Here in the United States, walk in clinics have become more popular than ever before. As a matter of fact, the year of 2016 already saw more than 7,000 fully operational, a number that has only increased in the years that have transpired since. In just one single week, upward of three million people will be treated in these varying urgent care locations, amounting to more than 85 million patients (around 89 million of them, to be just a bit more specific) treated over the course of just one single year). With 20,000 doctors and other such medical professionals now working in these urgent care clinic settings, it should come as no surprise that more and more people are seeking out urgent care treatment than ever before.

And there are many benefits to going to a walk in clinic or urgent care facility as well. For one thing, you’ll be able to get the medical care you need in a quick and effective manner. This is due to the fact that nearly three quarters of all patients who go to a walk in clinic must wait only 20 minutes or even less when they go in for treatment. On average, more than 90% of all urgent care locations have average wait times that are no greater than even one full hour. And, as up to 85% of all urgent care locations are open each and every day of the week (including even weekends), it is easy to get this care no matter when you need it, something that can prevent many from unnecessarily having to go to the hospital.

The typical walk in clinic can also treat a wide variety of illnesses and injuries. For instance, cases of viral illnesses will be seen quite frequently over the fall and winter months and even into the spring. After all, up to 13 million people will be seen for a sore throat over the course of just one year. And while sometimes a sore throat is nothing to be concerned about, it is something that can also be the sign of a more serious illness needing medical treatment, such as strep throat or even tonsillitis.

Preventative health care can also be obtained from the typical urgent care location or walk in clinic, most frequently in the form of a flu shot. Getting your flu shot at the beginning of flu season is highly recommended, as this can reduce your chances of getting the flu quite dramatically. Even if you still get the flu after getting the flu shot, it’s likely to be much less severe than what it otherwise would have been.

And the flu is something that we should all try to prevent as much as we are able to do so. After all, it is no laughing matter, costing up to 17 million workdays per year. The total cost of the flu on a yearly basis typically ends up, on average, exceeding $11 billion. And far more people die from the flu than many realize. Though the flu targets the elderly, the very young, and those with weakened immune systems, it is not unheard of or even uncommon for the flu to hit young, otherwise healthy adults – and to hit them hard. As we have seen time and time again, the flu does not discriminate and can kill just about anyone, as it can lead to very serious complications like pneumonia and even sepsis. This can, of course, all too easily escalate in and of itself.

Various other health issues can also be treated in a walk in clinic. For instance, up to 80% of all urgent care clinics can not only diagnose minor fractures but can effectively treat them as well. This is something that can save people a lot of time and money alike, at least in comparison to what they’d be spending in the typical hospital setting, where both wait times are long and costs are high. As a matter of fact, the average emergency room visit is something that will cost, on average, more than $1,000 in total -if not even more than this. It is not uncommon in the least for people to go into medical debt.