ERHC’s Q Care providing more efficient healthcare services

ST. MARYS – In order to make health care for area residents more efficient, Elk Regional Health Center (ERHC) has developed the Q Care service for non-urgent health care needs that will allow people to be seen for more minor ailments and avoid lengthy waits in the center's emergency department.Q Care, which is operated out of the regular emergency department at ERHC in St. Marys, is available seven days a week from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. According to Jim Condon, R.N., the nurse manager at ERHC's emergency department, the goal of Q Care is to quickly and efficiently address minor health problems that still require being seen by a healthcare professional. “Q Care is a faster method of addressing unexpected but non-emergency ailments, such as earaches; sprains and strains; cuts, burns, bumps and bruises; sore throats; flu-like symptoms; and minor aches and pains. Patients suffering from these conditions sometimes come to the emergency department because their physician's office is already closed for the evening. Other patients come to the emergency department because it is more convenient for them to come to Elk Regional as opposed to driving to MedExpress," Condon said. "Q Care is designed to serve these patients while alleviating congestion in the full emergency department, reducing wait times there and allowing specially-trained physicians and nurses to focus on true emergency care.” Dr. George Castellano, medical director of Elk Regional's emergency department, said Q Care officially opened in August based on patient feedback. "Our patients told us that they want walk-in service and a faster, simpler, more convenient way to be seen for non-emergency medical conditions. The introduction of Q Care at Elk Regional responds to all of these concerns and empowers our patients to get health care services when and where it works best for them,” Castellano said. Pick up a copy of the Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.