Urgent Care Health Clinics By the Numbers
The urgent care industry has been steadily growing ever since the 1970s, but it wasn’t until recent years that outpatient and independent urgent care centers became an important aspect of the national healthcare industry. With thousands of individual facilities across the country and millions of patient visits each week, urgent care centers have begun filling a void that has always existed between hospital emergency rooms and regular physicians’ offices — and now more than ever before, patients are depending on these clinics for medical care.
If you’ve never considered how an urgent care center can benefit you, or if you think that these clinics are overrated, take a look at the following three statistics about immediate care clinics in the U.S. today:
15 minutes: The maximum wait time that patients will encounter in about 60% of urgent care clinics across the country. By allowing patients to receive emergency medical care without making an appointment (similar to a hospital emergency room) while also providing preventative health services and regular checkups (similar to a physician’s office), urgent care facilities are able to accommodate a large number of patients and treat a variety of medical conditions without making patients wait for hours on end.
Four out of five: The number of urgent care clinics that are equipped to handle patients with fractures and other medical conditions, like sprains and minor trauma injuries, which are often too severe for a doctor’s office but not necessarily severe enough to warrant a trip to the ER. Although people are often confused about how urgent care centers fit into the healthcare industry and what types of medical conditions can be treated at a walk in clinic, it’s best to think about these facilities as intermediate solutions between a doctor’s office and a hospital ER. If an urgent care center cannot adequately provide the treatment needed, the center will attempt to mitigate the illness/injury while arranging for the patient to be treated at the closest emergency room or specialized care center.
90%: The percentage of urgent care centers that are open until 7:00 p.m. every night; it’s estimated that about 40% of all urgent care facilities are open until 9:00 p.m. or later. Operating times naturally vary from clinic to clinic, but if you need immediate medical attention and you can’t reach your regular primary care physician (or you know that the office is closed), there’s a good chance that the closest urgent care facility will have extended hours and be able to provide treatment.