New York, NY (PressExposure) June 11, 2013 -- When St. Vincent's Hospital in New York City closed in 2010, a huge gap in medical care seemed to be headed for the lower Manhattan area. Instead, what appears to be an urgent care boom has taken over and seems to promise a new kind of medical attention for residents in the Big Apple.
For example, a facility for urgent care in Union Square has taken over a wide area. Dozens of similar New York urgent care centers have joined with clinics and doctors to establish a medical base for everyone. So far, a study has shown no lowered standard of care since the demise of St. Vincent's. That includes no rise in malpractice suits. One company has renovated a clinic on 17th Street, focusing on H.I.V. patients, and also operates out of the old St. Vincent's cancer center on 15th Street. The company admits that its focus is to find a new kind of medical care, with the aim of getting patients out of the hospital as soon as possible or not getting them into the hospital at all. The overall goal of the new focus on urgent care in the city is to get people into outpatient treatment, where the costs are cheaper.
Urgent care in NYC seems to be working around midtown Manhattan. The Upper East Side's urgent care center on East 86th Street, between 1st and 2nd avenues, CityMD, is a classic example of neighborhood urgent care. It has ten patient exam rooms, a laboratory, and digital x-ray equipment. It cares for patients 365 days a year.
It is unlikely that New York urgent care centers will result in a further decrease in visits to an emergency room in Manhattan since urgent care centers are not equipped for major or life threatening or potentially unstable medical conditions. It is likely, however, that a city the size of New York can function more efficiently, along with providing the best in medical care, by putting the emphasis on small clinics or neighborhood medical facilities than on the huge hospital facilities that have served New York City so well for so many years.
The rise in urgent care and its popularity, as well as good ratings on their services, certainly seem to indicate that this may be the future of health care. Time will tell.