“This is a great opportunity and a way that we could offer care and services — especially to [patients] after hours and on the weekends,” said Ryan Ford, Jefferson County Health Center’s director of clinics about the health center’s new walk-in clinic.
The clinic, which Ford said came to fruition through the collaborative efforts of health center administrative staff and physicians, will offer quality care and quick access for those experiencing minor illnesses and injuries who don’t want to wait to see their primary care provider. With each appointment lasting around 15 minutes, Ford said the walk-in clinic would provide access to quality and quick care. “If you don’t want to wait for your primary care provider, or you come down with a cold or flu, bad bug bite, or any other kind of minor illness, we want to offer quick access, so that you are not having to wait on an appointment,” Ford said. Those experiencing an emergency would need to go to the emergency room.
The clinic has two exam rooms, and will be managed by two advanced registered nurse practitioners, both of whom currently practice at the health center’s JCHC Clinics. “We’re very excited about providing this service to the community,” said Annalisa Morgan, ARNP who will co-manage the clinic. “She’s one of our own,” Ford said of Morgan who has been working with the health center since 2011. Morgan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of Iowa and a Master of Science in nursing from Clarke University in Dubuque. Brenda Halls has been an ARNP for 10 years. She has worked with the health center for more than five years. Halls earned both her BSN and MSN from Graceland University. Halls said the clinic would offer more flexibility for patients and for the health center, and that children won’t always have to miss school when they need to be seen.
The clinic will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday - Friday • Noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.
Hospital CEO Deb Cardin said it’s not just about the convenience the new clinic would provide, but it’s also about continuity of care. “We know about the convenience,” Cardin said. “But we don’t want to jeopardize continuity of care. So when patients visit the walk-in clinic, their records are readily available so that [providers] can see their records.” Cardin said the health center would “piggy-back” off the University of Iowa’s medical records system called Epic — an electronic health records software. The walk-in clinic would have access to patient records who have received care at other area facilities, if their records were housed in Epic. Ford said the health center would begin utilizing the Epic system April 23. “Roughly 60 percent of records nationwide are under Epic,” Ford said, adding that the software would allow the health center far greater access to patient records. Ford said even those who might not be from Iowa, whose records are housed in Epic would be able to access their own basic records if they needed to be seen at the walk-in clinic in Fairfield. “Within Epic you have what’s called “my chart,” you wouldn’t be able to pull all of your medical records up, but a patient could go on their smart phone and pull up a partial record that would include allergies, medication, a problem list — that’s pretty much what it would be for continuity of care documents.” However, anyone who is a patient of local clinics, such as Medical Arts would automatically receive continuity of care at the walk-in clinic. Cardin said X-rays and labs would be available to patients seen at the walk-in clinic.
Although the clinic will be open and taking patients at its temporary location adjacent to the Rehabilitation Services Department Monday, it will eventually be housed in the health center’s new addition. “Construction will break ground in the spring on the new addition,” Ford said, adding that in addition to the walk-in clinic, the new addition would house the magnetic resonance imaging center, the sleep lab and a specialty clinic. Patients will have access to the walk-in clinic’s temporary location from an outside door south of the health center’s main entrance and north of the McCreery Cancer Center’s outside entrance.
For more information, contact the health center at 641-472-4111.