Throughout the American healthcare field, there is a subtle revolution taking place. Many doctors are becoming fed up with the way insurance companies and private healthcare institutions treat patients; it is often not uncommon to hear dissatisfied patients claiming that these places of care typically place profits over patients. As a result, urgent care walk in clinics have slowly started to populate the healthcare field with their dedication to placing the patient as a priority. The Urgent Care Association of America states that an estimated 3 million patients visit urgent care walk in clinics every week. In total, there are currently 20,000 physicians who practice Urgent Care Medicine today; estimates suggest that demand for skilled physicians will be on the rise over the next few years. Here are three facts about urgent care in America that may surprise you.
Pain and Symptom Management
It may be an understatement to say that our current affordable healthcare plan is broken in some regard. For those who are unable to afford insurance for whatever reason they are often left forgotten by doctors and healthcare providers. Already one out of every 10 Baby Boomers report that their physical activity is limited to a few days per month due to some kind of chronic condition. Up to 69% of Americans suffer from chronic back pain with around four out of every 10 Americans regularly trying to exercise to relieve lower back pain. Physicians at urgent care centers are able to offer prescription drugs to alleviate pain and treat the symptoms of chronic pain; they are also able to recommend specialists should the need arise. Thanks to urgent care, a whole group of excluded individuals are able to receive the care they so desperately need to live each day happily.
Injuries are unpredictable by nature, so what sense does it make to operate during select times? Around 85% of urgent care walk in clinics are open seven days per week with many of them staying open until 7pm or later — there are some clinics that remain open 24/7. Surprisingly, one of the most common treatments performed at an urgent care center in any given day is the treatment of an ankle sprain. There are up to 25,000 Americans that suffer from an ankle sprain each and every day; around 80% of these sprains are the result of inversion, or inward rolling of the ankle. Regardless of the nature of your injury, urgent care physicians and staff are able to access the injury quickly and professionally; a majority of urgent care visits take less than an hour for completion.
The main point of criticism that urgent care suffers is the idea that these clinics are unable to handle serious injuries and offer extensive care. In reality, up to four out of every five urgent care centers are prepared to provide fracture care. Nearly just as many are also stocked to provide intravenous fluids as needed. Nearly all urgent care centers are able to write prescriptions for patients as well. Some urgent care centers are even able to respond in the way a hospital might with trauma centers, surgery wings, and patient sleeping areas. While not all urgent care centers are created equally, many are actually run by a physician or a group of physicians who aim to place the patient above profiteering; these revolutionary doctors are helping to change the American healthcare field one patient at a time.