Otolaryngology now offering same-day appointments

The department of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery has instituted a new program to help patients.

“The right time to see an ear, nose and throat specialist is when the patient feels like they need to see a physician,” said Dwight Jones, M.D., chairman of the department.

“Otolaryngology (ENT) is dedicated to providing extraordinary care to all patients, new or return, by offering weekday appointments within 24 hours,” Dr. Jones said.

This new and innovative program will allow patients who call the ENT clinic to be seen the same day if they so desire. As long as the patient calls before 3 p.m., all new patients and appropriate established (return) patients will be offered a same-day appointment with the consultant otolaryngologist of the week.

Patients calling for appointments will be greeted with, “Would you like to be seen today?” This service is currently only being offered at the Durham Outpatient Center location. However, once established, otolaryngology plans to possibly offer this program at Village Pointe.

Although the program didn’t officially launch until this month, ENT had been piloting the idea in the weeks before launch. During the month of September, nearly all patients who were offered a same-day appointment accepted this service. The ENT clinic saw an average of six patients a day with some days having as many as 10.

“We anticipate that this number will only grow once word gets around about the program, especially during the fall and spring seasons when ear, nose and throat problems tend to be at their highest,” said Dr. Jones.

Common otolaryngology problems like ear infections, hearing loss, hoarseness, neck masses, sinus infections, and tonsillitis can now be seen within 24 hours for weekday appointments. In addition there have been several complicated otolaryngology problems referred by physicians who wanted their patients evaluated the same day.

“Things are running smoothly and patients seem to love the convenience, availability and accessibility that this program offers,” said Julie Zetterman, ENT administrator. “In fact, I have already used the service myself for two of my children.”

To make an appointment at the ENT clinic, call 402-559-5208.