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Clinic offers urgent care services


January 26, 2023

by Clark Fork

Valley Hospital

You are a parent of a young child who has a potential earache but you can’t get in to the doctor right away.

You developed symptoms of a sinus infection and think you may need antibiotics but when you call to get an appointment, your provider isn’t available for several days.

Lack of appointment availability can often deter you from getting the care you need when you need it. So what happens? You may decide to utilize emergency department services so you can be seen sooner or you wait for an appointment that results in your condition getting worse.

To tackle this issue here locally and keep non-emergent but urgent care visits within its clinic system, Clark Fork Valley Hospital has started offering Urgent Care services from its Plains Family Medicine office.

The new service is now available Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

“Offering urgent care services will help our patients with conditions that need to be addressed today but are not an emergency requiring diagnoses or care of severe or life threatening situations,” explained Dr. Gregory Hanson, CFVH President/CEO.

Urgent care services address conditions like back or muscle pain; bronchitis; cuts and minor burns; diarrhea; earache; skin conditions; sprains or joint pain; upper respiratory infection; urinary tract infections; and fever without rash.

Examples of conditions that should be treated in an emergency department setting are things like chest pain or pressure; compound fractures with bones protruding through the skin; head injuries; pneumonia; seizures; severe abdominal pain; shortness of breath; sudden, severe headache, or paralysis or weakness; uncontrolled bleeding; and possible stroke.

Urgent care offers a quicker less expensive option than a trip to the emergency room with visit charges that are the same as a regular scheduled clinic visit.

Plains Family Medicine rolled out urgent care services in December with the arrival of Anna Marie Mitchell, APRN.

“We needed a provider dedicated to urgent care alone in order to make this happen,” explained Hanson. “Anna Marie is able to care for patients when they have an unexpected illness and then refer them back to their primary care provider for any required follow up. It’s a complimentary service to the provider coverage of primary and specialty care that is already being offered in the clinic setting.”

Hanson did mention that while Anna Marie Mitchell, APRN currently provides the majority of urgent care coverage, other providers are contributing to the new service to allow for consistent availability.

Currently, urgent care is being offered solely from the Plains Family Medicine office that is located on the hospital campus. Hanson shared, “this allows someone to be moved to the emergency room easily if it is determined their condition is more severe than initially thought.”

If you have a need for urgent care services you are welcome to simply walk in to the clinic.  If you would like to call ahead, a Patient Service Representative can look at the day’s schedule and guide you to a time that is likely to have the least wait, but please understand the nature of the problems being cared for does not allow a guaranteed appointment time.

Plains Family Medicine can be reached at (406) 826-4810.


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