The UPMC Vision Institute has opened an urgent care eye clinic, making it one of the few clinics in the country dedicated to the care of eye emergencies, one of only two in Pennsylvania, and the only one in the region.
Located on the ground floor of the Vision Institute at the Mercy Pavilion on Locust Street, it is currently open from 8 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday.
“We’re building toward something truly unique in the region. Eventually, we will provide acute vision care 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Jerome Finkelstein, M.D., Vice Chair of Clinical Operations for the Department of Ophthalmology at UPMC and Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Eye care has always been offered 24/7, but it was through the emergency room. With this clinic, patients will receive specialized care for eye issues with the help of specialized equipment not available in most acute care settings. As a result, the load will be lightened for emergency rooms, and eye patients will have shorter wait times.
“When a patient has an urgent eye health need, it can be difficult to know what to do, or how to navigate the system,” said Finkelstein. “Here, we have an obvious place to come — with a full suite of equipment to better diagnose and treat patients on the spot — as well as great accessibility and convenient parking. A well-integrated team of experts, from comprehensive ophthalmologists to subspecialists, provide patients timely access to all the care they need.”
Until hours are expanded, patients with urgent eye issues during evening and weekend hours should go to UPMC Mercy’s Emergency Department, where they will be seen by on-call physicians from the Vision Institute. The Urgent Care Eye Clinic does not see children; pediatric cases are seen at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.