Urgent Care Centers Offer Convenient Alternative to Emergency Rooms
Urgent cares, and even the small town walk in clinic, are one of those convenient services open to the public where minor injuries, illnesses, aches and pains can be taken care of without the hassle often found in emergency rooms. Because of this, there are an estimated 9,000 urgent care centers spread out across the U.S., and many see hundreds of patients each week. In fact, on average, urgent cares see about 342 patients each week. Because of the varying needs of the patients, over 95% of urgent care centers have physicians on readily hand.
Urgent care centers are oftentimes more convenient than emergency rooms. When you take into account that about 69% of all urgent cares have a 20 minute or less wait time, it’s easy to see why more and more people are turning to urgent care centers for their healthcare needs. They’re also convenient in that they offer a wide array of services to their patients. Many can provide intravenous fluids if need be, and about half of all urgent care centers provide prescription pharmaceuticals. Other convenient services include flu shots, sports physicals, and help tracking down a family practice doctor.
Urgent cares, and even the occasional walk in clinic, are also more cost effective than traditional emergency rooms. For example, the cost difference between an emergency room and urgent care for the same ailment and diagnosis is anywhere between $228 and $583!
With all this being said, urgent cares, and healthcare professionals, are in demand. As the population continues to rise, that demand will only increase. In fact, the need for healthcare professionals will be so great that the U.S. will eventually be in dire need of an additional 52,000 by the year 2025 in order to meet the health care needs of the country.
Unlike emergency rooms, however, many urgent cares are not open 24 hours a day. Many have set schedules of operation, typically between the hours of eight in the morning to five in the afternoon. However, many centers are beginning to implement longer hours well into the evening, and are even beginning to offer hours of service during the weekends to make things as convenient as possible for their patients.
So for those suffering from the flu or in need of some kind of medical care, check out what the local urgent care center has to offer. It’ll save time and money. Who doesn’t like that?