UAB orthopaedics launches urgent care clinic

The orthopaedic urgent care clinic should help reduce crowding in the emergency department and speed up visits to the hospital.

A young African American physical or occupational therapist helping a mature woman who has injured her hand or wrist.The orthopaedic urgent care clinic should help reduce crowding in the emergency department and speed up visits to the hospital.A new urgent care orthopaedic clinic could help those with orthopaedic injuries reduce a lengthy trip to the emergency department and get quicker, more focused care. The clinic, run by the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will give patients an option when dealing with injuries to the hands, wrist, shoulder and other joints. 

“Following initial examination by emergency physicians, those patients with orthopaedic issues that can be best treated in an orthopaedic urgent care setting will be routed out of the emergency department and into the clinic, which is staffed with advanced practice orthopaedic professionals with physician consultation,” said Andrea Boohaker, MSN, CRNP-BC, lead advanced practice provider in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. “This will help with overcrowding in emergency departments and get these patients to the most appropriate care providers more efficiently.”

The clinic is located at UAB Highlands Hospital and will be open two days a week during a startup phase. It will focus on conditions such as hand, wrist and ankle sprains, contusions, general joint pain, and non-operative fractures. It is staffed by advanced practice providers. Orthopaedic surgeons and physicians are available as needed.

For more information on UAB Orthopaedics' new urgent care clinic or to schedule an appointment, click here

“For patients, this will speed up the process of being seen by orthopaedic professionals and cut down the time spent in the ED waiting areas,” Boohaker said. “Our goal is to expand our hours of operation and partner with the rest of the UAB emergency and urgent care providers, so that we can offer urgent orthopaedic care throughout the UAB system.” 

Currently the clinic operates on Monday and Wednesday, with plans to expand to five days a week. Patients who present at the Highlands emergency department with non-operative orthopaedic injuries will be evaluated by emergency physicians and referred directly to the clinic if appropriate. In addition, patients can make an appointment themselves, often for the same day. Call 205-930-8339 for appointments.

The clinic will also handle follow-up care as needed by patients.