Patient First is about patience, first.
The walk-in, no-appointment-needed, urgent care and primary care neighborhood medical center takes pride in its diligent, even-tempered approach to routine illnesses and injuries, and getting the patient in and out without complaint.
"People like convenience," said Patient First CEO Dr. Pete Sowers. "People are very careful about time. We don't want to make them wait."
As of 8 a.m. today, the doctors will be in and ready to treat patients at the new facility in Montgomeryville on Route 309, next to Michael's Restaurant. Patient First will be open 365 days a year, for 14 hours each day.
On Tuesday night, Patient First Montgomeryville — the sixth Patient First location in Pennsylvania — held an open house for more than 100 honored guests from area chamber of commerces, local government, local businesses and other Patient First locations.
"Things are going great. We're having a little festivities the day before we open for business," said Sowers. "It's been a very nice experience and I've met some very nice people."
Sowers described Patient First as "a small chain of primary care and urgent care centers" in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
"We are not connected with hospitals," Sowers said. "We are really a practice midway between a hospital ER and a traditional family practice."
Sowers called Patient First's 365-days-a-year, 14-hours-a-day structure "rare" for this area.
"Patients can come here for injuries, illnesses, and even for primary care for those without a primary care doctor," Sowers said. "We're more of an addition to a hospital. We fill in the blanks."
Patient First can handle on site sutures, x-rays, lab tests, splinting, dislocations, small operations and prescription drug distribution through its own pharmacy.
"If you get hurt, come here. We will stabilize you and figure out the next step," said Patient First Montgomeryville Medical Director Dr. Olga Vinshtok. "People who will be drawn to us are those who are busy, or have no family doctor, or no access to a doctor, or call their doctor and cannot get an appointment. We are convenient and efficient."
In cases where patients need casts for broken bones or major surgeries, Patient First physicians can see patients and then send them to the proper doctor or surgeon.
"We send a lot to hospitals, and we refer them to specialists or other parties," Sowers said.
Sowers said most insurance plans are accepted at Patient Care. Furthermore, the center will file the claims for the patient.
Patient First also deals with occupational health services like workers' compensation, physical exams and drug screenings, travel and Hepatitis immunizations and flu and tetanus-diphtheria vaccines.
Check in at Patient First is relatively stress-free: A touch screen system guides patients through the welcome process. A receptionist is available to be informed of serious emergencies like chest pain, shortness of breath, bleeding and fresh burns.
"In a good hour, we can cover a lot of people," Sowers said. "People will come to know that we're here until 10 p.m. If a patient has a problem in the middle of the night, they can call our doctors."
Vinshtok said a patient should be in and out of Patient First in an hour or less.
"If there are here for more than an hour, then that's an issue," she said.
Patient First Montgomeryville will employ about 45 physicians, nurses, lab techs and medical assistants.
"As it gets busier, we add people," Sowers said. "I think we have a very nice staff and we offer a broad range of services."
While Patient First has built a reputation in Maryland for the past 20 years, Pennsylvania is new territory for the company.
Montgomeryville, Sowers said, was a proper choice to concentrically expand its practice.
"Coming here had a lot to do with the fact that we are new to the area and we're right up the road from some major cities," he said.
Patient First Montgomeryville is located at 713 Bethlehem Pike/Route 309, north of Five Points. Contact Patient First at (267) 695-3944.
Other locations include Mechanicsburg, York, Harrisburg, Allentown (Village West Shopping Center) and Wyomissing (Paper Mill Road). Three locations are coming soon to Easton (2468 Butler St.), Bethlehem (2310 Schoenersville Road) and East Norriton (400 E. Germantown Pike).