Her mother and father thought she was spending the weekend with a friend, but when the 14-year old girl’s parents were out of town their daughter was not staying with a friend, but instead she was staying at her house alone. The fact that she was not with a supervising adult, however, lead to the fact that she needed medical help before the weekend was over. When the young girl burnt her right arm, she failed to take the appropriate steps that could have avoided infection. As it was, though, she needed to call her parents and confess that she was not at her friend’s house, and that she needed someone to take her to a medical clinic before the situation gets even worse.
Although the parents were furious, they realized that their daughter would have not called for help if she did not need it. They called a neighbor and asked if she could take the daughter in for the minor medical help that she needed. They would deal with the behavior as soon as they got home.
Where Do You Go When You Need Medical Help in the Middle of the Night or on Weekends?
The decision to go to a walk in medical clinic is often a far better decision than visiting an expensive hospital emergency room. Records show that there are currently 20,000 physicians who practice Urgent Care Medicine in America today. There was a time when everyone thought that the only place to go for medical help after hours was a hospital emergency room. Today, however, a growing number of health care settings are available. The mere fact that as many as 85% of urgent care centers are open seven days a week is an indicator that in non emergency situations there is likely a convenient clinic location nearby.
One of the greatest advantages to visiting a medical clinic instead of a hospital is the cost. Hospital emergency room charges are far more expensive than the much more affordable services provided by local health clinics. In fact, as many as 3 million patients visit these affordable health clinics each week, according to the Urgent Care Association of America. Combining the fact that most of these clinics accept insurance along with the fact that some clinics even post the prices for the most common fees means that patients are not stuck with long and confusing bills that are the result of a hospital emergency room visit.
Medical Center Emergency Rooms Often Involve Long Waits
Another reason to chose to go to a local walk in health clinic is that it is far easier to get in for treatment. When you are in an emergency room, it simply makes sense that the most serious cases are treated first. Because of the triage approach, for example, it is possible to wait for hours to get the treatment that you need. Typical waiting times in a walk in health clinic, however, are often only 15 to 20 minutes. The faster a patient can get in to see a doctor, the faster that patient can get a diagnosis and begin the healing process. Wasted hours in a hospital emergency room are one of the most expensive ways to spend an afternoon, an evening, or a weekend morning.
Pediatric emergency rooms can be an especially awful wait for young children who really do not need emergency care. Every minute that they are in a hospital, for instance, is an opportunity to catch someone else’s germ or illness.
Consider some of these other benefits of going to a walk in health clinic when you are in need of non emergency health care:
- 80% of urgent care centers provide fracture care.
- 80% of ankle sprains are a result of inversion, or inward rolling, of the ankle.
- Upper respiratory conditions are the most common diagnosis in an urgent care center in 2012, and the most common procedure in an urgent care setting in 2012 was wound repair.
- 40% of people try to exercise to relieve lower back pain, and could benefit from a treatment that could be offered at a health clinic.
- Walk in clinic doctors can write prescriptions for physical therapy and other treatments.