Why You Should Always Consider The Urgent Care Clinic
If you’re having difficulty deciding where you should seek medical care, you are certainly not alone – even if you have a general care practitioner. After all, typical doctors who have their own practices will close up for shop after a certain point in the day. After this point, it is unlikely that you will be able to get medical care through them, though some might have a help line you can call. In most of these cases, people end up seeking care in their local emergency room – even if they do not actually have a medical condition or concern that actually needs urgent and emergency attention.
And going to the emergency room for anything less than a true emergency can end up being hugely detrimental for a wide variety of reasons. For one thing, the wait times are incredibly long. If you don’t have a medical concern that needs to be seen immediately (such as a suspected heart attack, for instance), you’re likely to find yourself waiting around for an hour or even more. And even once you have been triaged, it will be even longer before you speak with a doctor, have tests conducted, and get the results of those tests. For most people, going to any given ER ends up being an hours long ordeal – and a less than pleasant one, at that.
In addition to this, emergency room visits are often astronomically expensive, as they cost, on average, more than $1,000. Even for those with health insurance, paying off emergency room bills can still be quite incredibly difficult. Those who are without insurance might be legally obligated to receive fair and thorough treatment – but are put even more at risk of ultimately having to file for medical bankruptcy, something that is becoming more and more commonplace all throughout the country.
Fortunately, the urgent care center can provide a viable alternative to the ER. After all, the average urgent care center can provide primary care treatment and healthcare services in a fraction of the time. The data backs this up, showing that at least 90% of all urgent care locations had average wait times that did not even exceed a mere half of an hour. In addition to this, more than half of all currently operation urgent care centers had wait times that didn’t even surpass 15 minutes (at least on average). Much unlike the typical ER patient, a patient who goes to an urgent care center is likely to get in, see the doctor, get treated, and get out all within the span of just one hour.
And the competency of care that one can receive at the typical urgent care center is quite a bit better and more comprehensive than many people might at first realize. After all, only just a scant 3% or so of all urgent care center patients will ever ultimately need to be transferred to an ER. On the flipside, up to 65% of all emergency room patients could have easily been treated at an urgent care center. This is something that would have likely saved them a great deal of time as well as money at the end of the day.
After all, the average urgent care center can perform a wide variety of diagnostic tests and medical treatments. According to the most recent data, more than three quarters of urgent care locations can even diagnose and treat fractures of varying severities. And up to 70% of these medical clinics can also handle IV treatments, ideal for patients who are suffering from dehydration for whatever reason.
And luckily for many people, urgent care centers are on the rise. At the current date, there are well over 7,000 urgent care centers located throughout the United States, a number that has risen considerably since 2015, when there were only just over 6,000. In the years that are ahead of us, this number is only likely to grow and grow as the reputation of the typical urgent care center is able to grow as well. After all, more than a full quarter of all people have visited such an urgent care center in the last couple of years already.