The First Urgent Care Centers opened in the 1970s are recommended for a wide variety of illnesses and injuries which are not life-threatening, still requires immediate attention and proves to be a very good alternative to hospital emergency rooms.
If you are not in a life threatening situation, an urgent care center will provide you with right care, at the right price, with the right level of convenience.
Advantages of Urgent Care over Emergency Room
1. Save Time: Generally the wait time in Urgent Care clinics is usually much shorter as one can be expected to see a provider in usually 30 minutes or less in compared to Emergency Rooms. Urgent Care Centers are open beyond typical office hours in rural, urban and suburban areas.
The range of services provided are very safe and efficacious and are much broader in Nature to make the life of the patient more comfortable and convenient in comparison to Emergency Rooms which are operated at 24×7, urgent care centers also called as walk-in clinics (As one can walk-in Without an appointment) may not be open all night, and have their own hours of operation to treat patients on first-come, first-served basis for most medical conditions. Most of the clinics are now offering online schedule for appointments in order to avoid additional delay time. In the United States of America, 70% of these centers open by 8:00AM or earlier and 95% of them shut after 7:00PM.
2. Save Money: Services provided by the urgent care clinics are easily affordable and not expensive when compared to Emergency Room visits in terms of cost, as There are no hidden charges, doctor’s fees, staff fees, bed rents, etc.,
A Recent study shows emergency room costs are approximately 700% more than the cost for the same level of quality medical care received at an urgent care facility.
3. Lower Co-pay: Also medical insurance covers these clinical charges. Patients can check with their Insurance Provider or the Urgent Care Clinic to determine if their health care insurance plan is covered and what their co-pay will be. Generally co-payments are low for these types of services when compared to ER.
4. No Facility Fee: In Urgent Care center, you can submit your Insurance claim and you receive a single bill which is very less compared to any Emergency Room. Emergency and hospital owned urgent cares charge you both a facility fee and a fee for the physician’s service which is a huge amount compared to any Urgent Care center.
5. Closer to You: Urgent Care centers are very near to your house as 75% of urgent care centers are located in suburban areas and the average number of urgent care clinics in USA is 9,300. You need to travel to urban areas to find any Emergency room as 55% of Emergency Rooms are located in urban areas and the average number of Emergency rooms is very less compared to Urgent Care centers in USA.
Why Urgent Care:
Urgent Care Medical Services generally aims in providing the right care, to speed up recovery and prevent a condition from getting worse, are not destined to replace primary physicians or hospital emergency rooms, But created to fill the gaps when the person is unable to obtain a timely appointment with the Doctor or when their offices are closed.
When to choose Urgent Care over ER:
The major determining factor when selecting whether to go for urgent care center or emergency room depends upon the type of symptoms the patient is experiencing.
(a). Emergency Room is recommended only for True medical emergencies or when health conditions of the patient are life-threatening like the examples linked to chest pain, shortness of breathing, heart attack, unconsciousness, head injury, abdominal pains, Severe bleeding, major fractures, serious traumatic injury etc.,
(b). Urgent Care for health concerns related to Headaches, cold and flu like symptoms, Skin Lesions, Minor Burns, Neck and Back pain, eye and ear Infections, Bronchitis, strains and sprains, men’s health, women’s health, pneumonia, lacerations, etc.,
Quality and Trust:
Before selecting any Urgent Care Center for its quality and to place a trust on them, one can check for the qualification of the staff, whether they are certified or not so as to provide the services. Generally, these centers include highly trained, certified physicians, nurses, well-trained physician assistants and medical assistants. For professional specialization, the American Board of Urgent Care Medicine offers several short-term courses and programs for the doctors and nurses.
The Urgent Care Center Accreditation (UCCA) Program accomplishes the accreditation of urgent care centers by setting standards, measuring performance, and providing consultation and education where needed. The accreditation certificate is a symbol to others that an organization is dedicated to supplying high-quality care.