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Alternatives to Emergency Room Care

Joint pain and stiffness

In lieu of visiting the medical center emergency room, there are more convenient options like an after hours urgent care center. It is especially convenient when over 80 percent of all urgent care patients can boast of a wait time that is less than about 15 minutes, according to the Urgent Care Association of America. When using an urgent care nearby, you can save significant time and expense that comes from using the emergency room for your minor injuries.

For most minor health issues, easy availability means you can steer clear of the emergency room services for after hour treatment. The convenience of being able to see a doctor with such minimal advance notice is critical when experiencing symptoms like the flu or a nasty cold. If you get sick outside of your doctors normal hours, when your ailments are not bad enough to seek emergency room care, but too uncomfortable to wait for the doctor to open, the urgent care clinic is a great option to the medical center emergency room.

Estimates show that over one third of all U.S. emergency room visits could have been taken care of quicker and at far less cost in an after hours clinic. Basically, urgent care facilities have the diagnostic equipment to get your general lab work, xrays or necessary testing done. Also, they are set up for sprains, suspected breaks or stitches so you can get timely care without visiting the emergency room.

One of the other advantages of using an urgent care facility is their availability to easily schedule your minor things, like routine vaccinations and physicals. Additionally, those that strive to get their annual flu shot can avoid waiting to schedule it with their primary care physician, and rely on the doctors at the urgent care facility to provide shots almost immediately. Also, things like yearly sports physicals can be obtained relatively quickly.

While there are generally sufficient facilities for urgent care nearby, there is still an ongoing expansion. The Urgent Care Association of America estimates another 9,000 urgent care facilities are in position to expand. That means that your ability to get after hours care or minor emergency treatment will only get better as the facilities grow in numbers. Read this for more: