NEGAUNEE - Bell's Teal Lake Medical Center is taking its walk-in clinic to the next level with the phasing in of an electronic medical records system and by making more physicians available to patients.
Beginning Nov. 16, five family practice physicians will be available to walk-in patients, Bell marketing director Dave Edwards said.
The change will make the patient's experience better, Edwards said, and will enable them to see a regular doctor rather than just a walk-in clinic doctor.
Dr. Michael Grossman listens to Michelle Roth’s heartbeat at Bell's Teal Lake Medical Center on Thursday. Grossman will be one of the five doctors who will be available to walk-in patients, while still keeping regular scheduled appointments. (Journal photo by Julia Woehrer)
"The whole experience will be more complete," Edwards said.
When a patient comes as a walk-in they will go to the newly constructed central reception area in the main lobby. The receptionists will be able to check all of the schedules for an opening. After checking in, the patient will be sent to the waiting room of the medical professional they will see, which will be one of the five doctors, their physician assistants or nurse practitioners. Prior to this change, only one doctor was allotted for walk-in patients.
On nights and weekends, the facility will operate as a normal walk-in clinic with one provider available.
Dr. Lloyd Hooper, Dr. Wayne Carlson, Dr. Hilary Gagnon, Dr. Michael Prevost and Dr. Michael Grossman are the physicians who will see walk-in patients. They will continue to see patients through normally scheduled visits.
"If (walk-ins) already have a provider in this system, we'll try to get them into that provider," Grossman said.
He said the new set-up can allow people to see their regular doctor when they come in as a walk-in patient rather than an entirely different doctor. This is not only beneficial to the patients, but also to the doctors.
"Even if you have the medical record there, if you don't know the patient and they're on, say, many medications, and you don't know their history, it's an impediment to take care of them," Grossman said.
Each day of the week one of the providers will be the designated walk-in provider. The other physicians will also be available to walk-in patients if they have openings.
The introduction of the electronic medical records system Allscripts will also play a part in the transition and should be in use by the end of the year, Edwards said, allowing medical professionals to record patient data through computers.
"It will be easier for doctors to access patient's records, to know their history and things like that," Grossman said. "This is a trend across the country."
Despite the introduction of computers in exam rooms, Grossman said contact with patients, which he enjoys, will still be there.
"The one thing that they'll never take away is the patient-physician relationship, we still have that," Grossman said. "The computer can be put down."
Bell Walk-In hours will be changed to 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, call 485-7777.