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River Hospital Convenient Care doing well since Oct. 8 opening

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ALEXANDRIA BAY — River Hospital Convenient Care has been the perfect prescription for primary care needs for residents living near the St. Lawrence River, according to hospital officials.

River Hospital marketing coordinator Andrea C. Bates said the critical care clinic will serve two purposes: sometimes it’s people’s first introduction to primary care here, and it’s used when people may not be able to get promptly into their primary care physician’s office.

“We were busy this summer, and were really looking for a way to see all patients,” she said. “We’re looking for an efficient way to serve all patients. We want to make sure everyone gets health care they need in a timely manner.”

The clinic, on the second floor of River Hospital, 4 Fuller St., is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays to Fridays. It opened Oct. 8, and is staffed by a physician or physician assistant. Licensed practical nurse Marcia M. Graves helps oversee the clinic.

River Hospital CEO Ben Moore III said the clinic is in the hospital’s former acute care space, which has since relocated elsewhere on the second floor.

While similar to an urgent care, Mrs. Bates said, the convenient care clinic does not accept walk-ins. Appointments must be scheduled via telephone, by calling the clinic at 482-1125. When arriving at the hospital for a Convenient Care appointment, patients are asked to stop at the registration desk before going to the second floor.

Having River Hospital Convenient Care also will cut down on the hospital’s emergency department visits, Mrs. Bates said.

“It does address people who need follow-up emergency department appointments so they can go to this clinic without having to go back to the emergency department,” Mr. Moore said. “It’s a lesser charge going to a lower-level. When patients of our primary care practice can’t get in for quick appointments, they can go to (convenient care). This enhances the customer experience.”

Once a patient attends the clinic, if he does not have a primary care provider, he may be referred to River Community Clinic, which is adjacent to the hospital.

River Hospital Convenient Care patient flow has been steady for the past month, and Mrs. Bates said she expects more people to use the service as the hospital continues to market the clinic.

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