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DOC Helps ER and Hospital Capacity

April 10, 2020
Stressed doctor

The United States has more than 5,200 hospitals with nearly 800,000 fully staffed hospital beds. U.S. hospitals have limited staff, equipment, and space, with just 2.9 hospital beds per 1,000 people. Some hospitals are struggling to keep up with the demands of their communities, especially during COVID-19.


To avoid overburdening ERs and hospitals with orthopedic issues during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, DOC encourages anyone with a sports injury, suspected bone fracture, joint or back pain, or another musculoskeletal disorder to circumvent the hospital and contact one of the DOC clinics or another single-specialty orthopedic center.


Dr. David Hassinger, orthopedic surgeon, CEO and DOC Founder, explains the company’s focus in this time of crisis: “DOC is not an ER. We are not an urgent care. We do not treat infectious diseases. But the orthopedic community can help by keeping orthopedic injuries and issues out of our emergency rooms, hospitals and urgent cares. That frees those providers to care for the critically ill. It frees up the hospital beds for the people who need them now.


People with orthopedic injuries require immediate treatment, too. Your first instinct may be to head to the ER or another non-orthopedic urgent care. In the current pandemic environment, the ER wait times may be long in a crowded room of people with potentially infectious diseases including coronavirus and influenza. After the wait, if the injury is a musculoskeletal problem, you will be referred to an orthopedic expert anyway. Patients at DOC have direct access to the highest level of orthopedic specialist care.”


DOC is following strict in-clinic operational protocols consistent with current guidelines, which include comprehensive cleaning before and after each guest encounter at all touch points, common areas and treatment rooms. If a DOC guest describes signs or symptoms of the flu or virus or recent international travel during the screening interview, his or her appointment will be rescheduled. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The guest will be referred to his or her primary care or urgent care physician for diagnosis, treatment and possible script for a COVID-19 test.


When a patient makes an appointment at DOC for orthopedic injuries or disorders, the patient is providing critical space at the ER and hospital for the influx of people who need immediate COVID-19 emergency care and hospitalization.


DOC is closely monitoring updates from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and local health and governmental agencies. 

For more information on the cost of care, click here.


What happens when a hospital is full?

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