For 10 years, the team at The miniER in Waterford Lakes has filled the void for patients needing quality care in an urgent care setting.
It’s inevitable that your child will spike a high fever after the doctor’s office has closed for the day or will suffer an injury while participating in extracurricular activities after school. Even adults may find themselves sick on the weekend without access to their primary care physician for antibiotics.
Since most after-hours occurrences don’t require emergency care, patients want to avoid paying emergency room prices for services they could receive from a non-emergency facility. Dr. Brantley Molpus understood that need in 2008 when he opened The miniER Adult and Pediatric Urgent Care Center in Waterford Lakes for patients of all ages, from pediatrics to geriatrics.
While its beginnings were humble during a declining financial market, there was never a better time to offer residents a more convenient, moderately priced alternative for healthcare. Now, 10 years later, the practice is celebrating a milestone anniversary.
Molpus says, “We’re not just surviving; we’re thriving.”
What to Expect at The miniER
The 12-room facility was designed with a purpose. Not only is it bright and spacious, but it was built to look like a small emergency room complete with a centralized nurses station. Individuals who require the most attention, such as a child with asthma, are placed closest to the providers while patients with less severe issues are treated in rooms that are slightly less visible. There are laboratory services and digital x-rays on site, and additional space is occupied by Physiotherapy Works, The miniER’s tenant partner that has provided physical therapy services since the clinic opened in 2008.
The miniER fills the void so patients don’t ever have to worry about their health. Molpus and his team typically see patients whose primary physician’s office is overloaded or closed. They also fill in when referring physicians are on vacation for an extended period of time.
“What we’ve done in 10 years is build a loyal patient base,” Molpus says. “Some of our providers have watched kids grow up, from 8 months to 10 years old.”
An electronic records system makes it easy for the providers to communicate with referring physicians. In most cases, patient records are sent immediately after an appointment and are received the same day or the following day. If a patient is referred to a specialist then their records can be printed on the spot and then can be hand delivered to the specialist provider.
“My first priority is to provide great patient care and my second is to maintain a positive relationship with referring physicians,” Molpus says.
Practice Manager Denise B. adds that patients can expect to see familiar faces when they visit, as one of The miniER’s biggest successes is the longevity of the staff.
“Any time a patient goes into a medical facility and consistently sees the same staff, it make them feel better, specifically in an urgent care setting where it may be six months to a year before they go back,” she says. “It’s a sense of continuity of care.”
Effect of the Flu Season
The 2018 flu season has been one for the record books, causing an unusually high amount of deaths in otherwise healthy patients. Across the country, waiting rooms were full and antivirals and antibiotics were flying off of pharmacy shelves in what was a true overburdening of the healthcare system. At The miniER, this flu season translated into a volume increase of 25 percent for more than 11 weeks before the illness had even reached its peak. At one point Dr. Molpus and his team were seeing 50 to 60 patients daily.
“We had not seen that many patients, that many weeks in a row since we opened,” he says.
The team rarely took breaks because patients were consistently coming in the door. Providers typically stayed one to two hours late each day in an effort to treat as many people as possible while still taking the necessary measures of ensuring their own health. They were tired, but they knew their patients felt worse.
“I’m very proud of every member of our team,” Dr. Molpus says. “They did an incredible job stepping up.”
The Next Generation
As the practice grew, Molpus had the opportunity to expand into a teaching facility. Students from Nova Southeastern, University of Central Florida and various nursing schools fulfill their clinical rotations in outpatient medicine with the help of The miniER providers. Not only do they shadow physicians during room visits, but they assist with procedures such fracture management, sutures and abscess drainage. Even more, this service is provided to referring institutions with no facility fee, which is rare.
“I think it’s important that we pass medical knowledge on to the next generation of providers for free, so I made that commitment a long time ago,” Molpus says.
In addition to helping train the next generation of providers, The miniER team also has the opportunity to care for the next generation of Orlando residents in each phase of their lives. From treating the flu to caring for broken bones, and everything in between, they expect to continue to do so for many years to come.
“I’m excited that we’ve had the chance to provide ongoing care for hundreds and hundreds of families in East Orlando in the past 10 years,” he says. “That’s something that I couldn’t have predicted.”
Meet the miniER Family
The majority of the staff members have been with the practice for eight years or more. Denise B. attributes the team’s longevity to a management style that promotes independent thinking in an atmosphere of cordiality amongst team members. “We respect them because they respect us,” she says. “They’re all so amazing and we’re blessed to have them.”
Denise knows the value of team building and longevity. She began as a consultant bookkeeper and was made practice manager a year later. Then, a few years later, she became one of The miniER’s owners.
Here’s a quick look at the team:
Debbie – Billing Coordinator
Mimi – Front Desk Associate
Elena – Front Desk Associate
Melody – X-Ray/Med Tech
Michelle – X-Ray/Med Tech
Rachel – X-Ray/Med Tech
Denise C. – Marketing
Denise B. – Practice Manager
Kellie Mueller, PA-C
David Yi, MD
Brantley K. Molpus, MD, FACEP
12301 Lake Underhill Road, Suite 118
Orlando, FL 32828