By Andrew McCue
Between a routine check-up and major medical treatment in a hospital emergency room is a broad domain that doctors refer to as urgent care.
A new medical facility will begin treating the illnesses and injuries requiring urgent care when it opens in Douglassville on July 1.
Premier Immediate Medical Care, LLC will be there to handle life's little emergencies. No appointments required.
Located in a 5,000-square-foot space at 1139 West Benjamin Franklin Highway, next to CVS Pharmacy, the facility will offer care for everything short of life-threatening emergencies.
The facility is set up to handle mishaps like fractures, burns, eye injuries and illnesses, said Dr. Phillip Silverstein, director of patient services.
In more serious cases, "time is brain and time is heart," Silverstein said, stressing that heart attacks, strokes and the incidence of major trauma should be handled by hospital emergency rooms.
The ER is where the doctors and staff at Premier obtained their experience. Premier's parent company, Berks Emergency Physicians, LLC, awards contracts to medical professionals to operate the emergency room at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Reading.
The company has also partnered with St. Joseph's at the St. Joseph Health Network Urgent and Diagnostic Care Center in Elverson.
Premier will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. By August, Silverstein said, the facility should be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Silverstein said the average waiting time in an emergency room, for treatment of non-life-threatening illnesses or injuries, is over three hours.
At Premier, he said, the goal is to have patients seen and treated in 30 to 60 minutes.
"One thing we don't want to see is people sitting there," he said.
"Our key is that we don't want people to wait," said Premier's primary physician, Dr. Dheeraje Taranath of Exeter Township.
To help get the patients in and treated quickly, Premier will accept virtually all health care plans. "The paperwork is quick and prompt," Silverstein said.
"If you don't need to go to the ER, we want you to come to us," Silverstein said. "We're not primary care physicians, but we want to support their practices."
Silverstein said Premier is there "when you can't get in to see your doctor or can't wait till morning."
Premier will also offer full-service diagnostic services, including x-rays.
Jan Vogel, head radiological technician, said the x-ray equipment is all digital and the images are sent over the Internet to board-certified radiologists.
"That's how you do it these days," Silverstein said.
With Taranath at the helm, Silverstein said he has extensive experience in family and emergency medicine. He also holds an MBA.
Along with Taranath, the staff of 10 nurses, an x-ray technician, a receptionist, eight doctors and two physicians' assistants, the facility will eventually offer occupational medicine.
"Right now, we're just focusing on urgent care," Silverstein said.
Contact reporter Andrew McCue
at 610-367-6041, ext. 225 or