Managing Editor's Memo

Urgent Care Centers Would Ease Hospital Strain


Frank Diamond

Let me tell you about my colonoscopy. Editing umpteen articles about the importance of prevention sinks in, eventually, and I realized that my time had come. Where had those five years gone?

I made the appointment, and the day of, I went, I slept, and the doc conquered. He nabbed a polyp or two.

What could be easier? Well, the next morning I found myself in the emergency department after a night of what I finally had to admit was excessive bleeding. I was there by 5 a.m. on a Tuesday. The nurse at the sign-in desk warned that I faced a long wait, and she was as good as her word.

I did not get admitted until about 9 a.m. I remember bravely texting a friend at work named Philip, asking him to tell my colleagues that I loved them all, even the old grump in the corner office.

About six hours later I realized that I’d actually texted Peppi’s Pizza (which, by the way, never answered). Eventually, that day, the doc went back in (two for the price of four!) and put a clip on the bleeding ulcer where once had stood a dry and blameless polyp.

The waiting was the hardest part. I thought Friday and Saturday were the busy times, what with people getting caught up on their scheduled knifings and shootings.

As one nurse put it, ‘You never know.’

The lesson in all of this is that you should read our cover story about urgent care centers gaining more acceptance even among hospitals whose ERs are supposed to be competitors. They ease emergency department strain, so that everybody who’s faking can get treated elsewhere and the providers can concentrate on what really counts. Me.

I’ll never order from Peppi’s again.

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