Legacy Health Announces Plans for New Hybrid Emergency Room and Urgent Care Clinic
Urgent care clinics and emergency rooms are often understandably portrayed as competitors: after all, both of these medical centers function as walk in clinics and offer treatment for a wide variety of different conditions. However, because urgent care centers treat non-life-threatening health problems for a lower cost and emergency rooms often struggle to manage a wide variety of severe and minor problems, these different medical centers often benefit when they work together to help their community. For this reason, Legacy Health is working to create a ground-breaking project in Portland, OR: the non-profit health system is planning to remodel the existing ER at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center to combine emergency room care with urgent medical care.
Currently, around half of the patients at Good Samaritan are admitted through the ER. However, hospital representatives say that not all of these people necessarily have an emergency need. Their $10 million combined emergency and urgent care clinic would help route these patients to the right level of care. Under this new model, patients with minor cuts and colds will be directed to the urgent care side, while more serious injuries and problems will be rushed to the emergency room. This hybrid clinic will also allow online scheduling and accept walk in patients. Representatives also said that the urgent care clinic will be open every day and late into the evening.
While Legacy Health says the main goal of its new project is to make care more efficient and create a calmer setting for many health problems, it is also working to remain competitive in the growing field of non-emergency care. In January, the system announced that will be partnering with GoHealth Urgent Care to open clinics around Portland as an ER alternative. Now, if their hybrid clinic is successful, Legacy Health representatives say that it could be expanded to the health system’s other five hospital locations.
Construction is expected to take eight months and will also create a more attractive facade, including a new front door area and valet dropoff. While the footprint of the new clinic will remain the same as the current ER, Legacy is relocating some administrative space to make room for the urgent care clinic.