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Monday, March 8, 2021

Convenience, Convenience, Convenience

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WK Brings Quicker Care to Bossier

Long before “convenience” became a buzzword in health-care marketing, Willis-Knighton Health System was focusing on it. Opening the first satellite hospital in Louisiana in 1983, the health system took health care into the suburbs in southwest Shreveport. This consumer-focused tactic has been a key factor in the success and expansion of this locally operated, not-for-profit health system, and it hasn’t stopped.

The emphasis on convenience at Willis- Knighton is continuing with the addition of three locations in Bossier Parish, one of Louisiana’s fastest-growing regions.

WK Quick Care Bossier has been one of the health system’s busiest clinics, treating almost 400,000 patients since it opened in 2001, says Quick Care’s director, Lesley Sawrie. “Our patients tell us they love the quality care and convenience of being open on holidays, weekends and after hours.”

That high demand, coupled with Bossier’s steady growth, has sparked the addition of the three new Bossier Parish locations. The clinics pioneer a model that locates Quick Care adjacent to a WK Physician Network Clinic. Blending primary care and specialists with Quick Care allows both clinics to share diagnostic services and provide support to each other if needed. The three Bossier locations will enhance access to health care for Bossier residents.

The first location, scheduled to open in March, is WK Quick Care Palmetto at WK Palmetto Medical Park. This is part of a planned development, WK Palmetto Village in Benton. The second, WK Quick Care Stockwell, is repurposing a vacated Fred’s store at 5751 Shed Road just north of I-220 as the foundation for the clinic. A late spring or early summer date is targeted for this one that focuses on the eastern part of the parish. The third location, WK Quick Care Swan Lake, is almost halfway between WK Quick Care Palmetto and the original Quick Care Bossier, adjacent to the Willow Lake subdivision on Airline Drive near its intersection with Swan Lake Spur. No date has been projected for it yet.

“As anyone who lives in Bossier, Benton or Haughton knows, traffic can really get congested,” says Sawrie, who lives in Bossier’s suburbs. “This new model is really focused on primary care. People can establish a relationship with a network doctor or see their existing doctor at a new location away from traffic congestion around WK Bossier. And when their doctor is not available, Quick Care is there for early morning, late afternoon, weekend or holiday care with no appointment required.”

Sawrie notes that patients will appreciate not just the convenience of Quick Care but the extended hours, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. Care will be easily accessible before and after work. And there are cost benefits, too.

A visit to a hospital emergency department for a cold, sore throat or sprained ankle can only result in delays while the ER staff treats people with the more serious conditions first. It is also much more expensive. ER charges reflect the cost of services and staff needed to treat those life-threatening conditions, from 24/7 availability to critical care services to high-level technology.

In addition to offering a familiar, qualityfocused brand, Quick Care has always positioned itself uniquely within the medical community. It has focused on supplementing the care of local doctors, not competing with them. This distinguished WK Quick Care from the for-profit “doc-in-a-box” clinics that have come and gone over the years.

“We’re here to help busy doctors who can’t work patients into their schedules or who are not available to see them after hours,” says Cathy Speights, MD, medical director of WK Quick Care. “This also prevents unnecessary ER visits which increase wait times and are expensive for patients with minor illnesses or accidents.”

And if patients don’t have a primary doctor, Quick Care staff can offer recommendations about the type of doctor a patient needs to see for primary or specialty care. Having a primary care clinic adjacent to Quick Care will make that recommendation an easy one.

Lindsey Brown, MD, is the first Willis- Knighton Physician Network doctor to participate in this new model. She is opening WK Palmetto Family Practice, offering primary care for the entire family, from children to grandparents. Dr. Brown grew up in a small town in South Louisiana and, during her medical training, she worked at North Caddo Medical Center in Vivian, learning the many things expected of a small-town physician.

“I am so excited to meet and care for the people of Benton,” she says. “I look forward to forming lasting relationships with each of my patients and becoming part of the wonderful Benton community.”

Today, Quick Care offers its original Pierremont location, which opened in 2000, as well as locations on the campus of WK Bossier Health Center, Willis-Knighton South & the Center for Women’s Health (two options: one for adults and one for kids), as well as a clinic at Forbing Marketplace. Another, WK Quick Care Northwood, is being developed for residents in Blanchard, North Shreveport and the northern part of Caddo Parish.

“Convenience is a key factor for patients,” Sawrie says. “While our doctors don’t make house calls, they are bringing health care closer to patients’ houses.”

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