For many people in the United States, going to their general care practitioner is not always an option. For example, the majority of people can’t easily take off of work to schedule a doctor’s appointment, and many doctor’s offices aren’t open during the weekend or later into the evening, when most people have the most availability. For people without health insurance, scheduling an appointment at a primary care physician’s office is often not even within the realm of possibility, as the costs for paying out of pocket for medical care are often prohibitive. But local urgent care centers can provide accessibility to medical diagnosis and care that would not otherwise be available. A local urgent care center often offers comprehensive medical treatment with greater hours of availability as well as affordability. For people whose only option was often the emergency room, even for minor medical issues, local urgent care services can provide a viable alternative.
First of all, local urgent care facilities often take considerably less time than the emergency. In fact, on average, walk in clinics had a wait time of only fifteen minutes. In an emergency room on a particularly busy night, wait times can extend up to hours. Urgent care visits also do not take very long, with the vast majority – around 80% – of urgent care patients in and out within 60 minutes, just one hour. Local urgent care centers are often open earlier than a typical doctors office would be, with over 60% of all urgent care centers in the United States opening before nine a.m. They close later too – 90% or more of urgent care facilities open until at least seven at night, with a significant portion of them (around every two out of five) staying open until nine p.m. or even later. Weekend hours are also prevalent among urgent care facilities.
While many people may think of local urgent care centers as only places to go to have minor injuries and illnesses treated, many advanced urgent care facilities can treat more serious conditions. For instance, most urgent care centers – four out of five – provide some level of fracture diagnosis and treatment. Around 70% of walk in clinics and urgent care centers are also able to provide intravenous fluids in cases of severe dehydration, saving the patient a costly trip to the emergency room.
Local urgent care centers are becoming more popular than ever – at least one out of every five urgent care centers in the United States alone has at least four hundred and fifty patients every single week. And urgent care centers employ around 20,000 doctors around the country. An urgent care center can be a great way to seek medical treatment for those without health insurance or for those with busy schedules who may be unable to take off of work. Urgent care provides a viable alternative to the emergency room at a fraction of the wait time as well as the price, and many urgent care facilities can treat serious conditions as well as the more typical minor ones.