Although some health conditions may not be life-threatening, they may require quick medical attention in order to prevent complications. But why head for the nearest hospital emergency room? Another choice is available: urgent care centers.
So you broke your arm in a cycling accident. Or maybe you came down with the flu. Maybe your child tore a muscle sliding into home during a Little League game.
Although these conditions may not be life-threatening (in most cases), they do require quick medical attention in order to prevent complications and begin healing. So do you head for the nearest hospital emergency room?
In recent years, another choice has arisen: urgent care centers. Urgent Care Medicine, according to the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine website, “is the provision of immediate medical service offering outpatient care for the treatment of acute and chronic illness and injury.”
In the Philadelphia area,
a relatively new player has emerged in this field: CareSTAT Urgent Care, owned by husband-and-wife team Dr. Jonathan and Jaime Gusdorff. The clinic opened its doors in 2011, at the Manoa Shopping Center in Havertown.
Jaime Gusdorff handles the business end with her husband providing the medical expertise. The enterprise grew out of the physician’s desire for a “second medical career.”
A board-certified neuro-radiologist who attended Philadelphia College of Osteopathy Medicine, Jonathan Gusdorff realized that although he “still likes radiology and does it part time,” he’s “happier being around people and patients and seeing the outcomes of their treatment.”
Living in the western suburbs, he realized that the only nearby choice for urgent care was the ER, and although he believes that is the appropriate choice for those with life-threatening conditions, for many others, it means a long, costly wait.
In contrast, a summer camp where he served as physician had, within a short distance, two urgent care centers.
Mike Segal, whose daughter is mentally challenged, experienced an ER wait of well over five hours when he took his daughter in for a fractured femur. By contrast, a more recent experience at CareSTAT was considerably less stressful, he says.
“This past October,” Segal relates, “she fractured both wrists on two different days in the same week.” Segal says he was pleased with the care his daughter received, reducing the anxiety of both parents and child.
Segal reports that “she was in and out in under an hour.” An orthopedist from a Children’s Hospital of Philadelphian satellite branch did the casting, using images created at CareSTAT.
As for costs: “The whole thing is less costly” than going to a hospital’s emergency room, says Gusdoff, “which is why insurance companies are pushing the urgent care model.”
If focus on patients is important, so is commitment to the community, says Gusdorff. “We live in the community; we’re part of the community, and we serve the community.”
Gusdorff says his ethic of community service is deeply rooted in his Jewish background. In fact, his wife shares this ethic.
Their goal, she says, is to “expand the business” — her husband relates that there are prospects for added sites in Montgomery, Delaware and Philadelphia counties — but keep the same feeling of “homegrown” care. Or, as her husband says, “a place where we feel safe taking our own kids.”