MultiCare is closing its Covington urgent care April 27 to make room for a specialty care unit.
The urgent care now sits next to the newly opened emergency room.
The decision to close the urgent care comes after MultiCare evaluated patient needs within the community, said Kristen Saint Clair, executive director for MultiCare.
Following the opening of the emergency room in 2018, Saint Clair said the building where the urgent care is currently located would better serve the community as a specialty care unit. She added specialty care could be anything from orthopedic services to weight loss services.
Community members won’t be without an urgent care option with MultiCare’s Indigo Urgent Care clinic down the street from the hospital.
Saint Clair said Indigo was designed from the ground up with the consumer in mind and is meant to get people in and out quickly.
Mark Swart, media relations manager for MultiCare, said Indigo is a different experience from the other urgent care facilities MultiCare offers. He added it doesn’t have that “old school doctor’s office” feel to it.
“It really is designed around the consumer. It’s meant to look more like a coffee shop than a doctor’s office so people feel comfortable and have a pleasant experience,” Saint Clair said.
As the community continues to grow people may need more convenient access to specialty care, including those listed above, Saint Clair said.
So far, MultiCare has sent out letters to its current patients to alert them of the Covington urgent care location closing and have placed notices in the clinic to alert patients, Shari Campbell, marketing director of MultiCare urgent cares, said.
She said the letters not only say the urgent care is closing, but it also states patients will be taken care of at the Covington Indigo Urgent Care at 27111 167th Pl. SE, Building 101.
Campbell said these letters are useful to patients because there has been some confusion as to what is happening.
She said someone called in asking about whether the ER was closing. She added, that is not the case because the emergency room just opened last year.
“Once people hear what we’re doing — expanding the specialty care in Covington, adding another location in Maple Valley and that we have a plan to take care of people in our Covington Indigo — they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, that makes sense,’” Campbell said.
Prior to informing patients, MultiCare announced to its staff about a month ago the plans to close the urgent care.
To accommodate current staff members, Saint Clair said human resources will meet with every staff member and discuss their various options.
She also said there’s always a shortage of nurses, so using the nurses from the urgent care in other areas of MultiCare is ideal.
According to Campbell, two providers from the urgent care will be working at the Covington Indigo location.
Saint Clair said they are anticipating an increase in patients at the Covington Indigo and have been in the process of hiring additional providers and staff to accommodate that increase.
“We already started seeing an increase and the team has really worked hard to pull together to really take care of the community and we are positive that even with the increase that we will be able to give the same level of service that people are accustomed to getting from Indigo,” Saint Clair said.
Looking closer to end of fall 2019, Saint Clair said they are talking about opening a new Indigo Urgent Care in Maple Valley.
She said there are many people from Maple Valley who seek its services in Covington and would rather have that service be within their neighborhood.
Currently, there is little information on the Maple Valley location since Saint Clair said they still need to work out leasing details. However, she did say MultiCare tries to have Indigo locations near retail and busy areas allowing for convenient access to patients.