You?re suddenly sick, your kid just got an injury or a family member can?t make it out of bed for the fourth day in a row. It?s after 5 p.m., a holiday or the weekend. What do you do? Your first thought may be to head straight to the ER. It?s the only place open, right? Believe it or not, it?s likely there is an urgent care facility nearby that can help you assess any illness or injury. Whether it?s after hours urgent care that?s needed or you just can?t wait for an appointment at your normal doctor, an urgent care facility is your best choice.
You may be wondering why you should choose urgent care facilities over the ER. There?s plenty of reasons. Here are just three examples for why the ER may not be the best option for family health care:
1. Expected wait time
The average wait time at an ER far outweighs that of urgent care facilities. A community health clinic will not require an individual who is sick or injured to wait the average 58 minutes an ER requires of its patients. That wait time is also continually rising. Between 2003 and 2009, the wait time increased from 46.5 to 58.1 minutes in ERs. If you?re in pain or your child is sick, that wait time feels even longer. Always check with a family health clinic before heading straight to the ER.
2. Average cost
When someone is injured or sick, it may feel like an emergency worth spending your money on. It?s always important to put everyone?s health first. If you could save some money rather than ruin your budget on an ER visit, you should try. A walk in health clinic could be the answer to saving money. The average cost of an ER visit is $1,318 according to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. What if your injury or illness could have been addressed by an urgent care facility, but you rushed to the ER? Find an urgent care facility that accepts your insurance for family care, and save yourself a crushing ER bill.
3. Personal experience
Besides saving money and time, visiting urgent care facilities is also a more personal experience. Each patient will have time to meet with, discuss and resolve any illness or injury. There isn?t the same rushed and overwhelming feeling that you experience in the ER. It has the same feel of your normal doctor?s office, and you can develop relationships with the doctors in case you need to return to an urgent care facility again. Statistics state that by 2025, we?ll need 52,000 more primary doctors to meet the demands of our healthcare needs. With so many doctors to choose from, you can even pass along your favorite urgent care facility information to other family members and friends.
Don?t add extra stress and worry to unexpected illnesses or injuries by taking a trip to the ER. In times of uncertainty, head to one of the closest urgent care facilities instead. You?ll have a calming and reassuring experience with doctors you trust. Let us know about your experiences at the ER versus an urgent care facility in the comments!