WASHINGTON, Mo. – When people are unable to see their physician during office hours, yet their illness isn’t serious enough to require the expense of an emergency room visit, Mercy offers the walk-in care of Convenient Care and Urgent Care clinics. Now Mercy is offering both levels of service at one location in Washington.
Mercy Convenient Care/Urgent Care is open at Mercy Medical Building South in Washington. (Formerly the Patients First building.) This dual clinic offer extended hours, walk-in convenience and different care services for different illnesses and injuries. Patients walk up to one counter and a nurse determines if patients need the simpler care of the Convenient Clinic or the more complex attention of the Urgent Care clinic. Then they are directed to the appropriate patient room for that type of care.
“Having two care levels at one location ensures that patients receive the right level of care, not more or less than they need, which keeps costs down and improves efficiency for everyone, especially patients,” said Mercy Medical Director Jennifer Scheer, MD, who oversees many of Mercy’s Convenient Care and Urgent Care clinics across eastern Missouri.
Convenient Care is the kind of medical care Ivan Stroh received at Mercy Convenient Care/Urgent Care. “I’ve had really good experiences there,” said Stroh, of St. Clair, who recently received services at the convenient side of the dual clinic. “If I‘ve got to go anywhere, I go there. The people are nice, the price is right, and I feel taken care of.”
Virginia Elliot, of the Union area, was treated for an infection caused by a dog bite. Because her doctor at the clinic asked a lot of questions about her medical history, she learned that her lifelong allergy to penicillin never existed. Her injury is on the mend, thanks to the Urgent Care doctor at the dual clinic and penicillin. “I don’t go to the Urgent Care very often but what I found there was a very informed and compassionate staff,” said Elliot, adding that she was delighted to have a doctor who investigated her allergy.
Since the dual clinic opened, the majority of patients who come in are directed to the Convenient Care clinic, and that is a significant cost savings. Because Convenient Care is part of Mercy Clinic, patients there pay the same insurance co-pay that they would at their doctor’s office. Patients pay a higher co-pay for Urgent Care services, because they offer more sophisticated diagnostics and treatments, they also pay far less than they would for a visit to the hospital emergency room, which offers 24/7, trauma-level care.
“The financial savings for receiving the right level of care is significant,” said Dr. Scheer. “Convenient Care patients are seeing it with their co-pay and Urgent Care patients are seeing it with reduced costs and shorter waiting times compared to the emergency room.”
Mercy Convenient Care/Urgent Care Clinic is one of two dual Mercy clinics in Missouri and is located in the Mercy Medical Building South, 901 Patients First Drive in Washington. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the weekends. Mercy has an additional Urgent Care clinic in the Phoenix Center in Washington and Convenient Care clinics in Eureka and Union. They are staffed by Mercy Clinic physicians and nurse practitioners.