From family medicine to women’s healthcare services, urgent care locations can meet a wide variety of healthcare needs for people of all ages and genders here in the United States. And fortunately, urgent care centers are becoming more commonplace than ever before, with now more than 7,000 of them in full operation throughout the country. This is up from only just over 6,000 of them back in the following year.
But what makes seeking family medicine services and the like at urgent care centers better than seeking such services at general care doctor’s offices or even in emergency rooms? For one thing, urgent care centers tend to be open much more frequently than your traditional doctor’s office is, with more than 80% of all urgent care locations open each and every single day of the week. And some urgent care clinics are even open to provide 24 hour emergency care, providing everything from family medicine services to wound repair to IV fluids.
And while the emergency room is certainly open at all times, going to the emergency room for anything less than direct emergency care certainly has its detriments. For one thing, most emergency room wait times will last, at least, a full hour. In addition to this, emergency room visits, even for relatively minor concerns, can cost easily more than $500, if not more than a full $1,000 – sometimes considerably higher, all things considered.
The urgent care center, be it for family medicine or otherwise, presents a completely different experience. As a matter of fact, more than 90% of all urgent care centers found throughout the country will be able to get patients seen after only a matter of 30 minutes or so, on average. And more than half of these urgent care locations and emergency centers will have wait times that are only just half of that, a mere 15 minutes in total.
And urgent care locations can provide a wider variety of treatments and medical services than many people realize. For instance, family medicine is commonly administered at such locations, from regular vaccinations to check ups for children to the treatment of common childhood ailments like ear infections. Of course, more serious cases can also be treated at the typical urgent care clinic, with up to 80% of all urgent care locations able to readily diagnose and treat fractures of varying severities.
After all, it has been found that only around 3% of all cases in urgent care locations must ultimately be transferred to a hospital emergency room. On the other hand, however, it’s estimated that at least 44% of all hospital cases – and sometimes even up to 65% of all cases seen in the typical emergency room – could have instead easily been treated at an urgent care setting, such as an urgent care location specializing in family medicine. This would likely have saved the patients in question a good deal of time and money alike.
In addition to family medicine and wound repair services, many people find that an urgent care location is a great place to get something like a flu shot. After all, the flu can impact up to one fifth of the total population of the United States over the course of just one flu season (and typically does not impact any less than 5% of the population, even during mild flu seasons). And while many people avoid getting their flu shot because they don’t consider the flu to be a particularly serious illness, the flu can lead to complications necessitating in hospitalization and sometimes even leading to death, especially among those who are more susceptible, like very young children and the elderly population of the United States.
Therefore, the importance of urgent care centers all throughout the country is only growing as the years continue to pass on. For many people, various urgent care centers might actually provide the only viable source of medical treatment around, such as for those who do not have any kind of health insurance – or even for those who don’t have particularly good health insurance.