High demand creates urgent care limitations


Evan Bates

The entrance to Urgent Care at the end of the business day.

William Becker, Reporter

As a result of the ongoing flu season and the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Boone’s FastMed Urgent Care has been experiencing high demand. The increase has occasionally limited their capacity for walk-in appointments.

Travis Moss is the senior marketing director for FastMed Urgent Care. He said that non-emergency, walk-in patients being turned away is not a common occurrence. However, circumstances occasionally require it if clinics are fully booked or staff members fall ill or need to be transferred to other facilities.

According to a statement from FastMed, the urgent care remains “committed to providing care to walk-in patients and makes every effort to accommodate them.” 

“We recommend patients schedule their visit online but do accept walk-in visits,” the statement said. “There are occasional times we do have to temporarily pause walk-ins due to increased patient volumes and staff availability, but we always take care of emergency patients during these times.”

According to Moss, FastMed’s policy has not changed and walk-in patients continue to be accepted unless the clinic is full and waiting patients will fill all remaining appointments for the day.

This is done primarily to ensure that patients seeking care won’t be waiting in a room with other sick individuals and ultimately not get to meet with a provider, as this puts them at higher risk of more severe illness, Moss said

This issue is currently impacting all areas of healthcare, Moss said. The ongoing flu season and COVID-19 pandemic have created high demand for medical care during a time when providers are frequently falling ill.

He added that FastMed is actively working to meet patients’ needs by hiring more workers and funding recruiting campaigns. In the meantime, he asked that patients be conscious of the current situation, show compassion for workers and schedule appointments in advance whenever possible.