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Mayo to offer Urgent Care

FAIRMONT — Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont will add another level of care this year.

Mayo will transition out of its Clinic at Walmart site and open an Urgent Care location at the medical center. The move is expected by Dec. 1.

The reasoning behind the move is simple: It’s what patients want.

“For the last year, we’ve been closely monitoring the volume and the patients’ comments and satisfaction with our Express Care services at Walmart,” said Amy Long, administrator at Mayo Fairmont. “We have seen a reduced number of visits at the Walmart clinic and an increase in patients asking for a higher level of care, which would be in Urgent Care.”

Mayo currently offers various levels of care. Express Care, like that at Walmart, is a walk-in clinic that treats minor medical conditions such as allergies, bladder infections, ear and eye infections, rashes and strep throat. The same service also is available through Express Care Online at www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org

However, Express Care services are available only to patients between the ages of 18 months and 75 years. Urgent Care treats patients from newborn to end of life.

Dr. Marie Morris, medical director at Mayo-Fairmont, cited as an example a mother picking up a sick infant under the age of 18 months from child care at the end of the day

“Historically, the only option was the emergency room, but that wouldn’t be necessary for treating an ear infection or a cough,” she said.

Having the Urgent Care located at the clinic also will improve patient care through greater access to laboratory and diagnostic services. Express Care offers a few basic lab tests, but Urgent Care will have the support of full lab and X-ray services, if needed.

“It absolutely will be more comprehensive and meet the needs our community has right now,” Long said.

“The weekend access for simple health conditions that don’t need to be in the emergency room are very appropriate for Urgent Care,” Morris said.

These conditions would include back or muscle pain, cuts and minor burns, sprains, respiratory infections, vomiting and diarrhea.

“We will mimic the hours currently at (Walmart) Express Care, and that’s seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m,” Long said.

Medical personnel staffing the Walmart site will move to the clinic’s Urgent Care, and additional staff may be added.

The cost of a visit to Urgent Care will be more than a stop at Express Care, simply because a higher level of care is offered, but Urgent Care visits routinely are covered by insurance.

When Mayo opens Urgent Care at the clinic, signs will direct patients to the designated area.

“We will have a dedicated check-in spot for Urgent Care,” Long said.

“Patients will come through our main door but will flow right into the Urgent Care check-in,” Morris said. “We’ll be using the same exam rooms with an efficient check-in process.”

The actual date for the transition is still uncertain, but Mayo plans to publicize the event through the media and possibly an open house.

“It should be a fairly seamless transition. There won’t be any gap in services,” Long said.

“We heard from the community. This is going to be a good expansion for health care,” Morris said.

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