What is urgent care to you? What does it mean to your life that the way medicine is being practiced in the United States is changing? The truth is, you might not have even thought much about it. You likely have a regular doctor you visit when you are ill, but what about health problems that arise when your doctor’s office is closed and the emergency room is too costly?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that just under half of all adults who visit the emergency room who were not ill enough to be admitted to the hospital came into the ER because their regular doctor’s office was closed. Urgent care centers are popping up all over the United States and are filling the gap between regular doctor’s hours and the need for an emergency room.
With an urgent care center, you will likely find extended hours on both sides of the sun dial. The majority of urgent care centers stay open until 7:00 pm or later during the week and two out of every five are open until 9:00 pm or later. What is urgent care if you do not have the hours available that people need?
When it comes to being seen at an urgent care facility, the Urgent Care Association of America reports that 57% of patients wait for less than 15 minutes to be seen. In addition, 80% of all visits are less than an hour. Compare that to going to an emergency room where, if you are not in immediate danger of dying, you will have to wait sometimes for hours.
What is urgent care if not convenient to your schedule? The doctors who are shifting to this approach to caring for patients are able to see more people and treat them more comprehensively than they would be able to do in a traditional office. The offices are typically owned by a group of doctors or at least run by a group. Over the course of time, you will likely get to know all of the doctors in the practice because the clinics around the country are really a part of the community they are situated in.
The other terrific thing about urgent care facilities is what they mean to you when you are not close to home. Urgent care facilities are where you can go if your illness or injury is not severe enough for the emergency room. You can be taken care of in no time and be back on the road to your destination without spending unnecessary time in the waiting room.