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Nurse practitioners Rachel Koch, left, and Bonnie Conner, and Red Lake Tribal Health Director Oren Beaulieu, surrounded by members of their staff, cut the ribbon to open the new Red Lake Hospital Same Day Appointment Clinic Thursday afternoon. Pioneer Photo/ Molly Miron

Red Lake Hospital: Outpatient department provides innovative service

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News Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
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Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Until recently, Red Lake Hospital Emergency Services and Urgent Care formed a combined department.

Patients needing to see a physician for a fairly minor condition such as the flu had to get in line behind people with more serious problems to be served.

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"For years, we've been telling patients to come in and wait," said Craig Morin, CEO of the Red Lake Hospital.

Now, in a newly renovated section of the Red Lake Hospital, patients can call ahead for service at the Same Day Appointment Clinic.

"We're very happy these services have become available," said Oren Beaulieu, Red Lake Tribal Health director.

The six-member staff includes two nurse practitioners, a case manager, two licensed practical nurses and a medical assistant.

The SDAC grew out of a survey of Red Lake residents, said Charmaine Branchaud, preventative services coordinator.

"We wanted feedback of what they wanted," she said.

The result was requests for a same-day clinic to avoid having to go to the ER where they would be triaged. For SDAC services, people can call as early as 6:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and can usually see a nurse practitioner some time that same day. Patients who need to come in after work can be scheduled as late as 6:20 p.m.

"We are really focused on improving patient care here at Red Lake," said Branchaud. Patient satisfaction surveys are done quarterly. Any areas where we can improve it, we do it."

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