If your doctor’s office is closed, you might think that going to your local emergency room is your only option when it comes to getting prompt medical treatment. You, however, would be wrong – and it’s a good thing too. Going to the emergency room for medical help when you are facing a less than emergent medical crisis can leave you out of time and money alike, as the average wait time for any ER is likely to be upward of an hour. In addition to this, the average ER visit is likely to cost you at least $1,000, if not even more than that. Therefore, avoiding the ER as much as you possibly can is more than ideal for many reasons.
But what’s the alternative? More and more, it has become urgent care centers. Urgent care centers are growing in popularity, after all, now serving as many as three million people throughout the course of a mere seven days, the span of a single week. Now employing up to 20,000 at well over 7,000 locations, this should come as no surprise. And the average urgent care center has many benefits over the typical ER.
For one thing, wait times are considerably shorter. When you go to an urgent care location, you’ll be able to be seen within no more than a half of an hour in the vast majority of situations. In addition to this, up to 60% of all urgent care clinics have even reduced this overall average wait time to a mere 15 minutes, if even that. Add that to the fact that more than 80% of all walk in urgent care centers are open each and every day of the week and it will become clear that the typical walk in urgent care center is the place to be when you need medical treatment or assessment.
But what about the quality of care that a walk in clinic can offer? Won’t it be less than the average quality of emergency room care? Actually, this is not the case, as only around 3% of all urgent care cases ever need to be transferred to a hospital for treatment. Walk-in clinics have access to more tools to perform higher levels of care than many realize. For instance, more than three quarters of all walk in clinics can perform urgent care treatment in the form of fracture care. In addition to this, many an urgent care center will be able to perform various other procedures, ranging from stitches to the administration of IV fluids, that some people might expect to find only in hospital settings.
Various other conditions can also be treated. For instance, many people might go to an urgent care clinic or other such walk-in medical care clinic for food poisoning, as up to 48 million cases of food poisoning will occur over the course of just one year. Of course, many of these cases will be able to be handled at home, but this will certainly not be the case for all of them. In fact, around 3,000 people even actually die of food poisoning on a yearly basis, most likely from the dehydration that can all too easily accompany it. Therefore, going in for IV fluids if you think you’re becoming too dehydrated is a must – and the majority of urgent care clinics will be able to provide exactly this, saving you the time and money that would go along with an emergency room trip.
Various infections can also be handled by the average urgent care location. After all, respiratory infections are the most commonly treated illness in all urgent care centers (with wound repair being the most common procedure performed), at least according to data that was gathered back in 2012. Urinary tract infections are also commonly handled by urgent care doctors, as there are more than eight billion cases taking place in a mere 12 month period. Fortunately, such infections are relatively easy to clear up, so long as they are given the proper medical care when it is needed the most, such as through going to an urgent care location or other such walk in clinic.