Parkview Physicians Group, of Fort Wayne, Ind., announced Monday plans to open a “walk-in” clinic in Archbold.
Krystal Miller, regional practice manager, said PPG is in the process of recruiting physicians to work in the facility.
“We are hoping to open in late 2013,” she said.
Phil Ennen, chief executive officer of Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers Bryan, said CHWC will rent space in the Westfield Medical Center, the former Archbold Hospital, to PPG.
The clinic will be located in the space formerly occupied by the Archbold Hospital emergency department.
Miller said a walk-in clinic, sometimes called a “first care” clinic, should be considered an extension of someone’s physician’s office.
“You have a sore throat, and your physician’s office is closed, and you can’t reach the doctor on call,” said Miller.
That is a situation to use the walk-in clinic.
“It’s for acute illnesses, something that’s here, now. Not an ongoing problem, like diabetes,” she said.
“It’s for working families. Mom picks up the kids after work, and the baby-sitter says your child has been pulling at his ear (a sign of an ear infection). You don’t want to be up all night, but the doctor’s office is closed.
“You cut yourself and you think you might need stitches,” said Miller. “Or the sidewalk jumps up and bites you. Or someone is visiting from out of town on a weekend, (and) hurts themselves.”
Those are all situations for the walk-in clinic, she said.
While the clinic can deal with many minor emergencies, it’s not the place to go for chest pains or severe, deep lacerations.
Those cases should continue to go to emergency rooms at area hospitals.
The walk-in clinic will be able to do x-rays.
“We’re working with CHWC to have radiology available,” she said.
That way, if someone has fallen, an x-ray can be taken to see if something has been broken. Or, the clinic doctor can see if abdominal pain is an attack of gallstones.
The walk-in clinic will also have some “point-of-care” laboratory services available.
If a person normally sees a Parkview physician, his medical records will be readily available to the clinic doctor, and vice-versa.
For those who see a physician outside the Parkview system, information about a visit can be faxed to a person’s regular physician.
The walk-in clinic will provide another service.
With a shortage of family practice physicians, many people don’t have a regular family practice physician.
The walk-in clinic can fill part of the void when needed.
Miller said a visit to the walk-in clinic will be less expensive than a trip to the emergency room.
Medical insurance companies do not see a trip to a walk-in clinic as an ER visit.
“A statement from Parkview to the insurance companies shows an office visit,” she said.