Until now, there have been Baptist Urgent Care Centers near and around Pinecrest, but in December, the Village got its own center to take care of non-critical cases. The new center is located at 11805 S. Dixie Hwy. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
William Ricard, a regional director for the medical plazas, says the new facility is already well utilized by the public.
“We’re pleasantly surprised on the upside,” he says. “We always assess whenever we go into a new community. We look to see where the patients are coming to the Emergency Department. We noticed that there was a good population from Pinecrest. It’s all about convenience to our patients and it all made sense.”
The urgent care center always has at least one physician on site. Ricard says if it gets busier, they will add another.
Baptist Health Systems has approximately 15 urgent care centers in Miami- Dade and Broward.
“Our philosophy is to bring health care to your backyard,” Ricard says. “Why go to an emergency department when you can go to your backyard.”
Urgent care centers are designed for patients with non life-threatening symptoms.
“We are there not for emergency room symptoms, but for your sore throats, your common colds, it’s a great alternative,” he says. “Not heart attack, concussion or stroke. For those you should be going straight to the ER.”
Because Baptist is non-profit, they put profits back into the health care system instead into an investor’s pocket.
“We give it back to the community,” he says. We have a huge charity program. It’s part of being a non-profit. We give back to the community, charity care, community health programs like that.”
Along with the urgent care center opened in Pinecrest, Baptist also recently opened another in Kendale Lakes at Miller Drive and 147th Avenue. They have a big urgent care center on Kendall Drive just west of 127th Avenue, as well as one in the Country Walk area and one in the center in Palmetto Bay at 8750 SW 144 St., just east of South Dixie Highway.
The centers not only relieve the emergency department of the minor emergencies, but also ease the pressure on primary care doctors by dealing with the those minor illnesses that might otherwise overwhelm the waiting room.
“We are there to partner with our physicians and the community,” Ricard says. “We are there to help them with that, with their own decompression. I don’t believe they have enough resources to see all their patients that need to be seen at that moment. A lot of times, it’s a weekend, or a holiday.”
The urgent care centers forward the results to the primary physicians and they urge patients to follow up with their doctors.
Because Pinecrest real estate is at a premium, it was not as easy to find the right place for the urgent care facility. It’s one of the smallest urgent care centers, with six examination rooms and a triage room.
“We think it’s the right size for the community that we serve,” Ricard says. “It offers moderate complexity lab tests, which is more than the majority of the facilities of our competitors.”
Because of its size, the Pinecrest facility is focused on urgent care and does not offer diagnostic services. Those services are available at the Palmetto Bay facility.