COSHOCTON When Coshocton Hospital moved urgent care services to its current location last December, it was the first step in the process of bringing minor medical care walk-in service closer to our emergency department (ED). With the space now vacated by the patient accounts staffs move to the Coshocton Hospital Business Annex, phase two of the process is underway with plans to merge urgent care services with the ED to create Coshocton Hospital QuickCare Services.

Effective March 1, 2012, the medical clinic will become a service of the ED, with treatment rooms moved to the vacant office area next to the ED on the first floor of the hospital.

Emergency department patients and QuickCare patients will enter through the emergency room entrance and be directed to a triage nurse.

The nurse will determine if the patient should be seen by an ED physician or by the QuickCare nurse practitioner who will work under the supervision of the ED physician. QuickCare patients will proceed to the nearby QuickCare registration desk and waiting room, where they will receive care in one of five new treatment rooms.

The hospital began planning for the transition to this new design for treating minor walk-in health issues as a safety benefit for patients.

Under the old urgent care philosophy, patients were forced to self-diagnose the severity of their health issue to decide whether to go to the emergency room or to urgent care, commented Rick Davis, chief operating officer. As a result, patients with serious issues such as chest pains could mistakenly present at the urgent care facility, requiring transport to the ED.

QuickCare clinic service available seven-days-a-week, with hours tentatively planned for 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

The addition of patient care hours will result in the need to hire two new nurse practitioners, with additional staff considered as the need arises.

Renovation of the first floor office space to create the new QuickCare treatment rooms has already begun in anticipation of the March 1 completion date. The current medical clinic location will remain open on the ground floor of the hospital until the QuickCare location is completed.

Patients enter the existing Coshocton Hospital Medical Clinic through the main entrance at 1460 Orange St.

The clinics hours are Monday through Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to noon and 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.