Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Elk Regional Unveils New, Improved ‘Q Care’

As a result of feedback from patients, Elk Regional has revamped its innovative Q Care service. With a new location, new hours, and lower costs, the walk-in service is more convenient and inexpensive than ever.

“We’ve been listening to our patients,” said Gregory P. Bauer, the President and CEO of Elk Regional Health System. “Q Care was introduced last year as a result of feedback from our patients. And now, we’re revamping it as a result of additional patient feedback.”

The new Q Care is located on the first floor of the Medical Office Building. The office is close to the Medical Office Building entrance and is easily accessible to patients coming to Q Care from the Health Center.
Q Care will now be open from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. It is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.

Because Q Care is no longer part of the Emergency Department at Elk Regional Health Center, the cost of a visit has been reduced. A visit to the new Q Care costs the same as a visit to a physician office, with the same co-pays and deductibles.

“Our patients made it clear that they wanted a walk-in service that was not only simple to use, convenient, and fast, but inexpensive as well,” Bauer said. “The changes we are introducing today respond to all of these concerns and empower patients to get healthcare services when and where it works best for them. We are proud to introduce the new, improved Q Care as a response to patient feedback.”

Q Care patients will no longer need to be seen by a triage nurse. Instead, they can walk back to Q Care and be seen quickly. Prominent signs will be posted in the Main Lobby at Elk Regional Health Center to help patients decide if their symptoms warrant a trip to the Emergency Department or if they can be seen in Q Care.

Q Care serves patients suffering from unexpected but non-emergency medical conditions that include ear aches; sprains or strains; minor cuts, burns, bumps, or bruises; sore throats; flu-like symptoms; minor aches and pains; and coughs, colds, and sinus problems. Patients will be referred to their family physician for any necessary follow-up care.

“Q Care is a focused treatment alternative to the regular Emergency Department,” said Jim Condon, RN, the nurse manager of Elk Regional’s Emergency Department. “It allows us to minimize wait times, alleviate crowding in the Emergency Department, and make the Emergency Department more efficient by allowing the staff there to focus on only the most critical cases.”

Q Care is backed by the Emergency Department at Elk Regional, which means patients who require more advanced care can quickly be seen by an Emergency Department doctor. Patients who come in to Q Care will also have access to all of Elk Regional’s physicians and specialists. Diagnostic services such as laboratory and x-ray are fully integrated into the system and are available on-site.

Q Care is also fully integrated with Elk Regional’s electronic medical record system. Any care provided at Q Care, including physician notes, x-ray images, and test results, is immediately available to Elk Regional’s physicians, providing patients with unmatched continuity of care.

Patients with non-emergency medical conditions who need to be seen quickly can also go to Elk Regional’s MedExpress, which is located at the Ridgway campus and is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days per week, except holidays. Like Q Care, MedExpress offers patients access to laboratory and x-ray services.

“Offering our patients convenient access to the care they need is important to us,” Bauer said. “Our patients have a variety of choices. Patients with non-emergency medical needs can come to Q Care in St. Marys or to MedExpress in Ridgway. Our Same Day Promise offers patients the opportunity for a same-day appointment with a health care provider. And after all the offices are closed, patients can come to our Emergency Department – the only facility in the region providing care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.”