Published on in Children's Doctor
Rebecca Donahue, RN, BSN, and Susan Schwab Weimer, RN, BSN, CPEN
CHOP Urgent Care functions as an extension of the services provided by the child’s primary care pediatrician. Hours of operation are weekdays from 4 to 11 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and holidays. Staffed by CHOP pediatricians and nurses specializing in pediatric urgent care, we provide after-hours care for children with mild-to-moderate, non-life-threatening illnesses or injuries that do not require the resources of an emergency room.
In addition to our specially trained pediatricians and nursing staff, we have pediatric radiology technologists and medical technicians who provide radiology and laboratory services onsite, allowing timely diagnostic testing and treatment. All images taken in Urgent Care Centers are read by clinical staff in addition to pediatric radiologists, a feature unique to CHOP.
While we do not provide routine emergency care, our staff is skilled in providing timely triage, stabilization, and, if necessary, appropriate transfer of all pediatric patients. Our relationship with the CHOP Transport Team, along with local EMS, ensures prompt patient transport to a hospital for definitive care when necessary. Our Urgent Care team uses best practices from across the CHOP Care Network; clinical pathways from the Emergency Department; educational in-services from medical experts in the ambulatory sites; and coordination of expedited patient referrals to appropriate medical specialists at CHOP, ensuring timely, comprehensive care.
We believe every child should have a primary care pediatrician to ensure that all the medical and nonmedical needs of the patient are met; therefore we do not perform physicals or administer vaccinations. If a primary care physician is not identified, we refer the patient and family to a CHOP pediatrician, who will be able to promote a family-centered medical home environment.
A detailed summary of the Urgent Care visit, including medications and treatment plan, is faxed to the patient’s primary care pediatrician at the time of discharge from the Urgent Care Center. A callback to the family is made by an Urgent Care clinician the following day, to ensure timely follow-up with the PCP and to identify any outstanding issues the patient and family members may have.
With lower co-pays and shorter wait times than emergency rooms, Urgent Care is a safe, effective, and convenient solution for families seeking high-quality pediatric care outside their primary care physician’s office hours.
Rebecca Donahue, RN, BSN, worked 15 years in CHOP’s Emergency Department before joining the King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, Urgent Care team as the clinical supervisor. Susan Schwab Weimer, RN, BSN, CPEN, worked in CHOP’s Emergency Department for 14 years before becoming the clinical supervisor of CHOP’s first Urgent Care Center in Mays Landing, New Jersey.