If you ever find yourself needing immediate medical care, one thing you might want to consider is going to an urgent care center rather than an emergency room (ER). Urgent care units are generally smaller than ERs but are just as effective for treating most medical emergencies. It is always advisable to go to an ER for life threatening conditions but for everything else, urgent health clinics will do just fine.
There are many similarities between ERs and urgent care clinics — but what about the differences? Here are two features of walk in medical clinics that make going to one much more appealing than heading to the ER:
It’s Less Expensive: Health clinics are generally less expensive than ERs for the same kinds of services. For the same treatment, urgent care clinics cost between $228 and $583 less than an ER visit.
It’s Quicker: Urgent care units have lower weight times than ERs on average, mostly due to the fact that they see fewer patients. Sixty-nine percent of urgent care units have a waiting time shorter than 20 minutes; 28% have a time between 21 and 40 minutes; and the remaining 3% have a waiting time longer than 40 minutes. Anyone who’s ever been to an ER knows that 40 minutes is relatively quick for ER standards!
Of course, there is one major similarity ERs and health clinics share: they have the same kind of equipment, staff, and resources. With the exception of special trauma units and other speciality services, ERs and urgent care units have basically the same things, making the medical care equally as good. A good 70% of urgent care clinics, for example, have intravenous (IV) fluids in stock, a resource that is quite common for emergency treatments.
For more information about urgent care, feel free to leave a comment or question at the bottom.