Walk In Urgent Care Centers Another Option
Urgent care. For many, it signifies immediate care for urgent, possibly serious cases. For others, it represents the ability to receive care immediately for no matter the condition. Still for others, there is the appeal of not having a primary care physician and getting care from another establishment without the forced relationship with a physician.
Urgent care began in the 1980’s, when individuals were forced to choose between their primary care doctor and the emergency room for treatment for urgent and immediate health issues. The thought was simple: Offer a line of care that had aspects of the primary care physician and the emergency room. Urgent care began.
Slowly, it grew throughout the United States. Today, there are thousands of urgent care centers around the country where people can receive immediate care for urgent medical issues. There are several positive qualities an urgent care center has compared to the primary care physician and the emergency room.
Compared to the primary care physician’s office, urgent care offers a more comprehensive care with more sophisticated imaging equipment. In the urgent care center, there are possibly x-ray machines, CAT machines, and more. This is growing within urgent care centers, this offering of equipment.
This equipment allows for quicker and more accurate diagnosing of illnesses and ailments, particularly true of broken bones, fractures, bruising (either externally or internally) and more. This equipment is not present generally speaking in a primary care office. Some are but some are outsourced.
Urgent care centers have one other big advantage over a primary care office. The primary care office generally receives patients by appointment, and it can be difficult for a patient to receive a same-day appointment for emergency issues. An urgent care center is the opposite. It functions as a walk-in clinic for serious and pressing issues.
The walk in nature of the urgent care center means that patients do not need to have an appointment to be seen. And often, they are seen by qualified medical professionals, generally a physician or even a mid-level physician. These are positive qualities for someone who has an emergency or pressing medical issue.
Back in the 1980’s, if someone had an emergency or pressing issue, they had the choice of either waiting to see a primary care physician or going to the emergency room. But, like today, the emergency room was expensive, requiring hundreds of dollars per visit back then and requiring thousands of dollars for a visit today.
While a hospital has the best imaging equipmetn and likely the most qualified doctors, urgent care has effective equipment and qualified doctors, making it just a step down from the emergency room. This and at a fraction of the cost. While an emergency room visit will run into the thousands, a visit to urgent care without insurance will cost hundreds.
There are some statistics about urgent care centers that are worth noting. They are:
- The most common diagnosis in an urgent care center was upper respiratory condition, and the most common procedure was wound repair in 2012.
- At least 85 percent of people are allergic to poison ivy.
- An estimated 3 million patients visit urgent care centers each week.
- 20,000 physicians who practice Urgent Care Medicine today.
- 85% of urgent care centers are open seven days a week.
- Four out of five urgent care centers provide fracture care.
- 25,000 Americans suffer from an ankle sprain each day.
- Between 5% and 20% of Americans come down with the flu each year.
- Urinary tract infections account for 8.1 million visits to doctors each year.
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A walk in urgent care center has many benefits listed above. A patient is able to walk into a walk in urgent care center and receive treatment without an appointment. A walk in urgent care center is able to provide effective treatment for issues. And a walk in urgent care centers gives people another option between the primary care physician and the ER.
There are many positive qualities about the walk in urgent care center.