By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Mount Sinai Beth Israel announced the opening of a new urgent care center in its Union Square facility earlier this week as part of the changes to the hospital amid the plan to downsize. The center officially opened on September 12 at Mount Sinai Union Square with seven standard exam rooms as well as an eye room and x-ray room.
Mount Sinai has been its renovating facilities south of 34th Street ahead of the plan to drastically reduce the number of beds in the hospital on First Avenue that representatives have said reflect changes in the healthcare industry, which is shifting towards outpatient care.
Kelly Cassano, the chief of ambulatory care at Mount Sinai Downtown, said that the center has the capability to treat minor injuries and afflictions like upper respiratory infections, stomach ailments and other conditions, but the advantage of being connected to a larger facility is that if the minor problem is ultimately connected to a larger issue, the center is connected to those additional services as well.
“This is a freestanding facility that has multiple other specialties,” she said. “If patients have additional problems, we can book them appointments to see specialists and get checked.”
Cassano said that the full-time staff includes one emergency room doctor, in addition to medical assistants, managers and receptionists.
“We chose an ER doctor because they’re trained to take on a myriad of problems,” Cassano said.
Although there is not an ophthalmologist on staff at the center, there is an eye examination room in the facility where patients can get preliminary checkups and then get directly connected to New York Eye & Ear for consultations.
Cassano also noted that if a patient’s primary care doctor is not in the Mount Sinai system, the records can be forwarded to the doctor’s office.
The center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.