The Benefits of Local Emergency Clinics
There are many benefits to going to an urgent care. For example, generally speaking, they are less expensive, the wait times are typically less, and they are less congested than emergency rooms. However, for many people, they choose the emergency room for insurance reasons or because they are not sure if they need an emergency room or an urgent care center.
Another problem is that most facilities in the urgent care market are fragmented being owned by several different owners and organizations with little to no coordination. One possible solution to this is to move to a hybrid model that combines urgent care serves with emergency room services, so that everything is covered through insurance and individuals can go to one facility and then be assigned as needed.
The majority of people that go to emergency rooms for medical care do not need emergency care. This causes emergency rooms to be backed up making it harder on the staff and on patients that legitimately need emergency care. It also leads to higher medical costs as the resources are in higher demand. Better utilizing urgent cares will reduce time, needed staff, and overall expense of medical care.
One report shows that while the majority of emergency room patients could have been treated through an urgent care, only 3% of urgent care patients are sent to emergency care. The average urgent care facility will see roughly 32 patients each day and are open typically during non-business hours. This gives people who are unable to leave work for a doctor’s appointment the opportunity to seek medical care.
Another report showed that 92% of urgent care facilities have a wait time of 30 minutes or less making them faster and more efficient than both emergency rooms and primary care offices. Further, the majority of urgent care cases are respiratory infections, sinus infections, cough, having difficulty breathing, and bronchitis.
Local emergency clinics can be designed to help all patients regardless of the level of care needed. Offering more options for patients through comprehensive local emergency clinics will meet the needs of more people while also lightening the burden placed on healthcare workers.