Enid News, February 27, 2021
By: Kelci McKendrick
ENID, Okla. — From injuries to illness and all other medical concerns, Enid’s urgent care clinics have one goal: treat immediate health care needs as quickly as possible to every member of the community.
Both Xpress Wellness Urgent Care and Integris Urgent Care Plus in Enid offer a variety of services, accept almost all insurance plans and have made adjustments to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic environment.
From stitches and X-rays to common illnesses such as the cold/flu or ear infections, facilities can see and treat most non-life threatening concerns as quickly as possible, Xpress Wellness spokesperson Alicia Walker said.
“That really is the premise of our care — is that we treat urgent needs without having to make an appointment,” Walker said.
Enid’s Xpress Wellness location, 220 S. Van Buren, opened in March 2014.
Since then, it has expanded to 26 different locations in Oklahoma and Kansas, including Ardmore, Guymon, Ponca City, Sapulpa and McAlester. Walker said expansion has given Xpress Wellness the opportunity to bring health care options to rural communities.
“That niche of rural healthcare is something we hold near and dear because of the people we serve,” she said. “Our motto is, ‘If you meet a need, you make a friend, and if you make a friend, you have an opportunity to touch a life, and if you touch a life, you can make a difference.’ We hope to make a difference in rural health care, and this footprint helps us do that.”
Some of the services Xpress Wellness offers are urgent care, including minor fractures, sprains, cuts, infections and minor burns; primary care, including wellness visits and heart health monitoring; pediatric and adult care; sports injuries, including dislocations and strains; and occupational medicine.
There are a few things Xpress Wellness and other urgent care facilities, like Integris Urgent Care, do not treat and instead recommend an emergency room for: chest pain or difficulty breathing, slurred speech, severe burns, head injuries, seizures and weakness or numbness on one side.
Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare, United Healthcare, Aetna, Medicaid, Soonercare and most other major carriers are accepted at Xpress Wellness, Walker said, and a full list can be found on its website. Integris also accepts most major insurance plans.
Amenities offered through Xpress Wellness include private exam rooms, a procedure room, a treatment room, computerized radiology services, lab services, diagnostic testing and EKG on site and telemedicine. The Enid location is has six exam rooms, a procedure room for things like stitches and IVs and an X-ray room, Walker said.
One of the integral parts of Xpress Wellness’ care is that it can be done virtually and quickly. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Walker said the facility has heavily utilized virtual check-in and virtual visits — whatever is most convenient for the patients.
“Our top priority has always been — even separate from the pandemic — to keep the safety of all of our patients and guests as a top priority, so it seemed appropriate for us to shift from … ‘Hey, let’s have all these people sit in the waiting room where everybody’s germs are touching everybody else,’ to really minimize that patient waiting time,” she said.
Walker added a lot of people aren’t aware of how many conditions can be diagnosed through a virtual visit, such as a urinary tract infection.
“It’s about educating the community on how they can simplify their lives with virtual encounters and minimize their own exposure,” Walker said. “That’s something that we’ve really tried to take advantage of during this pandemic is making sure that people understand that there are options in the way that they receive care.”
The Xpress Wellness location in town has treated a number of residents for COVID-19 symptoms and has provided testing over the course of the last year — even partnering with the city of Enid last summer to utilize a few empty downtown offices to provide a space for additional tests, Walker said.
Xpress Wellness offers rapid and PCR COVID-19 tests and curbside testing, and Walker said Xpress Wellness recommends anyone eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine.
With COVID-19 vaccines becoming more available to the general population, Walker said a lot of the avenues created during the pandemic regarding health care options won’t be going away, but they will continue to offer in-person visits for anyone preferring those.
“We’re dealing everywhere — not just in Enid and surrounding communities, but everywhere — … with different generations of age groups who prefer to have health care, or any care, in certain types of settings,” she said. “but we also recognize that the pandemic has created an avenue where people who may not have elected to do virtual things before are really expanding their palate for that.”
Walker said in order to do this, Xpress Wellness locations statewide will continue to remain flexible, offering curbside services and even expanding the services into primary care, such as getting blood work done and monitoring blood pressure, though it’s still in development.
She added that with this will be an initial, in-person visit during which the patient would get a take-home kit of materials to monitor blood pressure and other things, with subsequent visits conducted virtually.