Taking A Much Closer Look At The Benefits Of Urgent Care Centers All Throughout The United States
From emergency medicine physicians to general care practitioners, there are many qualified medical professionals here in the United States. However, getting access to these medical professionals such as emergency medicine physicians is not always as easy as it should be. For many people – particularly those who do not have health insurance – scheduling an appointment with a general care practitioner is, for whatever reason, virtually impossible. For others, it is simply just not something that they are able to schedule in. And sometimes, as any and all emergency medicine physicians are likely to be able to attest to, medical concerns arise during hours or even days when general care practitioner’s offices are simply not open.
In such cases, many people seek the care of emergency medicine physicians in the typical emergency room setting. And while the emergency room is certainly necessary and ideal to go to in the case of an actual medical emergency, going to any given emergency room for a non emergent case is far from ideal for a number of reasons. For one, it clogs up the waiting room, as there are only so many emergency medicine physicians to go around at any given hospital location, and some have fewer than others. In fact, the typical emergency room now has a wait time of, on average, at least one full hour before seeing the emergency medicine physicians who are on call or even a nurse.
And emergency room trips can be incredibly expensive, often costing more than $500. Even for very minor medical concerns, any given emergency room trip is likely to really leave you high and dry, even with good medical insurance. And while emergency rooms are legally obligated to treat those who do not have medical insurance, such patients will sometimes be left owning thousands of dollars, a sum of money that will be far from simple – if possible at all – for them to pay off.
But what’s the alternative? In many ways, it’s the typical urgent care center here in the United States. Seeing as many as three million patients over the course of just one week, the typical urgent care center is able to provide a great deal of convenient care. And there are now more urgent care centers than ever before, with more than 7,000 of them spread throughout the country, this number marking a growth of nearly 1,000 urgent care locations over the growth of a single year, ultimately creating a number that is only likely to keep growing in the years that are to come as well.
And urgent care centers are far more ideal places to go when in need of minor medical treatment, as more than 90% of all urgent care centers boast average wait times that do not exceed even just a mere half of an hour. In addition to this, more than half of all urgent care locations (around 60% of them, as a matter of fact) even have an average wait time that is no greater than 15 minutes. This means that the average patient seen in any given walk in clinic is able to be in and out all within the span of just one single hour, if even that.
And the typical urgent care location is able to treat nearly as much has the emergency medicine physicians at your local hospital too. In fact, with more than 20,000 qualified doctors currently employed at various urgent care locations all throughout the country, less than 5% of all patients who first go to an urgent care center must ultimately be transferred to the nearest emergency room. Conversely, it has even been estimated that as many as 65% of all cases seen in the average emergency room could actually have been comprehensively treated at a local urgent care center as well – it all comes down to, at the end of the day, knowing the difference between an emergency room and urgent care center and what both are capable of handling.