It’s lunchtime, and your coworker slices his finger cutting fruit. The bleeding doesn’t stop, and he probably needs stitches.
There’s a choice to make – emergency room or urgent care center? That’s where ChoiceOne Urgent Care comes in.
ChoiceOne Urgent Care
Urgent Care Services Offered:
X-Rays, Labs and
Travel Health & Medicine Program:
ChoiceOne is a local urgent care center company that provides care for patients needing immediate attention for conditions that don’t necessitate hours waiting in the emergency room. That includes allergic reactions, broken bones, sprains and strains, cuts requiring stitches, mild fevers, minor burns, pink eye, animal and insect bites, and cold and flu symptoms. Conditions more serious in nature like severe abdominal and chest pain, serious eye or head injuries, severe burns, stroke or heart attack symptoms, significant difficulty breathing, and very high fevers are candidates for the emergency room.
“We manage as much as we can outside of the ER so people don’t need to be there if they don’t have to,” says Scott Burger, D.O., Chief Medical Officer of ChoiceOne. “So many things in the ER could be managed by an urgent care center with a full complement of services.”
A Unique Urgent Care Center
The ChoiceOne difference is its business model, according to Burger. All ChoiceOne centers are partnered with local hospitals and local primary care physicians in an effort to provide optimal care for all patients. In Maryland, ChoiceOne partners with the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) to offer integrated, coordinated care between patients and UMMS providers. Additionally, ChoiceOne maintains communication with the patient’s primary care physician, who remains the main caregiver for the patient.
“We do not offer primary care services,” says Burger. “When you mix primary care and urgent care, someone gets shortchanged … We stay in our lane; we take care of urgent problems and illnesses and send patients back to their primary care physician to manage chronic care and illnesses.”
A priority for ChoiceOne is patient education. Prior to seeking urgent care treatment, patients are encouraged to visit ChoiceOne’s website or call one of its eight Maryland centers (or two Georgia centers) to determine the right choice for treatment. The goal is to help the patient determine the proper center to turn to for the most efficient and effective care.
The ChoiceOne experience saves time by having X-ray equipment on-site. Unlike in the ER or other centers that may send patients elsewhere for scans and then require a wait for the results, radiologists read the X-rays within 10 minutes at ChoiceOne. And, if a bone is broken, a team member will make an appointment for the patient with an orthopedist in the area before the patient leaves the center.
ChoiceOne offers convenience, including appointments or walk-ins from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Sometimes, a lingering cold worsens and an appointment with the primary care physician is not available that day, especially not on a lunch hour or after the workday. After treatment, ChoiceOne immediately sends the patient’s record, including a clinical summary, to the patient’s primary care physician for follow-up.
“We are positioned as an extension of their practice – we take care of their patients as well as they do,” Burger explains. “We want them to view us as something that helps them take better care of their patients.”
The Optimal Patient Experience
The patient experience is a priority for ChoiceOne. First, the center’s look and feel is designed to be soothing and spa-like, Burger explains. The waiting area incorporates a waterfall, spa music and artwork, to soothe and calm patients while they wait. There’s also a coffee bar to provide a hot drink.
“We empathize with people when they feel their worst,” says Burger. “The last thing they want is to go into an uninviting medical environment. Our centers foster a comforting type of atmosphere.”
In addition, all team members from physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners to medical assistants to X-ray technicians to receptionists undergoes patient experience training. It’s all about providing the best possible experience while at a ChoiceOne center.
“Taking care of patients is a privilege,” Burger notes. “We focus on making sure patients get the best possible experience during their visit at ChoiceOne.”
ChoiceOne Urgent Care Locations:
1730 Merritt Blvd, Dundalk
14237 Jarrettsville Pike, Phoenix
1220A E Joppa Road,
8 Denton Plaza, Denton
2315 Belair Rd, Unit C1, Fallston
28522-C Marlboro Avenue, Easton
2690 Hamilton Mill Road, Suite 100, Buford (Hamilton Mill), GA
5910 Suwanee Dam Road, Suite 100, Sugar Hill, GA
744 South Philadelphia Boulevard, Aberdeen
500-B Ritchie Highway, Severna Park
ChoiceOne also provides a wide range of occupational health services for area employers. This includes employment physicals, drug and alcohol screenings, return to work clearance, workers’ compensation and more. The medical staff also cares for employees injured on the job in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner, getting employees back to work more quickly and safely than an ER visit.
A Broad Beginning
Burger got his start in emergency medicine in New York City, serving as an attending physician at Harlem Hospital for three years. He served the level 1 trauma and burn center, finding the work challenging and rewarding.
He originally was introduced to urgent care during his internship 18 years ago, and during his first clinical month completed shifts on the fast track, similar to today’s urgent care center. The fast track department cared for 30,000 patients a year and he witnessed non-emergent patients waiting while those with higher acuity levels were seen first regardless of how short of a time since their arrival. They saw patients with symptoms of stroke, heart attack and congestive heart failure rushed through.
“I lived it and saw it,” he says. “A patient waited three hours and had a strep test in triage. Then he waited four hours for me to tell him to go home.”
Burger vowed to fix this issue someday and in 2015 joined with CEO Butch Marino, a healthcare executive for over 25 years to create ChoiceOne, which aims to have its patients in and out within an hour. Wait times are monitored daily, weekly and monthly, and staffing levels are constantly adjusted during busier seasons – like winter – to keep the visits to 60 minutes.
Recently, center personnel launched a program on its website that enables patients to reserve appointments in advance and view the current wait time. If the center is “bombarded,” a message is sent to the patient before the appointment to come some minutes later due to overflow issues.
“We try to make it as convenient for people as possible,” he says. “People are incredibly busy. We try to accommodate people’s schedules as best as we can.”
Although he serves as chief medical officer of all 10 centers, Burger still spends time seeing patients.
“I still love it and I have a great time taking care of people and interacting with them.” I95 Content Marketing
All ChoiceOne centers are accredited by the Urgent Care Association of America, following a rigorous evaluation similar to what the Joint Commission does to inspect hospitals. The centers accept most major insurances. ChoiceOne Urgent Care accepts walk-ins or patients can schedule their arrival time using ChoiceOne’s OnePass online check-in system. Visit www.choiceoneuc.com for more information.