Walk-in care coming to Marshall Family Practice at Fitzgibbon Hospital
It is 6 p.m. Friday evening, and your toddler has been crying about an earache for the last hour.
If you are like many people in the area, you head to the emergency room at Fitzgibbon Hospital because there is no doctor's office open.
While such situations are not "life-threatening," where else do you turn for medical attention after hours?
Beginning Monday, Aug. 6, you can turn to Marshall Family Practice, as it extends its hours, according to a news release from the hospital.
The extended hours will provide greater access to non-emergency care and will help contain healthcare costs.
The practice will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with final walk-in access ending at 6:30 p.m. Regularly scheduled advance physician appointment times will remain from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Family nurse practitioners will be caring for patients who walk in for care or who choose early morning or late afternoon appointments.
Recent government reports estimate about 25 percent of patient visits to emergency departments are not true emergencies. Instead, they result from no other access to care at the hour patients need it.
National healthcare think tanks estimate anywhere from $5 to $20 billion each year is spent in an emergency room setting unnecessarily on such ailments as sore throats, earaches or just a bad cold. The overuse of emergency rooms also has hospitals struggling to maintain acceptable wait times for those who truly need immediate care.
"We are responding to requests from our community as we offer a more family-friendly environment and lower cost alternative to the Emergency Department," Ron Ott, CEO and president of Fitzgibbon Hospital said. "We see this as a win-win for our patients as we increase their access to care in a lower cost setting."
Family Nurse Practitioners Brenda Dodds and Ali Roth will see the walk-in patients during the extended hours. Shari Thompson, M.D., and Sonal Brizendine, M.D., will continue to care for scheduled clinic patients.
Marshall Family Practice is a federally designated Rural Health Clinic serving Marshall and the surrounding area. For more information about the extended hours, or to schedule an appointment, call 660-886-7800 or visit us on the web at www.fitzgibbon.org.
Fitzgibbon Hospital's mission as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit community hospital is "to improve the health of our community."