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Walk-In Clinics

February 24, 2013

I have served my community in all four of our leading health delivery locations; attending to patients in the emergency room (ER), hospital, walk-in clinic, as well as my own clinic.

Out of all these settings, I believe that you will receive the best quality of care if you see me at the Border City Clinic.

Walk-in clinics have several shortcomings and the ER is meant to be a highly specific service (which I will address in a separate blog).

Here are some of the challenges that the local walk-in clinic faces when dealing with your health concerns:

• Lack of an electronic record system leads to slow retrieval of results, charts, and doctors’ notes.
• Handwritten notes are illegible when scanned into a digital format.
• Your test results are not automatically sent to your family doctor.
• Your family doctor will not receive any visitation notes.
• You will see a different doctor every time you go to a walk-in clinic. There is no continuity of care.
• The doctor you happen to see and the doctor who reviews your test result is not the same person. The context of the information is thus removed.
• Unnecessary duplication of tests drive up health care costs. This uncoordinated system wastes money that should be spent on attracting specialists, buying new health equipment or upgrading current facilities.

Walk-in clinics provide fragmented, intermittent care. It is always better to see a doctor who knows and understands you.

I have a responsibility to save and store your medical data. This ensures a rich context of information that will best serve your health needs. If you happen to be admitted to hospital, I will be the one who looks after you. I have to ensure that you are cared for at all times: 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

I acknowledge the convenience that a walk-in clinic provides. For that reason, I offer an advanced access service. Advanced access refers to scheduled time slots reserved for same-day or next-day visits.

The Border City Clinic also offers a same-day service to cater for patients who cannot access their own doctor on a given day. Even if you see another doctor at the Border City Clinic, I have full access to electronic consultation notes, test results and your entire medical record.

Before you decide to use a walk-in clinic, phone the Border City clinic first.

Despite their obvious flaws, walk-in clinics serve an important function in our community. They fill in some of the service gaps that arise in health care.

There are patients in our community who do not have family doctors. For that reason, I will continue to work in the walk-in clinic to serve those patients for whom attendance at a walk-in clinic is a necessity.

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