I worked as a patient care advocate and the state of Arizona. My job is to walk around hospitals and healthcare facilities in the state to check the quality of healthcare being provided at that specific location. I have a series of subjective questions that I ask each patient and rate their answers on a scale of 1 to 5. The questions are designed to get to the bottom of things and to reveal a patient’s true feelings about the situation. It may ask about how the food service was, how prompt the nurse or doctor was, whether or not your surgery or procedure started on time and there is a section where patients can leave comments as well. All of this training has given me a unique perspective on what it is like to be working in the healthcare field and what it is like on the other side of things from a patient’s perspective. Recently, I had to take my daughter into the urgent care center in Las Vegas due to an illness. The whole time I will is focused on getting her better and making her feel better but there was a part of me that couldn’t help silently evaluate the clinic and the people working there. Hey, what can I say old habits are hard to break.
So, while Kristen was being looked at by the nurse I was poking and prodding around with the staff and other patients in the waiting area to get to the bottom of things.
Of the five people who were waiting in the lobby to be seen by a doctor, none of them had been waiting for more than 15 minutes when we arrived. One lady said she goes to the urgent care center in Las Vegas often and that she rarely has to wait to be seen. From what I know about the hospital emergency room nearby this is a major seachange. It is not uncommon for patients to wait an hour or more just to be admitted and once you are in the emergency room that is no guarantee a doctor or nurse is coming by to see you anytime soon. The problem is there are too many patients to triage and they are forced to deal with the more traumatic injuries or illnesses before they can get to you.
Surprisingly, I learned that the urgent care center in Las Vegas was actually opened up by an ER doctor. Who was looking for a better way to deliver health care. In every hospital or clinic there are always a few shining stars who rise above the rest. This doctor had a great ability to recognize that in other people and hired them to work at his clinic. Now, there are over 14 such clinics in the area and continuing to expand every year. I am really thankful that we have the urgent care center in Las Vegas nearby because they deliver better patient care than anywhere I have ever seen or evaluated.