Trinity Health operates its urgent care clinics in joint ventures with Premier Health.
Trinity Health is committed to urgent care growth, according to Daniel Roth, executive vice president and chief clinical officer at the Livonia, Michigan-based health system.
"Urgent care will continue to grow. One of the interesting things to be mindful of is that everybody is growing urgent care, which is creating a more competitive environment. That is why it is important for us to make urgent care easy for people and integrated with our delivery system. Another thing that is going to change in urgent care is that as we meet people's needs, there may be new services that we offer in the urgent care setting that are not delivered in the urgent care setting today," he says.
At Trinity Health, urgent care centers are a key access point and integral part of the health system, Roth says. "For us, it is about whole-person care and being available and accessible to patients. Our vision for urgent care is as an important access point, so people can get care when they want it, where they want it, but in an integrated way. So, urgent care is important for us because it is an accessible point for care when people have urgent issues, and it ties into the rest of our care delivery model including primary care as well as if people need additional care after they have been at an urgent care center such as specialty care."
Urgent care has been fully integrated with the health system, he says. "We want urgent care to be a seamless part of the care journey for patients. We want it to be there when people have an urgent issue, so they can get care when they want it. But urgent care is seamless when patients get follow-up care. If a patient has a fracture and needs follow-up care, we can provide that care. We make it easy for people to continue their care journey. It is important that we integrate a patient's clinical information across the continuum of care. We know the patient if they show up in an urgent care center and they came from one of our primary care practices, or if they end up in one of our hospitals after an urgent care visit."
Urgent care is also a way to lower costs for patients, Roth says. "Urgent care is also good for patients because it is at a lower cost than going to the emergency room. It allows us to partner with patients to lower their out-of-pocket expenses."
Urgent care has grown to be a significant care setting at Trinity Health, he says. "It has evolved a lot, and it will continue to evolve. It has grown to become a much more prominent part of our health system. Whereas in the past we may have relied on the emergency room as a point of access, more and more care is being delivered in an urgent care setting. That is what people want, and we are meeting people's needs. Another way urgent care has evolved at Trinity Health is as we grow our presence in primary care, urgent care has become an integrated partner with primary care."
Trinity Health operates its urgent care centers in joint ventures with Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Premier Health. "We were looking for somebody who had demonstrated expertise in running high-quality, easy to access urgent care centers on a wide geographic footprint. We did not have that level of expertise within Trinity Health—there are unique skills involved in running urgent care centers. First, Premier Health has broad experience working with health systems and working as health system partners. Second, they have the same shared vision and history as we have around service and mission. Third, they have a focus on quality—we were impressed by their focus on quality of care and quality of service," Roth says.
Christopher Cheney is the senior clinical care editor at HealthLeaders.
Trinity Health Chief Clinical Officer Daniel Roth says urgent care will continue to grow and will likely offer new services in the future.
Urgent care centers provide a key access point and are fully integrated into the health system, Roth says.