News

New urgent care clinic aims to cure long waits

A new health care clinic designed to give people an alternative to hours-long waits in the emergency room moved into Mountain View last week.

Direct Urgent Care, a burgeoning company based in Berkeley, opened up a new facility at 1150 West El Camino Real on Jan. 22. The clinic, which touts no or short wait times for patients, handles most primary care services and offers x-rays, blood tests and minor orthopedics, and has an on-site pharmacy.

Caesar Djavaherian, a co-founder of Direct Urgent Care, said he used to work in an emergency room that was perpetually over-crowded and treated patients poorly. People who feel sick can try to schedule an appointment with their primary care doctor, he said, but it can take several days to get an appointment.

"When you feel sick, you shouldn't have to wait a week to see your doctor," Djavaherian said. "You're either going to end up very sick and in the hospital or you're going to be fine."

Slow service is not exclusive to Berkeley either. Local urgent care wait times in Mountain View, including at El Camino Hospital and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, can be upwards of six hours, according to Djavaherian.

Emily Crocker, who works at the new Mountain View facility, said it's been a slow start so far with about 10 patients each day but it's getting busier every day. She said popularity will build up as more people discover the new location, at the busy intersection of Shoreline Boulevard and El Camino Real, as an alternative to visiting their primary care doctor.

"They have a high patient volume, so we can sort of act as a middle man," Crocker said. "If you're sick and you just don't want to wait, you can come to us."

The clinic can't provide all of the services an emergency room can including blood work or handling serious heart and brain conditions, Crocker said but it can handle a large majority of the patients who typically visit an emergency room. Roughly 80 percent of emergency room services can be dealt with at an urgent care facility, Djavaherian said.

One of the challenges is balancing the popularity of the clinic with its stated goal of low wait times, Djavaherian said. The first clinic in Berkeley, which opened in 2013, expected to attract about 10 patients each day, but ended up with between 40 and 50 patients a day instead. The clinic was much busier than they had anticipated, he said and much busier than they wanted.

In order to keep wait times low, Direct Urgent Care will be opening a new facility nearby in Oakland in April this year. If Mountain View's clinic goes down the same route, Djavaherian said, they will consider opening a second facility on the Peninsula as well.

The entire facility is more or less paperless, with company-owned iPads primarily used to fill out the usual paperwork, Djavaherian said. Patients can get "in line" virtually through the clinic's web page, and receive a text message when it's time to show up for an appointment.

"We think that the time element is often times most important for the patient in the health care world," he said.

Comments

6 people like this
Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 2, 2016 at 2:25 pm

So what is different about this place? I get that they have fewer patients at the moment, but how is it going to offer shorter wait times in the long run if it is successful? They claim they will open another office if they get busy, but isn't that just like any other urgent care facility?


2 people like this
Posted by Dunno
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2016 at 2:50 pm

I didn't take it that it was a new _kind_ of urgent care, just that it was a new one opening up, which will have less wait than an ER. Seemed pretty clear.


2 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 2, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Does this new clinic accept all insurance?


Like this comment
Posted by Alan
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 2, 2016 at 3:26 pm

You should review the comments on Yelp. D.U.C. may have nice clinicians, but their office procedures are not. Called them, the call went straight to voice mail, and no return call two hours later. Tried to connect to their web site, and my browser said it was dangerous and refused to connect. They just don't seem able to run a business that fully caters to its customers.


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Posted by reader
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 2, 2016 at 10:52 pm

@Alan, not sure what you're talking about. There's one positive yelp review for this new clinic in MV, and 100+ overwhelmingly positive reviews for the original facility in Berkeley. Even with the Urgent Care Clinic at PAMF and the Minute Clinic at CVS on San Antonio, I welcome another urgent care facility, as ER waiting rooms are packed with people with conditions that are not life-threatening.

Web Link


5 people like this
Posted by Cynthia Greaves
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 3, 2016 at 9:42 am

Caesar Djavaherian, co-founder of Direct Urgent Care, incorrectly asserts that wait times at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation's Urgent Care Center, 701 El Camino Real, "can be upwards of six hours." I work at PAMF and know this to be blatantly false. We post the wait time online so everyone can see the wait time before coming to PAMF for urgent care. Our Urgent Care team provides compassionate and timely care for everyone every day, including weekends and holidays. As a PAMF patient and employee as well as a Mountain View resident, I would appreciate it if the Voice would fact check details rather than report what the Direct staff person asserted.


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Posted by Bambi
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 3, 2016 at 11:59 am

Here is the web link Web Link

Hope this helps you with contacting them


Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous #2
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 3, 2016 at 4:41 pm

@anon, if you look at their website, there are list of insurances that they accept and are in-network with. They accept out of network insurances that are not listed too, but usually these are slightly more expensive. Insurances can be confusing. :P


Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous #2
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 3, 2016 at 4:42 pm

@anon oh but they do not accept medi-cal, Kaiser and International.


