About a year ago, the Owensboro Health Orthopedics and Sports Medicine practice started a new policy.
From 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on weekdays, the clinic opened its doors to walk-ins -- whether they were patients of the practice or not.
Dr. Jody Mitchell, who practices at the clinic, wanted to follow the model of the University of Kentucky Sports Clinic, where he trained.
The walk-in clinic is not for someone who has suffered from back pain for the past six months, Mitchell said. It is for non-emergent acute injuries that happened in the past 72 hours, such as sprains, strains, and minor breaks and concussions.
The no-appointment-needed model keeps people out of the emergency department, where they will wait longer and be treated at a far greater expense.
"The response has been tremendous," Mitchell said.
In fact, he was preparing to meet with the clinic manager about reducing the number of scheduled appointments during walk-in hours. With fall sports in full swing, it's not unusual to find up to 20 patients in the lobby most mornings.
The average visit at the walk-in clinic runs about one hour. X-rays are available on the same floor, which speeds the process.
"If people get here at 7:45 and they are the first ones here, I can get to them quickly," Mitchell said.
Other providers like the walk-in clinic, he said, because they don't have to fax over referrals. The open-access clinic allows their patients to come over without it.
The clinic is closed during major holidays, Mitchell said.
Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, firstname.lastname@example.org.