‘Urgent care’ causes confusion at Kremmling hospital | SkyHiNews.com

‘Urgent care’ causes confusion at Kremmling hospital

Hank Shell

Middle Park Medical Center’s urgent care service has led to a bit of confusion, hospital officials say.

Patients have mistaken Middle Park Medical Center-Kremmling’s urgent care to be synonymous with urgent care centers such as those found on the Front Range, said Carmen Covington, chief nursing officer.

Covington clarified the Kremmling hospital’s form of urgent care. “We have a level of care through the emergency department, and you have to be triaged to determine if you would fit in that level of care.”

In the urgent care model, a medical provider determines a patient’s needed level of care to determine the urgency of a patient’s condition.

When patients enter the hospital, a nurse triages patients into a level of one through five. Emergencies are considered levels one through three, while urgent care is considered levels four and five.

Another medical provider will then assess the patient to determine if they are in the correct level of care.

“It’s all about putting the patient in the right level of care,” Covington said.

This system helps prioritize patients, making the system more efficient. Generally speaking, an urgent care visit is less expensive than an emergency department visit. The cost is dependent on the services provided, and payment for urgent care is due at the time of service.

The system is in its first month following a two-month trial, and Covington said that responses have been positive.

“Our first two months have gone really well,” she said. “Community members have been very supportive”

Kremmling’s urgent care service is active after clinic hours from 5 to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 to 10 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Presently, it’s only offered at Middle Park Medical Center’s Kremmling emergency center, but officials said it someday could be expanded to the Middle Park Medical Center in Granby.

Hank Shell can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610.

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