A new urgent care center, QualityFirst, is hoping to contribute to that endeavor when it officially opens on July 23rd.
QualityFirst Executive Director Jacob Gerlitz worked at LICH for many years as a nurse practitioner, and he hopes to bring some of the legacy of LICH to the new urgent care center.
“I practiced at LICH for many years, and they had the fastest door-to-provider time in the borough,” Gerlitz said. “They were very proud of that, rightfully so.”
His experience at LICH has given him the knowledge he needs to expedite service for his own patients. Even the design of the center is such that patients will be able to get in and out as quickly as possible.
Consisting of six rooms for patients and families; three procedure rooms, with one that is more private for sensitive exams; a hospital-grade lab; CAT Scan and x-ray room and ultrasound, QualityFirst is equipped to handle much more than the typical urgent care center.
“The idea is that we are trying to create an urgent care model that keeps patients out of the E.R. and treats them at home,” Gerlitz said. “We work with a home visiting company, with doctors on call, so we’re able to evaluate a patient over here and then have a provider follow up the next day with them in their home.”
Boasting a faster and cheaper alternative to a visit to the emergency room, QualityFirst has the ability to work up patients, and based on the results, send them home if they are stable with a follow-up plan, or admit them directly onto the floor of a local hospital.
Since many people get held overnight in hospitals without real need, Gerlitz said that home care is a much more affordable and time-saving option. Patients can get examined at the center, go home and sleep in their own bed, have a follow-up with a doctor in their home the following morning and be back at work without missing a day.
“Most of the conditions that walk into the ER don’t need that extensive work up,” he said. “It’s very expensive, it’s very time-consuming, patients waste an inordinate amount of hours. So we thought it would be a great service to create community-based urgent care.”
The center is on the top floor of a nine-floor medical facility, which means QualityFirst can work with the surgical center, orthopedic group, anesthesia group, gastrointestinal group and radiology group that make up the other floors when they are treating patients.
“While we’re not related to each other, we all work together,” Gerlitz said. “So I’m able to see orthopedic trauma, because they are very busy. They would rather me work up the trauma and then call them if need be, or send the patient down. I could call anesthesia up for a regional pain block, if I needed. We work together.”
He can also call in specialists for a consult, if a patient were in need. This is the same practice as an ER, Gerlitz explained.
Patients who need to see an ophthalmologist, dentist, neurologist, cardiologist or even plastic surgeon will be able to go to QualityFirst Urgent Care.
The building is at 6010 Bay Parkway, so it can serve a number of Brooklyn communities, including Borough Park, Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Flatbush and Midwood.
The center is also conveniently located on the F and N subway lines and near the B9 and B6 bus stops.
With its opening just around the corner, Gerlitz is excited about the prospects for the new urgent care center. He already has ideas for additional locations.
At the same time, he acknowledged that he left LICH to open QualityFirst once he found out the hospital was closing, which he found disappointing.
“I think LICH was a very classy place,” Gerlitz said. “It’s very sad.”