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Lakeside: Combination of Urgent Care and PCP
By Lois Thomson

Dr. Mary Lamb (L), Dr. Kristen Romesberg (R)There is a reason why express medical centers have become popular. Most people would prefer to go to their primary care physician when they need quick medical attention, but they can't get an appointment; and to go to the emergency room often seems a bit excessive. With Lakeside Primary Care, Dr. Mary Lamb has found a way to combine the best of both worlds.

Prior to Lakeside, which offers full-service, comprehensive primary care, Dr. Lamb ran The Washington Hospital's Urgent Care Center in McMurray. She explained, "For the past four years all I've heard about from patients is how much they don't like their PCPs, how hard it is to get in, how inconvenient it is. That's why urgent care is in existence.

"My goal is to return patients to enjoying their primary care practice, getting the care they feel they need, and having as many conveniences of urgent care in a primary care practice as is feasible."

Opened at the end of August in Waterdam Plaza, Lakeside Primary Care is currently staffed by Dr. Lamb and Kristen Romesberg, D.O. In the vein of urgent care providers, Dr. Lamb said, "We're certainly going to have scheduled appointments, but we're also going to have same-day scheduling, where patients can call and get fit in that day, and we're going to accommodate walk-in visits as much as possible."

       
 

 

In addition to the in-office components, Lakeside Primary Care features a high-tech website that allows patients to print forms to fill out and bring to their first appointment. It also permits them to receive test results, request an appointment, or message the doctor. "It doesn't take the place of a doctor's appointment," said Dr. Mary Lamb, "but it allows some communication that used to be endless phone tag." The website also features an online survey. "We really want to hear from our patients – what they want and what they need," she added. "We want it to be a patient-centered primary care practice where patients are happy, they want to go there, they feel like they're getting the right care at their home base."

 
       

Along with more convenient hours, Lakeside offers other patient-friendly services. "We're going to have on-site medications for patients. That's the convenience and service patients love without having to go to the pharmacy."

Other offerings include onsite testing so that people who might come in with an infection or other ailment will be able to get immediate results. Also available are standard vaccines, injectable medications for migraines, nausea, etc. "We're able to do a lot of acute care medicine along with routine chronic care maintenance."

In addition, Dr. Romesberg is a doctor of osteopathic medicine, which means she includes chiropractic techniques as part of her practice. As Dr. Lamb said, "So many patients go to chiropractors, but what's nice about Kristen is that she combines traditional medical philosophy and training with manipulation techniques."

She continued, "Patients definitely like things about urgent care, so I'm hoping to implement those but make the services more patient friendly. I recognize the need for urgent care, but also recognize that it's better for patients to be seen by their own doctors who know them. And most would do that if they could get in. So my goal is to provide conveniences that urgent care offers and hope that people choose to get their care at their home base. It's less expensive, it's better for them, it's better for the system, it's better all the way around if you can make it happen."

Lakeside Primary Care is located at 1001 Waterdam Plaza Drive in McMurray. For more information, call (724) 969-1001 or visit www.lakesideprimarycare.org.

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