s Hospital reported that most cases they saw were non-life-threatening problems, which are often better treated at urgent care facilities.
In the event of a life-threatening condition, however, patients in the area will still be able to seek emergency room care at Akron General Hospital, which still operates a full-service, 24 hour emergency department. Children’s Hospital is also continuing to operate a satellite emergency department in nearby Hudson, although they are considering making this service an urgent care clinic as well.
The Akron Children’s Hospital began operating their new urgent care center on Tuesday, January 27. Their hours are now 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., as opposed to the 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. hours they kept previously. Like most urgent care centers, the new clinic will treat a wide variety of non-critical conditions, including ear infections, minor cuts, coughs, colds and more. Continue reading here.