FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Dr. R. Robert Rohatsch and his partners at Urgent Care of Connecticut started their business in 2008 to set a new standard for acute care of non-life threatening medical conditions. A recent accreditation by The Joint Commission proves that the growing medical group is on the right path.
Urgent Care of Connecticut earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with national standards for health-care quality and safety in ambulatory care organizations.
According to the Urgent Care Association of America, only 36 of approximately 8,700 urgent care centers have earned the accreditation by The Joint Commission. Five of them are Urgent Care of Connecticut facilities, and no other privately owned and operated facilities dedicated to urgent care have achieved the designation in all of New England.
“It was important for us to do that,’’ Rohatsch said. “We feel it distinguishes us from other urgent-care facilities. It will help others follow suit. It shows that you are doing it safely, correctly and with a high degree of quality.”
Urgent Care of Connecticut began with its location in Southbury in 2008. It has since added facilities in Norwalk, Ridgefield, Glastonbury and Brookfield. A new office opened on Aug. 30 in Newtown, and a branch in Norwich will open in October. More are planned throughout the state.
“There’s a national need for more of these clinics,’’ Rohatsch said. “Our business model has been to find places that are under-served and meet the needs of the community. I don’t think we thought a lot about growth of the business when we first opened. It made business sense to expand and we’ve just gone from there.”
Urgent Care of Connecticut’s vision, according to its website, is to be the premier provider of outstanding urgent-care medical services in the Northeast U.S. One of its main draws for clients is convenience. The facilities are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
“I guess I’m not too surprised at how quickly it has developed,’’ Rohatsch said. “We thought there was a need for facilities like these. We’re not taking market share away from primary care providers. We serve that middle group. They’re not bad enough that they need critical resources, but they are relatively sick and need to be seen sooner rather than later. We’re there before you go to work, or when you get off work. If your doctor can’t see you on a Friday night, we’ll be available.”
Rohatsch said he felt the need for urgent-care facilities when he worked at a hospital in central Connecticut and a patient with significant injuries was unattended to for four hours. “I thought there was a better way to do this,’’ he said.
Soon afterwards, his focus shifted from treating patients to devising the strategy for a new way to approach urgent care. The business has grown to more than 100 employees and was named a “Top Workplace” in Connecticut in 2012.
Rohatsch has worked at hospitals in Florida, Pennsylvania, and New York, and trained with NASA Space Shuttle Medical Team. He is also a veteran of the Air Force and served during Operation Desert Storm. His time with patients is now limited to weekends. “I don’t ever want to give that up,’’ he said.
His priority, however, is focusing on building his growing business.
“We’ve learned a lot along the way,’’ he said. “It’s all about making sure we keep the hometown feel to our clinics. We’re keeping the culture of a hometown facility and making this a great place to work for our employees.”