Sparrow Health System opened a new facility in East Lansing on Tuesday, at the peak of a record flu season. The site will replace the Okemos Urgent Care as part of Sparrow's larger expansion plan. The new facility offers x-ray, urgent car, and lab services.
Joe Ruth, Sparrow's Executive Vice-President and C.O.O. said,"Our patients continue to tell us that we want easier access. We want to be able to drive up instead of finding a place in a parking ramp and things like that. And so we are trying to listen to our customer and provide better facilities closer to home."
New technology is making communication between physicians, urgent care facilities and hospitals easier. Hospitals nationwide are going digital, and Sparrow's Electronic Medical Record system was introduced on December 1 to connect their facilities. If somebody started their care here at the urgent care and we found it to be very severe, and we transport them down to the hospital the people in the emergency room on the receiving and will have the up to minute data that's captured here, explained Ruth.
Dr. Patricia Crowe said that urgent care facilities are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to emergency room or family physician visits. "They want care when they want it, how they want it, and to be served in a timely fashion," said Crowe.
Sparrow hopes to open more urgent care facilities in the future.