12:43 PM

Walk-in clinics expand access to orthopedic care

Orthopedics Today reports the Urgent Care Association reported an increase in the number of urgent care clinics across the United States from 2013-2019, providing more patients with access to treatment of non-life- or limb-threatening conditions and injuries.

John P. DiFiori, MD, FACSM, chief of Primary Sports Medicine at HSS, explained how the use of urgent care clinics has been further expanded by orthopedic practices and hospitals that see orthopedic walk-in clinics as way to increase access to comprehensive musculoskeletal care. “As opposed to a typical urgent care where the providers are trained in a number of different areas, including to some extent musculoskeletal care, [patients] are getting a higher level of care for a musculoskeletal condition because all of the physicians and providers at that location are specifically trained in musculoskeletal care.”

Since April, HSS has opened eight urgent orthopedic care clinics at existing HSS locations. According to Dr. DiFiori, HSS Urgent Ortho Care clinics provide services for urgent musculoskeletal injuries that cannot wait to be scheduled for an orthopedic office visit, including onsite x-ray or musculoskeletal ultrasound, as well as splinting, casting or bracing. Although the clinics do not offer surgical treatment, DiFiori noted some sites are equipped to perform outpatient procedures, such as ultrasound-guided injections. “If it was thought that [patients had] a surgical injury, they would be appropriately managed and then care with a surgeon who had expertise in that particular injury would be facilitated either that same day or within the timeframe that is needed to treat that injury appropriately,” he cited.

Dr. DiFiori concluded that urgent care and walk-in clinics are a way orthopedic practices can expand care throughout their communities, and are meant to complement and not replace the care provided by a primary care physician or an orthopedic specialist.

Read the full article at Healio.com/news/orthopedics.