Unfortunately, you can’t dictate your body to only be ill Monday-Friday. The common standard of patient care after hours is an automated phone tree instructing you to either call 911 or go the emergency room. But what if your problem isn’t life threatening? Do you really want to get lost in the ER triage pool? According to an article in USA Today by Laura Ungar, the average wait in the ER for a non-critical patient is 2 hours during the weekday and 3 hours on the weekend. Not to mention exposure to numerous germs and viruses that may make you even more sick. Then why have ER visits jumped 12% since 2011?
- Insurance coverage-sure that is one reason.
- The “right here, right now” trend of immediate gratification-also true but I can’t fix that either.
What I can control, as a practicing Ear, Nose and Throat physician, is open the doors of my solo practice on Saturday. I know the whole “work-life balance” but :
- I became a doctor to help patients and take my oath very serious.
- People can’t decide when to get sick.
- More and more individuals are working 1-2 jobs and need options besides weekdays from 8-5.
Urgent care centers and after-hour clinics are popping up everywhere to combat the higher cost of unnecessary ER visits, which cost approximately 25% more than an office visit, but I want to personally take care of my patients. Am I part of a growing trend to be more patient centric? I don’t know. But if you wake up on a Saturday with inflamed sinuses or your child’s ear infection has returned for the 3rd time, you know where to find me.
Rande H. Lazar
Providing pediatric and adult care for ear, nose and throat disorders since 1970 including:
- tonsil/ear/sinus/throat infection
- sleep apnea/snoring
- hearing loss