AMA Sets Urgent Care Standards

The American Medical Association has issued a special report on urgent care facilities, suggesting some new principles for their operation.

According to the AMA, urgent care centers must:

  • Help patients who do not have a primary care physician or usual source of care to identify one in the community.
  • Transfer a patient’s medical records to his or her primary care physician and to other health care providers, with the patient’s consent, including offering transfer in an electronic format if the receiving physician is capable of receiving it.
  • Produce patient visit summaries that are transferred to the appropriate physicians and other health care providers in a meaningful format that prominently highlight salient patient information.

Urgent Care Centers also should:

  • Work with primary care physicians and medical homes to support continuity of care and ensure provisions for appropriate follow-up care are made.
  • Use local physicians as medical directors or supervisors and they should be clearly identified and posted.

Finally, Urgent Care Centers should

  • Have a well-defined scope of clinical services
  • Communicate the scope of services to the patient prior to evaluation
  • Provide a list of services provided by the center
  • Provide the qualifications of the on-site health care providers prior to services being rendered
  • Describe the degree of physician supervision of any non-physician practitioners
  • Include in any marketing materials the qualifications of the on-site health care providers

The Urgent Care Association (UCA) and College of Urgent Care Medicine (CUCM) responded by assuring the AMA that these principles are already part of urgent care standard practice.

Not all urgent care clinics are alike, however. Medical organizations have expressed concern about continuity of care for patients who choose urgent care clinics.

MANA Urgent Care

MANA Urgent Care centers are staffed by MANA doctors. MANA, or Medical Associates of Northwest Arkansas, is a consortium of independent physicians. If you see a MANA doctor at another MANA clinic, your MANA Urgent Care doctor will have access to your medical records for greater continuity of care. 

MANA Urgent Care was named the “Best Urgent Care in Northwest Arkansas” by the readers of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and “Best Medical Clinic” by the readers of Citiscapes magazine, reflecting the quality of care provided at their two convenient locations. 

MANA Urgent Care offers a lower-cost alternative to the emergency room for individuals who do not have a primary care physician. The clinics are also open on weekends and are a convenient option for people who can’t wait for an appointment elsewhere.