4 people like this
Posted by Caesar Djavaherian
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2016 at 5:19 pm

Thank you so much for your comments on the new Direct Urgent Care location in Mountain View. I wanted to address some of the comments that have come up on this forum because we are so excited to be here.

We came to Mountain View to improve the patient care experience in the area, not to try to deprecate the efforts of the providers already in the community. Our research did in fact show that access to care was difficult as reflected in published wait times. The latest example of a prolonged wait for urgent care was on February 23, 2016 at 1:19PM when the wait time at PAMF’s Mountain View urgent care was 6 hours as published on their [url=Web Link] site [/url]. My comment in the article was to point out that we feel we are addressing a need in the community and in no way did I intend to condemn the wonderful people at PAMF. We see ourselves as innovators in medicine with the overriding goal of taking the pain out of accessing excellent health care.

The way Direct Urgent Care differs from other urgent care centers has to do with the various technologies that we have developed or incorporated to make accessing care as painless as possible. We use tablets so your providers are not sitting behind a screen when they are caring for you. Also, you don’t need to wait in a crowded waiting room to be seen. With Direct Urgent Care, you can get in a virtual queue and receive a message when we are ready to see you—making your living room or bedroom your virtual waiting room. [url=Web Link] KQED [/url] ran a story about this recently. We run same day blood tests, digital X-rays, as well as other testing and can securely send copies of your results to your primary care doctor so there is continuity in your care.

Our efforts have benefited our community in Berkeley as you can see from our [url=Web Link] Yelp reviews [/url] which are amazing and we are hoping to do the same in Mountain View.

Hopefully no one reading this needs medical attention, but if you do and you start coming to our site, please feel free to email me your feedback at caesar@directurgentcare.com. We are a small organization and welcome ideas to improve our service.

Our website is www.directurgentcare.com/mountain-view
Our phone number is 650-695-5008

Best,
Caesar Djavaherian, MD


1 person likes this
Posted by Caesar Djavaherian
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2016 at 5:25 pm

Looks like I can also use some help adding web links to these comment boards :)


5 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto Resident
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2016 at 7:37 pm

Now if you want a long wait time, try going to Stanford to their urgent care, called Express Care (it's not the emergency room). Not only is there a very long wait, but I had to see a nurse practitioner instead of a doctor for my food poisoning. They schedule their urgent care appointments, so you don't see all the actual waits. After getting the horrendous bill, II decided to switch to PAMF. I welcome another urgent care option in there area, honestly.


6 people like this
Posted by al stuetzle
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 6, 2016 at 1:12 pm

WHAT A LOT OF BULL" the preceeding was my immediate reaction upon reading the statement attributed to Mr. Djavahderian who was quoted as having said that URGENT medical care wait time at El Camino hospital can be upwards of 6 [yes, SIX HOURS let us hope that no reader actually believes this mans statement. My late wife & I have been residents of Mt View for over 20 yrs have been patients at El Camino and receipant of wonderful, PROMPT care at emergency a number of times. It has always been this way, a number of yrs ago I suspected I was having heart attack, live within min of el Camino and when I arrived at emergency Dr was WAITING and I was in surgery in minutes
on feb 11th this yr I visited emergency with heavy bleeding, in minutes nurse had applied clamp made room ready and treatment started, aprox two hours later I was discharged with 6 page printed report of problem, what had been done, etc. for my primary care dr. I am celebrating 75 th. birthday and not easily impressed, EL CAMINO EMERGENCY HAS MY VOTE !!!!


6 people like this
Posted by Emergency vs. Urgent
a resident of another community
on Mar 6, 2016 at 1:46 pm

These two words sound the same, but they are not. Emergency rooms are not meant for non-emergency situations. That's why you have to wait there unless your life is in danger. But Urgent Care is not an emergency. You shouldn't go there with heavy bleeding or a heart attack! Please.....


Like this comment
Posted by AL STUETZLE
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 9, 2016 at 12:09 am

IN MY PREVIOUS COMMENT I " CHEATED !!!!!" I AM NOT 75 YRS YOUNG, I AM ACTUALLY 97 YEARS "OLD" IN APRIL.... SERIOUSLY, IT WAS AN ACCIDENT.!!!!!!


Like this comment
Posted by al stuetzle
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 28, 2016 at 1:45 pm

I am really puzzled by statements that emergency rooms are very often "PACKED" and the corresponding wait of as much as 6 hrs. As seniors my late wife and I have had to visit the emergency at El Camino hospital aprox six times during the past 15 or more years strokes , heart attack, etc
and have NEVER , experienced anything except immediate attention. I have no doubt that at times there could be a wait for a "SPLINTER" to be removed while a stroke victim or heart attack victim is attended to. However
it does seem that a life threatening problem be given priority over a non
emergency and unfair to "paint all emergency rooms with the same brush" At El Camino you are met as you enter and the severity of your problem is established and treatment begun. On my last visit to emergency at El Camino
I had just gotten aprox 10 ft. inside door to emergency and treatment was started.And two hours later I was released.I know of no room for improvement at El Camino hospital & emergency services.


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