Holy Cross Hospital

Timmy Gunz / Creative Commons/Flickr

It turns out some of South Florida's largest hospital systems are taking a page out of the urgent-care playbook.

Questions about the safety and efficiency of urgent-care and retail clinics were raised during Thursday's panel discussion at the Tower Forum, a monthly gathering of Broward County business professionals.

Broward-based Memorial Healthcare System opened its first urgent-care center in 1976, according to President and CEO Frank Sacco.

"We currently are tracking almost 60,000 visits at that urgent care center," says Sacco.

Marva Hinton

This summer Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale expanded a volunteer program that brings teenagers and older patients together.

It’s designed to help the patients avoid delirium,  a common condition that can make hospital stays unpleasant and even frightening.

During a typical day for  volunteers in the Tender Loving Care-Advanced program, they fan out into patient rooms bringing cards, magazines, dice, books and newspapers.