PROVIDENCE – With seven CVS MinuteClinics slated to open in late 2014, new standards for urgent-care centers’ communication have been developed to help alleviate some primary care providers’ concerns.
Healthcentric Advisors, a nonprofit focused on health care quality, led a collaborative process with providers and stakeholders to develop Safe Transitions Best Practice Measures for Urgent Care Centers, the first-known standards for urgent-care communication during patient-care transitions.
The newly developed best practices are believed to be the first to define standards for urgent-care communication with primary care, address primary care providers’ concerns and establish consistent expectations for urgent-care centers across the state.
The team used a multistage approach to develop the best practices, including reviewing the medical literature and obtaining provider input on the concepts and definitions.
“Urgent care isn’t going away,” said Dr. Brian Montague, an internist at The Miriam Hospital whose clinical practice focuses on patients with HIV/AIDS. “There is an accessibility with urgent care that we can’t seem to reproduce in most clinical settings. At the same time, we don’t have good communication between urgent care and primary care.” •