Urgent care in the community: an observational study

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Adie, John
Graham, Wayne
Bromfield, Kerron
Maiden, Bianca
Klaer, Sam
Wallis, Marianne
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Purpose: This case study describes a community-based urgent care clinic in a general practitioner (GP) super clinic in South East Queensland. Design/methodology/approach: This retrospective chart audit describes patient demographic characteristics, types of presentations and management for Sundays in 2015. Findings: The majority of patients (97%) did not require admission to hospital or office investigations (95%) and presented with one condition (94%). Of the presentations, 66.5% were represented by 30 conditions. Most patients received a prescription (57%), some were referred to the pathology laboratory (15%) and some were referred to radiology (12%). A majority (54%) of patients presented in the first three hours. Approximately half (51%) of patients presenting were aged under 25. More females (53%) presented than males. A majority (53%) lived in the same postcode as the clinic. The three most common office tests ordered were urinalysis, electrocardiogram (ECG) and urine pregnancy test. Some patients (19%) needed procedures, and only 3% were referred to hospital. Research limitations/implications: The study offers analysis of the client group that can be served by an urgent care clinic in a GP super clinic on a Sunday. The study provides an option for emergency department avoidance. Originality/value: Despite calls for more research into community-based urgent care clinics, little is known in Australia about what constitutes an urgent care clinic. The study proposes a classification system for walk-in presentations to an urgent care clinic, which is comparable to emergency department presentations.

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Journal of Health Organization and Management
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Adie, J; Graham, W; Bromfield, K; Maiden, B; Klaer, S; Wallis, M, Urgent care in the community: an observational study, Journal of Health Organization and Management, 2021