It is no wonder that urgent care centers are gaining in popularity, numbering nearly 9,000 and growing urgent care locations in the United States. Most, if not all, urgent care locations operate on a walk in basis, and generally have shorter wait times than emergency rooms. Not to mention the fact that they have more convenient hours than the office hours of most primary physicians.
Urgent care facilities concentrate on the evaluation and treatment of acutely arising conditions, for a wide range of patients. What this means is that they treat the injuries that need attention, but are not necessarily serious enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room. Urgent care locations would deal with a person whose hand needed stitches, whereas an emergency room should deal with the loss of a finger.
Plus, urgent care locations increasingly have radiology lab services, like xrays. Plus, they offer routine physicals as well. After all, this is in accordance with the criteria set forth by the Urgent Care Association of America, which dictates that urgent care locations must offer on site diagnostic services, including xrays and phlebotomy.
These medical urgent care locations are great not only because of the hours that they offer, but they are also staggeringly more affordable. In fact, a 2010 study by the Rand Corporation found that nearly one in five visits to hospital ERs could probably have been treated at urgent care centers. This would save a potential 4.4 billion dollars in annual health care costs.
If I were you, I would find out where the closest urgent care locations are in the event of my next injury. If you have eve had any experience with the convenient care of urgent care centers please share! Did you appreciate the urgent care cost as compared to an emergency room cost? Why or why not? Please share your story! More info like this.