urgent care sprained arm

Urgent care clinics bridge the gap between emergency departments (ED) and primary care providers. They’re an alternative for patients who need immediate medical care for conditions that aren’t life-threatening. Patients may present with symptoms as diverse as sore throats, minor cuts and puncture wounds, broken bones, or serious conditions that require emergency transport to an ED.

Depending on their services, urgent care centers may generate regulated medical and pharmaceutical wastes. Sharps Compliance is a trusted partner to many urgent care providers nationwide. We provide a variety of medical waste mailback and pickup services customized to each clinic’s needs.

What Is Urgent Care?

Urgent care clinics carry a variety of names:

  • Acute care clinics
  • Minor emergency centers
  • Quick care clinics

Urgent care clinics are changing the healthcare landscape in the US, according to Insider Intelligence. Consumer expectations for healthcare access are changing, and urgent care centers can help fill the gaps.

“Consumer demand for hyper-convenient care has reached a fever pitch, especially among younger cohorts. Nearly one-quarter of Millenials haven’t visited a primary care physician (PCP) in five years or more, with about one-third saying that going to get a physical isn’t convenient, per a 2019 Harmony Healthcare IT survey. That’s why we’re seeing more younger patients opt for medical care as well as walk-in appointments for real-time needs such as covid testing.”

They provide walk-in treatment of acute injuries and illnesses that aren’t life-threatening but still require professional medical treatment within 24 hours. Because the clinics often offer extended hours outside the regular M-F/9-5 office hours provided by many primary care providers, urgent care clinics provide more immediate patient care. They can be more cost-effective, convenient alternatives to emergency room care.

Urgent Care Is a Rapidly Growing Industry in the US

The shortage of primary care physicians in the US is getting worse. A 2019 Association of American Medical Colleges report predicted a shortfall of between 21,100 and 55,200 primary care physicians by 2030. This shortage makes it harder for many Americans to access primary care, particularly in rural and other underserved areas.

Emergency departments have long acted as the nation’s health safety net. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, ED overcrowding was a problem at many hospitals. It can result in worse patient outcomes and higher medical costs.

  • A 2009 study found that serious complications rose three- to five-fold in acute coronary syndrome patients who presented at EDs during times of overcrowding.
  • Long ED wait times are associated with increases in the number of patients who leave against medical advice before treatment is complete.

As the number of clinics increases (as well as the expanded services available), so does the need for affordable, regulatory-compliant medical waste disposal solutions for urgent care clinics. Sharps Compliance is here to help.

Regulated Medical Waste and Urgent Care

We offer mailback collection systems with everything urgent care clinics need to collect, package, and compliantly ship the waste for treatment.

  • Sharps Shipback Systems are ideal for safely collecting and properly treating sharps waste and other used healthcare products. The sizes range from 1-quart to 20 and 30-gallon
  • Covidien sharps shipback containers` with wall enclosures help urgent care centers keep counter space clear. The convenient wall mounts help prevent access to contents in high-traffic areas.

We also offer route-based medical waste pickup services for urgent care clinics that generate more red bag waste, like rapid infectious disease testing materials and soiled wound dressings. We provide everything needed to package and label regulated medical wastes for transport. Our fully-permitted vehicles and treatment facilities comply with all state and federal regulations.

Urgent Care Centers and Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal

Many urgent care clinics may need to dispose of unused, recalled, or expired non-controlled and non-hazardous medications. Our MedSafe Basic is an affordable, easy-to-use disposal solution for the compliant treatment of unwanted and expired medications.

Sharps Compliance Offers Solutions

State medical waste regulations differ, and we can help urgent care centers comply with all applicable laws.

  • Employee training: Our online training and compliance system, ComplianceTrac, helps clinics provide required employee training, maintain safety data sheets, manage OSHA documentation, and more.
  • Custom medical waste solutions: Our sales and support teams work with each urgent care center to determine their individual needs and develop a custom waste management and disposal solution.

Call us at 800.772.5657 to learn more about our medical waste management and disposal solutions for urgent care clinics. We’re here to help you solve problems and comply with all regulatory requirements.

Wanda Voigt holds a BA in Nursing from Texas Woman’s University and a BBA in Business Management from Texas A&M University. In Fall 2021, Wanda will begin her Master Jurisprudence in Health Law and Policy at Texas A&M University. Wanda has over 20 years of clinical practice in both hospital and private practice practicing in various specialties.

As the Director of Regulatory Compliance, Wanda assists Sharps’ customers in evaluating current federal and state-specific medical and pharmaceutical waste regulations, implementing compliant regulated medical and pharmaceutical waste management programs and processes, and developing training programs for both internal and external customers.

published in Medical Waste