Medcenter One, a health center based in Bismarck, has announced plans to open a walk-in clinic in southeast Minot in the fall. The clinic will be located at 801- 21st Ave. SE, on the U.S. Highway 2 and 52 bypass east.
It will provide no-appointment necessary health care to people who want immediate care for illnesses such as sore throats, earaches, sinus infections and fever - and minor injuries such as strains, sprains and small cuts.
"Overall, we already treat a lot of people from Minot, and we thought Minot would provide us with a strong opportunity. We see the population there is growing. Walk-in clinics are also becoming a national trend, because people are busy and want to go to a healthcare provider on their terms with no appointment necessary," Damian Schlinger, walk-in clinic manager for Medcenter One, said.
Submitted Art • The Medcenter One walk-in clinic, and the occupational health clinic in Minot adjoining it, are depicted in this rendering. The depiction shows the clinics as seen from the U.S. Highway 2 and 52 Bypass, looking east. The walk-in clinic is located on the west half of the structure.
"We're going to mirror a lot of the hours that we have in Bismarck already. It's been a very successful model. We'll be open weekdays into the evenings, and on weekends and holidays as well," he added.
Medcenter One operates two stand alone walk-in clinics in Bismarck, one being downtown and another in north Bismarck. An additional pediatrics walk-in clinic is located inside the hospital. The clinics each see an average of 80 to 90 patients a day.
"The downtown clinic was opened in 2006, and it just exploded, seeing one patient after another," Schlinger said.
Dr. Joel Blanchard, medical director of the walk-in clinics for Medcenter One, explained that the clinics can help take the pressure off emergency rooms.
"These clinics provide convenience to patients for acute illnesses that are not emergencies. Illnesses often don't follow doctors' schedules. If you develop a bladder infection at 5:15 on Friday, for example, and your doctor isn't there until Monday morning, your only option then is to go to the ER," Blanchard said.
"Since we are providing that convenience of walking in without an appointment, you can get it done at any time, and the ER isn't burdened with non-emergency medical conditions. Also, the patient doesn't have to put up with symptoms for an extended period of time," he said.