The Increasing Popularity of Urgent Care Clinics

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You left work and went to your weekly softball game. You were a little tired, but decided to play anyways. They were counting on you, after all. The first couple of innings were fun, until you ran wrong and you severely twisted your ankle. Your friends carried you off the field and iced your ankle. Hours later, your sitting on your couch and the ankle is still throbbing with pain. You are unable to sleep and you have trouble walking around your home. You wonder if it is sprained, or even broken. Of course it is Friday evening, and your regular physician will not be in until Monday. You consider going to the local emergency center, but that will be an expensive and timely process, especially if it is just sprained.

Urgent care settings were designed for just this purpose. They were created for those who are unable to get into their primary physician?s office in a timely manner, yet with medical conditions that may not severe enough for an emergency room visit. Emergency rooms are expensive and they require you to wait for many hours. Urgent care settings, however, have less wait times and can provide you with the same medical care that both the urgent care clinic and your primary care physicians office can.

You have probably noticed multiple urgent care clinics around your city. If you choose to go to one, you may be overwhelmed at all of the choices you have, just around your house. You are probably wondering which is the best urgent care and how you will make your decision. Research of local urgent care clinics is a great way to be an informed decision. However, most people do not have time or patience to research their local urgent care setting when they are experiencing an injury or illness.

It may be a good idea to call your insurance provider?s after hour?s number to choose the best urgent care for you. They may not be able to provide you with the best urgent care in terms of quality and certifications of the medical providers, but they will inform you as to which urgent care centers accept your insurance plan. You do not want to be stuck paying out of network urgent care fees. A family urgent care center may also have this information on their business webpage.

The average patient per hour patio for urgent care physicians is 4.5 patients per hour, according to the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine. This will vary on the severity of acuity of the patient?s condition. However, this wait time is often a big improvement from emergency care at your local emergency department.

Urgent care centers tend to vary in size, but urgent care clinics average seven exam or treatment rooms. This number of treatment rooms allows you to quickly get out of the waiting room and into a private treatment room. It may also prevent you from having to be around other patients who are waiting for care, who may be ill. Emergency healthcare services often require patients to wait for many hours in the public waiting room.

Urgent care centers are increasing in their medical capabilities. They are offering services that are comparable to the local emergency department. Nationwide, more than two dozen rural hospitals have shut down since 2013. Things like advanced diagnostic and laboratory services were once only possible at the hospital setting. However today, many urgent care settings have this possibility. Family medicine and occupational services often use more urgent care type settings for medical services that are offered to their employees and their families.

Experiencing an injury or illness after medical office hours can be overwhelming. However, urgent care centers have been it less of a problem. The best urgent care centers provide many of the same services that emergency departments and primary physician offices do. However, they have less wait times, do not require appointments and can be much cheaper. These advantages have made them very popular, and more and more people are taking a shift toward a preference in urgent care settings as their primary medical decision.

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