Saturday, March 7, 2015 12:00 AM

The right place, right time for Prompt Care Center

Patients at one of California’s busiest emergency departments now have an alternative for non-life-threatening health conditions. Community Regional Medical Center has opened a Prompt Care Center on its campus with extended hours to treat walk-in patients for health issues such as like flu symptoms lacerations, minor broken bones and the need for X-rays or medication refills.

It’s a welcome addition to a region with doctor shortages that often cause long waits to see a primary care physician. Only the San Joaquin Valley and Inland Empire regions fell far short of the recommended supply of 80 primary care physicians for every 100,000 residents, according to a 2014 report by the California HealthCare Foundation. There’s one doctor for every 1,587 Fresno County residents compared to San Francisco County which has nearly twice as many doctors -- one for every 617 residents.

Augeda Reynoso faced a dilemma familiar to many Valley parents: a child crying uncontrollably with a fever spiking to 102 and a pediatrician’s schedule too booked to see her child for several days. The pediatrician’s office recommended Community’s new Prompt Care Center especially since 5-year-old Ericka had previously suffered seizures from high fevers.

“I like (what we experienced) here,” she said of the prompt care her daughter received. “We have been to the emergency room previously and have been there all day. It is hard to do that when I’m (also) caring for kids at home.”

Alma Martinez reported this story. Reach her at MedWatchToday@Communitymedical.org.