Immediate care: A lower cost alternative for after-hours medical treatment

May 2011 Posted in Your Health

By Don MurthaDr. Rodney Orr and the Family Medical Group recently opened Urgent Care Clinic in Silverton.

A 9-year-old boy is playing second base on a baseball team on a Friday evening. He dives to catch the baseball and in doing so lands hard on his right wrist. He stands up yelling his wrist hurts.

When a mother picks her child up from daycare, she is told her 2-year-old daughter has been crying and tugging on her left ear.

It’s after 5 p.m. and both the boy’s and the girl’s parents are pondering where to take their children for medical care.

For situations like these in the Silverton/Mount Angel area there is now an alternative to visiting the hospital emergency room.

Since April 1, the Family Medical Group of Silverton has been operating the Urgent Care Clinic on Fairview Street across from Silverton Hospital.

“The difference between our emergency facility and the Silverton Hospital Emergency service is that we do not handle life-threatening cases and we are not open at all hours,” said Dr. Rodney Orr.

Family Medical’s
Urgent Care Clinic

335 Fairview St., Silverton
Monday – Friday, 5 – 9 p.m.
Saturday, noon – 8 p.m.
Sunday, noon – 6 p.m.

“We offer immediate, sure, less formal and less costly treatment for most emergencies. Not for gunshot wounds or severed limbs, for instance,” Orr said. “But for serious lacerations, broken bones or children’s common ailments, we are available to anyone who walks in the door.”

Orr explained the hospital’s emergency room is a “more sophisticated operation for more serious, life threatening cases on a 24-hour schedule.”

The Urgent Care Clinic staff includes eight physicians, physicians assistant, medical aides and a receptionist. It is open from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon until 6 p.m. Patients can walk-in without an appointment to receive medical care. There are an on-site lab and digital X-ray services, too.

“The clinic is not just for our regular patients. We will treat anyone and then refer them to their regular physician,” he said.

Since the clinic has opened, the staff has treated an average of 10 patients a day, Orr said.
As to when patients come to the clinic, Orr said there is no rhyme or reason.

“The only thing that seems to follow is that we get more illness cases in winter and more injuries in spring and summer,” he said.

The Family Medical Group has operated an Urgent Care Clinic in Molalla for four years, which has provided the background and knowledge for establishing and operating the Silverton clinic

“With the Urgent Care Clinic available, people with medical emergencies, not life threatening, don’t have to go to the hospital emergency room, which is real expensive,” Orr said.

“Children with ear aches, lacerations, even broken bones are among our concerns,” he added. “Parents can bring their sick children to us after hours and they won’t miss a day of work and they won’t have a child screaming all night.

“With sports injuries, for instance, we can X-ray them, give basic treatment and send them to their family doctor.”

Orr expressed concern over the rising cost of health care, especially to the ordinary citizen or the person who is out of work and cannot get health insurance.

“Health care cost is such a big issue and urgent care clinics are a way for society to save money. That is the reason we opened our clinic,” Orr said.

The urgent care fee is basically the same as the regular office visit.  The clinic accepts most regular forms of payment.

“If we can lower costs to our patients, we think we are doing a good thing for our community,” Orr said.

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