Same day visits. Prompt care. No matter what it’s called, Plumas District Hospital wants the public to know that they can see a healthcare professional when they need one.
The service actually began last year and was called express care. It allowed for patients with particular symptoms — those that could be dealt with in a short 10-minute appointment — to be seen that same day.
Schedulers built time into healthcare providers’ days to allow for unplanned appointments.
The practice was so successful that the hospital is now expanding the availability and scope of those appointments and calling the overarching program Prompt Care.
While patients are encouraged to call in and make an appointment, Prompt Care will welcome walk-ins at the clinics between 8 and 11:30 a.m. and from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Dr. Jeff Kepple, the health care district’s CEO, said he wanted to ensure that everyone who needs healthcare — whether it be Feather River College students, summer tourists or other visitors, would receive it that same day.
When a patient calls in or walks in, they will be routed to a provider with an open slot, which means that their regular physician might not be the one to see them.
Initally, the hospital leaders had considered leaving one provider’s schedule completely open for same-day appointments, but ultimately opted to place open times within all providers’ schedules. By doing so, there would be less chance that a provider would have idle time, and patients would have more options to be seen.
“We took express care, which was very popular, and turned it into a more robust system,” Kepple said.
He added that this also ensures that people wouldn’t have to visit the emergency department when it wasn’t the most appropriate option, simply because there were no appointments available at the clinics.
Prompt care is expected to be fully implemented beginning Monday, Feb. 5.