Sunday, February 19, 2006

Nurse Practitioners in Minute Clinics

Thanks to NurseJoan for sending me this little tidbit!

Physicians are critical of the concept, calling the sites "convenient-store care" and "retail clinics."
Dr. Elisabeth L. Righter, president of the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians, said the emphasis at clinics such as these is on time and money, not safety and quality. She said there should be physician supervision.
"It’s a retail ploy to increase their market share," she said. "It’s a gimmick to me. It’s a way to get them inside the store to buy more things."
CVS officials did not return phone calls. MinuteClinic officials said patients can fill prescriptions anywhere.
Tim Maglione, spokesman for the Ohio State Medical Association, said doctors know their patients and will ask more questions.
"What may appear to be trivial can be a very serious health situation, and these clinics are not equipped to handle that," he said.
But Dr. Jim Woodburn, medical director for MinuteClinic, said no one wants to replace doctors.
"We’ll encourage people to find a doctor and give them a list of clinics in your neighborhood (that) . . . are accepting new patients," he said.
MinuteClinic has electronic medical records to keep track of visits and can fax copies of records to the patients’ physicians.
Nurse practitioners treat a specific list of minor illnesses and refer patients with serious or chronic conditions to urgentcare centers, hospitals or doctors’ offices.

Click on the title to read the whole story...

I think that part of the problem with this concept is in the naming "Minute Clinic". It implies fast, shoddy healthcare and gives nurse practitioners who work there the same persona. I think that it will help decompress the ER departments by giving people the option to get a diagnosis for the easy things. I think that people SHOULD NOT use these places as primary healthcare providers. But after hours and on the weekends when the sudden earache or sore throat kicks in.. I might give it a shot. Beats the crap out of sitting in the ER for hours taking up precious resources for trauma patients who truly need their help. Nurse practitioners ask the right questions just like doctors do. I resent the fact that doctors "know their patients" better and that NPs don't know how to ask important diagnositic questions.. If doctors or NPs don't ask the right questions, they aren't qualified professionals. Besides, how many minutes do you actually get at your doctor's office??? 15??? Point made....

No comments:

Post a Comment