SAN DIEGO — The nurse practitioner-staffed retail clinic concept has sparked a revolution in health care, and now even physicians are re-examining the model to find new ways to create value and improve healthcare delivery.
According to a recent Sign On San Diego article, San Diego already has a number of urgent care centers that are open into the evening and on weekends for walk-in patients, most of which are run by large medical groups. However, Doctors Express, the only for-profit national urgent care franchise in the country, has opened two offices in San Diego County since November 2010, and is expecting continued growth.
Doctors Express, which was founded in Maryland in 2006, requires partnerships between a business manager and physician, who serves as a medical director, typically overseeing several other doctors and medical assistants.
Doctors Express CEO Peter Ross told Sign On San Diego that the company has 34 franchises in 18 states, with an additional 40 centers slated to open this year.
In addition, some hospitals in that local area have opened “fast-track” units designed to relieve overcrowding in the emergency room.
The article noted that the UCSD Health system has opened what it refers to as urgent care centers within ER departments at UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest and Thornton Hospital in La Jolla.