The Case For More Urgent Care Centers In The United States

An emergency room visit is far from ideal to have to endure – for a wide variety of reasons. For one thing, the typical emergency room visit will take quite a bit of time. In your average emergency room here in the United States, you’re likely to wait for up to fifty eight minutes before being seen if you are a non emergent case, and it is not uncommon to have to wait for even longer. And even once you’ve been seen it is unlikely that your emergency room visit will breeze by, as doctors in the emergency room often have heavy case loads and cannot always get your test results back to you in a particularly timely manner, meaning that you will need to wait indefinitely for even medical concerns that can be considered to be relatively minor.

In addition to this, medical care from an emergency room visit is likely to be incredibly expensive, even for a non emergent emergency room visit. The typical emergency room visit is almost guaranteed to cost more than five hundred dollars, even for some people who have insurance. And it is not uncommon for the cost of your typical emergency room visit to skyrocket above one thousand dollars, sometimes even considerably so.

But many people see no alternative to the emergency room visit if they need care during hours that their typical doctor’s office is not open, such as late at night, early in the morning, or on weekend days. And for people who can’t easily take time off of work to schedule an appointment with their general care practitioner, going in for an emergency room visit might even seem like the only viable way to get medical treatment as well. Fortunately, urgent care centers are making getting convenient care for a wide variety of medical issues easier than it has ever been before.

Urgent care locations are springing up all over the country, and there are now more than seven thousand and three hundred of them, a rise of nearly one thousand over the course of the last three or so years. In fact, with more than twelve thousand patients seen at urgent care centers throughout the country, as many as three million patients are seen over the course of the week. And up to twenty thousand doctors are employed at various urgent care clinics as well, providing high quality medical care to those who are in need of it.

But what makes urgent care locations better than the emergency services found at your typical emergency room? For one, the wait times are far shorter. In more than ninety percent of all urgent care centers throughout the country, the average wait time is no greater than a mere thirty minutes. And in more than half of these urgent care locations, the average wait time drops down to often less than even just fifteen minutes. For a busy person with a crammed schedule, fitting in an urgent care visit is likely to be much easier than fitting in an emergency room visit.

In addition to this, urgent care centers can treat more complicated cases than many people realize. In fact, less than five percent of all cases seen in any given urgent care location will need to be transferred to the local emergency room. Conversely, however, up to sixty five percent of cases seen in the emergency room could have easily received effective treatment at an urgent care clinic instead, saving those people a great deal of time and money and still allowing them the comprehensive care that they need.

After all, up to eighty percent of all urgent care locations are easily able to treat and diagnose fractures. And up to seventy percent of them can actually provide IV fluids as well. Of course, more minor conditions can also be treated, from ear infections to urinary tract infections, as antibiotics can easily be prescribed.

In addition to this, preventative measures can likely be taken at your local urgent care center. This is due to the fact that many an urgent care center will even offer flu shots at a low cost.