While it may not have looked it on the outside, the urgent care center in the brand new Orleans Medical Building at 42 Route 6A opened Saturday.
The center, one of six run by Cape Cod Healthcare, will be open seasonally from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. It is expected to be open at least until Columbus Day and perhaps beyond to Thanksgiving depending on business.
The building is 6,200 square feet and while the landscaping, signage and final touches are unfinished, the doors will be open and the staff ready and awaiting their first patients.
“We’re making a final push,” Executive Director of Urgent Care Services Joseph Camelio said June 30.
The building sits where the Lobster Claw Restaurant used to be, between the Bangkok Cuisine restaurant and the Nauset Fish and Lobster Pool. Access and parking is in the back which is where the ambulance bay is as well. When you enter the door, primary care is to the left and urgent care to the right. The primary care wing won’t open until later in the year, but once it does, it will be year round.
Camelio said they expect to be busy from the get go, opening as they are on the July 4 weekend.
“We expect to see 100 patients a day,” he said. “We expect it to ramp up quick. With the reputation of Cape Cod Healthcare, people know they’ll get quality care. That’s a big factor. ”
The Fontaine Outpatient Center in Harwich can see 180 patients a day so this could lessen the crush there while also drawing in new customers from Eastham and Wellfleet.
Working with Orleans ambulance
“We work with the departments to ease the impact,” Camelio said. “We go to them anytime we open a center. Often times they like it. When (the ambulances) come to us the patients are all bundled up and they are easier to transport.”
While there will be ambulance runs from the center to Cape Cod Hospital, some of those patients might’ve called the Fire Department directly in the past. Others who would’ve called 911 are triaged, treated and sent home by the urgent care center.
“The transport rate is about 4% out of the centers,” Camelio said.
When to go to urgent care
The center will be staffed by doctors from the Cape Cod Emergency Associates. Urgent care falls between primary care from a patient’s physician and the emergency room at Cape Cod Hospital, which caters to more serious injuries, abdominal pains, heart attacks, strokes etc. If a patient can’t wait weeks to see a primary care physician, urgent care is for them.
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The center will have two receptionists, one or two nurses, one doctor, one technician and one radiologist. The doctors will rotate in. There are six examination rooms.
Camelio said they’ve been able to recruit staff.
“We work hard on recruitment. We have a great reputation for a quality product and people want to be part of that,” Camelio said.
No referrals are needed and the center will be open to walk-ins. Patients should bring insurance cards and other information.
“The wait here will be exceptionally lower than the emergency room,” Camelio said. “We offer rapid COVID, strep and flu testing swabs. We are not able to do blood work.”
How long is the wait at urgent care?
One feature of the center’s reception area will be a screen giving real time wait time information. This is also available online so potential patients can decide whether to go to Fontaine or Orleans. There is a procedure room in addition to the exam rooms so they can do splints and orthopedic work.
Cape Cod Healthcare operates four other satellite medical facilities in addition to Orleans and Fontaine, in Falmouth, Sandwich, Hyannis and Osterville. The Osterville facility is also seasonal.