Health

New UnityPoint 'express' clinic streamlines urgent care process

Hiawatha site aims to get patients in and out within 30 minutes

Tracy Clemann (left), a clinical care attendant/certified medical assistant, takes the blood pressure of a simulated pat
Tracy Clemann (left), a clinical care attendant/certified medical assistant, takes the blood pressure of a simulated patient Thursday at UnityPoint Clinic — Express, 1940 Blairs Ferry Rd. in Hiawatha. UnityPoint’s newest urgent care facility operates under an express model where patients are in and out of the clinic within 30 minutes and have a patient liaison who stays with them the whole time. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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HIAWATHA — UnityPoint Health-Cedar Rapids is launching a new urgent care in Hiawatha this month that operates under an “express” model that patients increasingly look for, officials say.

UnityPoint Clinic — Express, which offers walk-in care for minor medical conditions or injuries that don’t require an emergency room visit, is designed to be as seamless as possible.

In fact, clinic officials aim to get patients in and out within 30 minutes.

“It’s what we’ve heard from our consumers. The more they can do in one stop, the better it is for them,” said Stacey Barrett, vice president of clinic operations for UnityPoint Clinic.

UnityPoint Clinic — Express will open Monday in Pecks Landing Plaza, the new 154,000-square-foot retail development on Blairs Ferry Road NE near the intersection of Edgewood Road NE.

The clinic, at 1940 Blairs Ferry Rd. Suite 104, will be open 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Three providers and 10 staff members operate the clinic and its services, which include X-ray, laboratory services and an on-site prescription dispensary.

As patients walk in, a clinical care attendant will greet them at the door and remain with them throughout the visit. Barrett said these attendants, who are clinically trained, have been trained in how to streamline the check-in and registration process for patients.

In fact, patients may not even have to wait in the waiting room. Attendants will immediately take patients to a room — or a suite, as they are designated in the clinic — where they will be registered and have their vitals taken.

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“We’re not going to be kicking anyone out after 30 minutes, it’s just something our team is working to implement,” Barrett said.

UnityPoint Clinic — Express operates under a similar model that is offered by other UnityPoint clinics in the Quad Cities and the Des Moines area.

Based on these other clinics, officials expect the Hiawatha-based facility to see 30 to 40 patients a day. Currently, one provider will staff the clinic at a time.

If they see 50 patients per day consistently, Barrett may consider the possibility of additional providers or an expansion of the clinic.

UnityPoint Clinic — Express is designed for people who don’t need routine medical care, Barrett said, which primarily applies to a younger demographic who don’t have an established relationship with a provider.

Barrett said the hope is that establishing a walk-in clinic attractive to this patient demographic would create an interest in establishing a relationship with the UnityPoint Health-Cedar Rapids system for their care down the road.

But providing services complementary to patients’ evolving desires for their care has been a systemwide goal for UnityPoint Health, Barrett said.

“We want to make sure we’re doing all we can to meet those desires,” she said.

Comments: (319) 368-8536; michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

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