The facility is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends. Officials expect to double the number of patients in a few years, with the goal of treating 28,000 patients a year. The new urgent-care facility will employ about 25 people in a medical center where 450 people already work. And patients will be charged the same co-pay as for a doctor visit, not the much higher one charged for emergency-room visits.
This center is a hybrid, not a doctor’s office designed strictly for examinations, but not an emergency room, either. It’s meant for someone who has come down with conjunctivitis, a bad sore throat, or a cut that may require a few stitches, and who can’t get an appointment with his or her regular doctor.
It is also a place where doctors can send patients for follow-up visits or to do procedures that cannot be done in the doctor’s office.
“If somebody walked in and were sicker than they thought, we would stabilize them and get them off to the hospital,” said Janice Trombetto, administrative director for North Shore Urgent Care.
Caring for walk-in patients at a doctor’s office may be quite common, but the idea of setting up a separate suite designed just for urgent-care services is a model that is popular in other parts of the country and is now catching on around here, officials say.
There are other providers of urgent care on the North Shore. In Swampscott, Family Doctors LLC, a group practice of eight doctors and three nurse practitioners, offers walk-in sick visits at its treatment center on Paradise Road seven days a week. The center can provide acute care for illnesses and minor emergencies and refers major emergencies to the emergency room.