Douglas Dispatch

The people of Douglas have expressed their concern for the future of local healthcare following the closure of the city’s only emergency room and hospital. On Monday, Copper Queen Community Hospital launched services at the new Douglas Medical Complex Quick Care facility, which is said to be the community’s new staple in emergency healthcare.

Described by Jim Dickson, CEOCQCH, as not being an urgent care, rather an urgent care on steroids, Quick Care is a new extension to the existing Copper Queen clinic. Open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, the facility offers services much like an emergency room, located at 100 W. 5th Street.

“Quick Care is now open and available to the public,” said Dickson. “Most people using an emergency room don’t need an ER, and that can go from 50-75 percent of patients. Going to an ER when you don’t have to is a very wasteful way to consume healthcare, especially when we can offer the same level of care here.”

Dickson continued, “With Quick Care, patients no longer have to travel 20-30 minutes, they don’t have the cost of an ER yet they have the full diagnostics of one. When a patient comes in, we will assess them and provide them with an ambulance if necessary.”

Dickson also mentioned that the Douglas Medical Complex has been working with the Douglas Fire Department to ensure that if a patient were to become very ill, emergency responders will be at the facility for transportation within five minutes.

Along with six patient rooms, the facility is equipped with a moderate complexity laboratory, with draw stations for hematology, liver profiles, cardiac issues analysis, urine analysis, pregnancy tests, and more diagnostics.

A radiology department provides x-rays, ultra-sound, and CAT scan services, with a telemedicine capacity that can reach specialists in other cities, like Phoenix.

A Specialty Clinic has been designed as part of the facility, as a time-share doc for visiting specialist doctors. With a referral from the clinic, patients can have access to traveling cardiologists, podiatrists, and more.

In April, the Medical complex also debuted its new Physical Therapy unit, a module donated by Tucson Medical Center.

The first day of operation for Quick Care was said to be successful by staff.

“We’re just happy to be able to provide this service,” said Claudia Romo, Quick Care employee. “We’ve already had a couple of instances where it was key that we were here, especially now that there are no other services available like ours.”

Dickson claims that the Douglas Medical Complex has been ready to handle the healthcare needs of the community for some time now.

“The community of Douglas and Bisbee has been receiving 60 percent of their care through the clinic system established by Copper Queen Community Hospital over the last five years,” Dickson said. “We are both fortunate that Copper Queen Hospital shifted its care to ambulatory and emergency. This is why the Douglas Medical Complex was started.”

At a press conference held last week, Dickson announced the initiative of Copper Queen Community Hospital to begin looking into ways to establish a free-standing emergency room in Douglas. Until then, the possibility of a new ER and/or extended hours at the Quick Care facility depend on the community’s volume and demand, says Dickson.

The Copper Queen Clinic also received some renovations, and will remain with regular hours 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Grand Opening celebration of the Douglas Medical Complex will be held on Oct. 2, from 12 to 2 p.m., open to the public.