New urgent-care center saves patients time, hassle

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Local,Josh Kowalkowski

A new urgent-care center in Elkridge is helping to alleviate lengthy visits to emergency rooms by treating patients with non-life threatening injuries and other medical issues.

“Right now, nearly 80 percent of cases seen in emergency rooms are not true emergencies and therefore could more appropriately be treated at facilities like ours,” said Dr. Jerry Ann Hunter, who has practiced in Maryland for 15 years, with nine in an urgent-care setting. Hunter is the founder of Convenient Care Walk-In Medical Center, which opened earlier this month.

That statistic was taken from national data from a 2006 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which didn’t break down the data by states.

“There’s really no other major urgent-care center in this part of Howard County,” she added. 

Patients at the center, which is part of a national trend of facilities offering similar services, can expect to be treated in generally less than an hour, without an appointment.

In Maryland, a patient typically waits about 4 1/2 hours before receiving medical assistance at an emergency room, said Hunter, referring to a 2008 report from health care consultant Press Ganey Associates Inc. that ranked Maryland as having the 42nd-longest wait in the nation.

“Convenient Care is a real gem for Route 1,” said Pamela Klahr, president of the Howard County Chamber of Commerce.
“Access to this type of convenient medical care is greatly needed. It will take some of the pressure off of hospital emergency rooms.

One of my staff members has already used the facility and was very pleased with the quality of service they received.”

So far the facility has seen, on average, about five to six patients per day, which is on target with the first 30-day projection, said Hunter.

“We fully expect these numbers to increase exponentially in the months ahead as our marketing efforts ramp up and people in the community become more familiar with us,” Hunter said.

The center will treat any type of non-threatening injury. At accident scenes, the on-scene doctors will best determine if injuries require an urgent-care setting or a hospital, officials said.

  • Among the services provided at Convenient Care are:
  • General care for children and adults including treatment of common illnesses like the flu, sinus infections, colds, and allergies
  • School physicals
  • Basic laboratory work
  • Digital X-rays
  • Laceration repair for minor cuts and abrasions
  • Pre-employment services for businesses
  • Workers’ compensation services

IF YOU GO

  • WHAT: Convenient Care Walk-In Medical Center
  • WHERE: 6785 Business Parkway, Elkridge
  • WHEN: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays
  • INFO: 410-782-4300 or mdconvenientcare.com
  • NOTE: Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas

 jkoalkowski@baltimoreexaminer.com

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