Same Day Doctors Catching On – ‘Same-day’ doctors catching on – Aug 21, 2004

The idea, which experts say is gaining steam, is that scheduling patients immediately for even routine physicals will keep them healthier and happier, while saving money in the long run. If people know they’ll get quick appointments, the reasoning goes, they’re less likely to ignore their health problems, which will reduce costly emergency-room visits.

“We’ve seen it work in every kind of clinic imaginable,” said Marie Schall, a training director at the Boston-based Institute for Healthcare Improvement, an organization pushing for same-day service, known in the industry as “open access.”

I’d love for this to really catch on, but I’m also afraid I’d starve to death. As much as all of us in the ED gripe about ‘urgent care’ patients with complaints that could easily be handled by their doctor, we also know that they pay the bills. Multi-trauma doesn’t pay the bills, and the few deaths-door patients we see wouldn’t pay to keep the lights on, so we need the urgent care patients.

I like the idea, though.


  1. Anonymous says:

    We hav an “urgent care”/walk-in place for established patients at a group prctice here – and it is super. Basically you get looked at by NP’s, and referred if they think your problem is more demanding.Most people are hugely relieved just to know it is there – bu tit must reduce the Ed’s census at the hospital.