Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center
Same Day Clinic Opens at the Walla Walla VA
Walk-in service just got better at the Walla Walla VA! The Walla Walla VA now has a Same Day Clinic (SDC) – aka sick call clinic – available at the Walla Walla campus for both traveling Veterans and walk-in visits when a Veteran cannot get a timely appointment with their care team.
Similar to the new urgent care benefit offered through the MISSION Act, this new service allows the Veteran to get assistance with minor medical issues without a long wait for an appointment. And accessing Walla Walla VA’s SDC allows records to remain in-house and immediately accessible in the Veteran’s record.
The SDC quietly opened on August 5 and its services are currently being offered to all Veterans presenting as walk-in patients. It is open during normal business hours ( 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) Monday through Friday. This clinic idea has been on the drawing board since earlier this year and the Walla Walla VA is pleased to be able to offer this new service to Veterans.
“I am really excited we are able to pilot a same day clinic to meet the needs of the Veterans,” states Kyle Garrison, BSN, RN, Chief of Outpatient Nursing at the Walla Walla VA campus. “I feel it provides more patient centered care with even more ability to see Veterans at a time that is convenient for them.”
It all starts with a visit to the check-in desk in Walla Walla VA’s primary care clinic building (Bldg. 143) and completing an “Unscheduled Patient Visit Form” to determine what the immediate medical need is. If their need cannot be addressed at the check in-desk, these options will be offered:
- Veterans who are unassigned or traveling away from their home VA and have a medical need to see a provider, they will be sent upstairs to the SDC.
- Veterans who are assigned to primary care teams at one of Walla Walla VA’s community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs) are also assessed for medical need and sent to the SDC.
- Veterans who have a primary care team here at the Walla Walla VA campus will first be assessed by their own team’s nurse care manager, and if their provider is unable to see them in a timely manner that same day, they will be send to the SDC.
As always, administrative needs such as appointment scheduling/rescheduling, prescription refills, travel pay, and other items can be addressed on the spot. Veterans are encouraged to bring along their medication list if they plan to visit the SDC.
And of course, Veterans who are experiencing a classic emergency and feel immediate care is necessary should seek local emergency care without delay.
As this new opportunity to meet Veterans health care needs grows, the Walla Walla VA will monitor its effectiveness and be watching how Veterans respond to this new opportunity with the goal to expand the program. Taking care of the Veteran's medical needs is the highest priority.