Let’s be honest – going to the doctor can sometimes be a drag. You’re sick, you’re tired, and all you want to do is go back to bed. But doctors are the foundation of our healthcare system, and it’s important to understand your options when an illness arises so you can be prepared.
Urgent care centers are becoming increasingly popular due to their efficiency and scope of support. According to a survey by The Urgent Care Association of America, 57% of patients wait 15 minutes or less to be seen, and about 80% of all visits are 60 minutes or less. Additionally, 65% of urgent care centers have a physician on-site at all times. This means that most of the time, an urgent care clinic can provide the same quality of care as your physician.
Urgent care centers are also known for having very flexible hours of operation. The majority of urgent care centers remain open until 7:00 pm or later on weeknights (90.6%), with two out of five remaining open until 9:00 pm or later. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just under half (48%) of all adult ER patients were who were not sick enough to be admitted to the hospital sought treatment at the ER because their physicians’ offices were closed. This means that when the ER turns you away and your physician’s office is closed, urgent care may be the best option for you.
Still not convinced of urgent care’s scope of support? Urgent care can be a vital resource for treating a wide range of ailments and illnesses. Four out of five (80%) urgent care centers provide fracture care. Approximately 40% of urgent care centers use electronic prescription ordering systems, with substantially larger proportions using computerized systems for viewing lab and imaging results, collecting patient demographics, billing, condition and procedure coding, and clinical notes. Seven in 10 (70%) urgent care centers can provide intravenous fluids when needed.
Overall, urgent care centers have the ability to provide a wide range of services to patients that some physician’s offices simply cannot. With better hours and shorter wait times comes superior service.