Driscoll Quick Care

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By 5 o’clock p.m. or the weekend, most of the working world has shut down. Businesses slow their operations, workplaces empty, and people go home, shifting their focus to the waning day. The same goes for most health care providers, such as clinics or doctor offices, often leaving hospitals as the sole providers of medical attention. This prompts people who require non-emergency care to attend the hospital, which can overload emergency room rooms, making emergency care harder for those who direly need it. To avoid this, urgent care centers exist to supplement the care provided by hospitals outside of typical work hours, treating ailments that do not need emergency care.

Driscoll is a healthcare provider dedicated to children’s health in South Texas. Founded in 1953 by Clara Driscoll, it provides pediatric care services and specialties throughout the region, featuring hospitals, clinics, and urgent care places.

Driscoll’s urgent care is its Quick Care services, which provide pediatric care on evenings and weekends at multiple locations in the Rio Grande Valley and Corpus Christi. These centers relieve the strain on local hospitals and extend the availability of children’s care into the night, making it easier for parents to get their children treated compared to an ER visit.

“We want to make sure that we really protect our emergency care resources and preserve those resources for true emergencies, it keeps the pressure off of our emergency department by having some of those lower acuity, more urgent care visits go to the Quick Care,” said Matthew Wolthoff, President of Driscoll Children’s Hospital Rio Grande Valley.

The Quick Care centers are outfitted to provide treatment and diagnoses for minor ailments, with imaging services and lab tests focusing solely on pediatric care. If urgent care is not able to treat a condition or injury, the center offers quick referrals to emergency care.

“We do have a streamlined process to get you over to the emergency room so you don’t have to go and re-wait again we have a process where our nursing and physician team picks up the phone, connects, and gets some orders in so you can get over to the emergency room and get any subsequent care you might need,” said Sarah Garza, Vice President of Clinics and Physicians Groups at Driscoll.

According to Driscoll, minor symptoms such as small cuts and mild fevers are acceptable for Quick Care; however, any serious symptom should prompt an immediate visit to the ER.

“If you think it’s an emergency, you always want to err on the side of caution,” said Wolthoff.

“If there’s a seizure, if you’ve lost mental status, consciousness, had a really bad accident, if you can’t breathe. If you see the bone is broken, go to the ER,” said Garza.

A benefit of attending a Quick Care center rather than a hospital is the psychological advantage provided. Given that it is often a quicker, smoother, less troublesome endeavor for parents who may already be stressed about the health of their child.

“Going to the emergency room is a much bigger undertaking than just walking into a clinic. You go to an emergency room, you’re registering at a hospital that can be more expensive if you don’t need to be there, but it also sometimes can take longer and not be as pediatric friendly depending where you’re going,” said Garza.

Driscoll seeks to continue delivering high-quality pediatric care to South Texas. Driscoll Children’s Hospital is currently in development in Edinburg, Texas, which will be the first dedicated children’s hospital in the Rio Grande Valley. Scheduled to open on May 1, 2024, the hospital will bring a new focus and advancement to childcare within the region.

Rafael Mendoza-Farias Jr.