When it comes to choosing medical care, the choices are more than you might realize. The choice can be a difficult one as well, there is no doubt about it. But there are many reasons why you should choose an urgent care center over your local emergency room, some of which will be listed here. Of course, it is important to note that this is far from an all encompassing list but instead one that should be used as a frame of reference for even more extensive research.
1. Urgent care centers are becoming more prominent than ever.
There are many reasons to attend an urgent care clinic, and one of them is simply that such walk in clinics are easier to take advantage of than ever before. As a matter of fact, up to three million people will seek out medical care at an urgent care location over the course of a single week, receiving this care from the growing number of doctors working there. As of the recently gathered data, up to 20,000 doctors and medical professionals were employed at urgent care locations throughout the United States, but this is a number that is only on the rise.
The sheer number of urgent care clinics in this country helps to facilitate such things. As of the year of 2016, there were actually already more than 7,000 urgent care facilities found from coast to coast and everywhere in between. In the few years that have followed since, we can quite reasonably assume that this number has only continued to grow and grow – and likely will keep growing in the years that are ahead of us as well.
2. You’ll save money.
Going to an emergency room is a choice that will live you likely owing a considerable amount of money. As a matter of fact, it is not uncommon to spend at least $500 on an ER visit of any kind. On average, people who go to the emergency room spend more than $1,000 – sometimes way more than that, for that matter.
And while urgent care locations do cost money to attend, they are also going to be far more affordable than the emergency room, simply thanks to the set up of such walk-in clinics. For those who are without medical insurance, urgent care centers can provide really the only viable access to medical care out there. And as urgent care centers are, in 85% of all cases, open every single day of the week, you can almost always attend a walk in urgent care center instead of an emergency room.
3. You’ll save time.
In many cases, the opportunity to save time is just as important as the opportunity to save money – and sometimes even more so, for that matter. At your local emergency room, there is only a very small chance that you’ll be in and out in a timely manner. After all, the average ER waiting room period before seeing a doctor typically lasts at least one full hour – and oftentimes even longer than this. For many people, this is hugely detrimental indeed, as they will then spend a few MORE hours in the process of slowly getting the assessment and medical treatment that they are in need of. Unfortunately, doctors are all too often overworked and emergency rooms understaffed and overcrowded, meaning that timely care often becomes quite impossible indeed.
Fortunately, urgent care near me and urgent care centers all throughout the country provide a viable alternative. After all, more than 90% of all urgent care centers have an average waiting room time of no longer than a half of an hour, with up to 60% of urgent care centers having an even shorter average waiting time – a mere 15 minutes or less. It should come as no shock, then, that the majority of patients who go to an urgent care clinic instead of to an emergency room will be in and out within the span of an hour.
At the end of the day, the reasons to go to an urgent care center clearly, in most cases, outstrip the reasons to go to an emergency room in the area.