The cold and flu season has been particularly rough this year, MultiCare physician assistant Joseph Guthrie has noticed.
The MultiCare Indigo Urgent Care clinic in South Hill, where Guthrie works, treats about 80 to 90 patients a day. Around this time of year, many have the flu.
“Us being here is taking a good load off our emergency departments, who see quite a load right now going in with the cold and flu season,” Guthrie said.
Before the clinic at 15125 Meridian E. in South Hill opened in March 2017, many flu and cold patients would be flooding the emergency rooms at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup.
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“MultiCare, right now, is the largest provider of urgent care in the state,” MultiCare media relations manager Mark Swart said. “We’re pushing urgent care because a lot of people end up in the (emergency department) for things they just don’t need to be there for.”
MultiCare, right now, is the largest provider of urgent care in the state. We’re pushing urgent care because a lot of people end up in the (emergency department) for things they just don’t need to be there for.
Mark Swart, MultiCare media relations manager
Along with the flu, colds and coughs, the clinic serves those suffering from sprains, broken bones, minor lacerations, urinary tract infections and other “basic health care” injuries and illnesses, Guthrie said. The South Hill clinic was awarded the 2017 Rising Star Award for Business Innovations by the Puyallup-Sumner Chamber of Commerce in January. The award hangs on the wall in the clinic.
The clinic treats patients from throughout the area who otherwise might have to travel farther to seek treatment. With growth in the South Hill area, the clinic is seeing patients from Bonney Lake and Eatonville.
“We have a lot of patients who come this way because there’s a lack of care on their end,” Guthrie said. “So South Hill is a great location for them.”
Not only is the clinic lifting stress off the shoulders of medical professionals in surrounding emergency departments, it’s also lifting stress from patients.
MultiCare launched its Indigo Urgent Care clinics in 2016 with the intent to refocus on patient-centered care.
“Our goal is fast, efficient, high-quality patient care for individuals on the go. Anywhere from moms who stay at home taking care of their children … to CEOs of MultiCare who are working all day long and need to come in at 7 (a.m.) because they have a cough,” Guthrie said.
Our goal is fast, efficient, high-quality patient care for individuals on the go. Anywhere from moms who stay at home taking care of their children … to CEOs of MultiCare who are working all day long and need to come in at 7 (a.m.) because they have a cough.
Joseph Guthrie, MultiCare physician assistant
At typical urgent care clinics, wait times can be hours long. Patients can skirt long lines by making an appointment online.
Even if patients walk in, the goal is to have them back out the door in 45 minutes.
“That’s one thing, as providers here working in the platform, we’re very excited about — our turnaround times and getting patients back to their normal lives and feeling better. That’s really important to us,” Guthrie said.
A physician assistant for 15 years, Guthrie was brought on board to Indigo from Alabama.
“We offer public Wi-Fi for our patients, multiple charging stations in the lobby — it’s really centered around not only are you getting health care today, but we’re also allowing you to work here, stay connected. We’re allowing your life to continue while you’re here waiting...(Indigo) is a complete 180 from what we typically see in health care,” he said.
There are currently 14 Indigo clinics in South Hill, Tacoma, Olympia, Mill Creek, Lacey, Lake Stevens, Tumwater, Marysville, Issaquah, Covington, Kirkland and Seattle.
The Indigo Urgent Care clinic in South Hill is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. For more information, visit indigourgentcare.com.