An inside look at the new Cooper Green urgent care center - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

An inside look at the new Cooper Green urgent care center

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Room for patients at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. (abc3340.com) Room for patients at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. (abc3340.com)
Jamal Brown was in charge of the urgent care center transition. (abc3340.com) Jamal Brown was in charge of the urgent care center transition. (abc3340.com)
Marc Sussman oversaw the transition of ambulatory care at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. (abc3340.com) Marc Sussman oversaw the transition of ambulatory care at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. (abc3340.com)
BIRMINGHAM - AL -

Cooper Green Mercy Hospital is now Cooper Green Mercy. That's until the Jefferson County Commission votes on a new name.

One person did show up Tuesday unaware that the hospital and emergency room transitioned into an urgent care center overnight.

But apart from that, county leaders say the transition is going seamlessly. They gave ABC 33/40 an inside look.

Overnight, the emergency room sign came down replaced by one for an urgent care center. By 8:24 a.m. Tuesday, Cooper Green Mercy had its first patient.

"It's bad that I'm starting the new year off in the hospital," said Billy Aaron, the first patient.

The transition team also spent the morning there showing what patients should expect after walking through the old emergency room doors and registering.

"Once they are called back, they will enter through the door here," said Jamal Brown who was in charge of the urgent care center transition. "We're going to still keep our nursing station where everything will be operated out of. From there, we will have patient rooms up the central hallway."

13 of the 18 original ER bays are now patient rooms. Monitors and other hospital equipment are still being used.

"We already had the structure. we had the bones in place. Along with that, we had the personnel in place so the transition of the hospital into an urgent care clinic was very seamless," said Brown.

Cooper Green Mercy is being called an urgent care center on steroids. X-rays are done there. Lab work and prescriptions are processed in the building, and the doctors are former ER staff. They can handle minor lacerations, burns and breaks in addition to other non-emergency problems.

If a hospital stay is required, Cooper Green staff will make arrangements at local hospitals while continuing to monitor the patients.

"We track them and the appropriateness of care and make sure they are getting the treatments need and they are not being over treated," explained Marc Sussman who oversaw the transition of ambulatory care.

Cooper Green will even make the follow up appointment.

The goal is to provide seamless care.

"There's a lot of fear out there. But I feel each patient who utilizes our system correctly will be properly cared for. I feel very confident now," said Brown.

The first patient's assessment?

"They are real nice. They answer all your questions," said Aaron.

The urgent care clinic is open from 8 a.m. until midnight seven days a week. An appointment is not required.

The clinics and pharmacy will continue normal hours of operation.

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