Retrofitting Blockbuster into needed medical facility

MATTHEWS – Matthews will soon be home to a stand-alone urgent care facility to be located at one of the town’s busiest intersections.

The new facility, which should be open early next year, will be in addition to the Presbyterian Urgent Care Matthews, currently located at the Novant Health Matthews Medical Center, and will sit at the corner of Sam Newell Road and East Independence Boulevard at the former Blockbuster location.

“The current urgent care servicing the Matthews community right now is actually in the hospital, located next to the emergency room,” Michael Hoben, a physician executive leading the project, said. “It gives patients another location in the hospital to get less intense care. But what we realized is the hospital isn’t the easiest place to get to.”

The organization opted to reuse and up fit the currently vacant building that sits on the Independence property for the project. Hoben said they should be ready for business by the first of the year.

The goal of the new facility will be to provide additional space for treatment of less serious illnesses or injuries that don’t call for emergency care. From a simple rash to the common cold to pneumonia, the facility will serve as a “practical center,” Hoben said, with the goal of providing convenient, accessible, quality care for unplanned medical needs. The facility, like most urgent care centers, also will have extended hours, seven days a week.

“The goal is to have extended hours to provide a level of service for patients during regular
physician office hours, and then after hours for patients to be looked after and cared for that doesn’t require the intensity of an emergency room visit,” Hoben said.

Hoben describes the new center as “a fairly sizeable building.” Initially, the center will be outfitted with two care providers. As volume and capacity grows, the center has room for up to four care providers to be there at one time, Hoben said.

Hospital officials picked the Sam Newell Road and Independence Boulevard intersection because of its easy visability to a large amount of drivers. With more than 40,000 cars traveling the stretch per day, Hoben said, leaders wanted the new facility to be at a place conveniently located on a drive to and from work, on the way home from school, or when out running errands.

“I think it was possibly a little bit of patient feedback,” Hoben said. “Today’s demand from patients is that it’s got to be convenient, accessible and still have quality care. In feedback from doing community surveys and evaluations, access is one of the most important things for them, in addition to cost.

“We wanted to go where the traffic and the cars already are.”

The new urgent care will be a little different than traditional urgent care, Hoben said. Patients will have the ability to pre-book appointments online, search wait times and get the information needed on the Novant Health mobile app.

“Our goal is to think about this center and to really take into account what the patient really wants, which is quick, convenient access that really meets their needs,” Hoben said.

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