Health Care

Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan ramps up urgent care

February 18, 2013
| By Pete Daly |
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Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan, which claims to be Michigan’s largest independent orthopaedic practice, has launched OAM NOW, a new program at its main clinic at 2680 Leonard St. NE in Grand Rapids, providing urgent, specialized orthopaedic care requiring no wait and no referrals.

OAM NOW, which features extended hours until 9 p.m., a dedicated triage nurse and on-site support services, is the first of its kind in West Michigan, according to OAM.

Dr. Jim Ringler, president of OAM, said its urgent care concept extends to all of its clinic locations. When an orthopaedic injury happens requiring immediate care, he said, “We are making a commitment to work in these patients in the course of the day, while the office is already scheduled.”

In the Grand Rapids region, OAM also has clinics at 68th Street and Division Avenue, on Michigan Street NE and in Greenville.

“Anyone who has been to an ER for an orthopaedic injury knows you get in line with people who have the flu and everything else under the sun, and you wait,” said Ringler. “Even if you are seen fairly quickly, you won’t meet a specialist until the next day or longer. Meanwhile, you have paid the high cost of an ER visit and you are still in pain.”

“Almost everyone at some point will experience an orthopaedic injury, whether through a household accident or sports injury. The immediate question is: ‘Where do I go for help?’” added Ringler. “Our goal with OAM NOW is to take out the guesswork and give people the timely, specialized treatment they deserve — even if it’s after 5 p.m.”

OAM has 30 fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeons who specialize in specific areas of motion, including spine, joints, hands and feet. Patients can receive most diagnostic and treatment services for acute conditions on-site, including MRI and radiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy and custom splinting.

The evening hours at OAM NOW are for urgent orthopaedic injuries, many of which happen in the evening.

The concept follows a growing national trend where more than 50 orthopaedic practices have added urgent care programs in major metropolitan areas around the United States, including Indianapolis.

OAM NOW is not available for chronic conditions, chronic pain, acute paralysis, missed appointments, second opinions or narcotic medication refills.

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