Urgent Care Centers An Option for Immediate Care
More people are going to the emergency room in the past couple of decades than before. There are many statistics to support this. The emergency room had become for many as the place people went when they had a serious health problem but could not see their doctor as their doctor’s office was closed after hours.
This is according to some statistics, one of which follows.
- Emergency room visits now number approximately 110 million annually.
Emergency rooms are places that have the best treatment options for many, though they are extraordinarily expensive. This is shown in numerous statistics that will follow in the course of this small article. There fortunately is a new method of delivering treatment that has grown since inception in the 1970s. It is called urgent care.
There are three general forms of treatment available to someone who does not want to see a specialist. There is the emergency room, which has long wait times, the best treatment, and is often expensive for the consumer. There is the doctor’s office, which is often the least expensive form of treatment, but doesn’t have the best treatment, and has limited hours.
Then there is urgent care.
Urgent care is seen as the piece in the continuum of care between doctors’ offices, who have limited hours and some of the least intensive forms of treatment, and the emergency room, which is open 24 hours every day of the week and has the best doctors that can treat the most difficult and life-threatening conditions.
Urgent care has the following characteristics. It is open often from 7am to 7pm or even later, with some 24 hour emergency clinics being available. They are open earlier generally and later often than the doctor’s office. This makes them more available for people who have immediate issues that are serious but don’t require going to the ER.
Urgent care also has effective treatment for numerous issues. These issues include difficult breathing, flu treatment, fever, minor burns or back pain, minor illnesses, minor injuries and illnesses, itchy eyes, stomach pain, severe health problems, and more. Urgent care facilities have imaging and labs available for tests to be run.
There are statistics about urgent care facilities that are in the following section.
- Nearly all urgent care centers in 2014 operate seven days a week (97%) and are open at least 4 hours per day (99%).
- Urgent care clinics average seven exam/treatment rooms.
- The average patient-per-hour ratio for urgent care physicians is 4.5 patients per hour, according to the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine. This will vary on the severity or acuity of the patient’s conditions.
And there are other statistics about urgent care that are in the following paragraphs.
There are currently 20,000 physicians who practice Urgent Care Medicine today, and the number is growing. Urgent Care professionals have developed Urgent Care Medicine into an important, recognized specialty that represents this fast-growing medical field.
There are approximately 9,300 walk-in, stand-alone urgent care centers in the United States, and 50-100 new clinics open every year (numbers fluctuate with corporate buy overs, expansions and consolidations).
The average urgent care center saw 342 patients per week as of 2011, according to the Urgent Care Association of America. Additionally, the average center experienced an increase of 28 additional patients per month.
Urgent care centers are more affordable for many families than the emergency room, though they are more expensive in general than the doctor’s office. What they offer is ease of use, being open 24 hours often per day with the possibility of treating numerous illnesses and ailments at a lower cost.
Urgent care centers often see patients on a walk-in basis, meaning patients do not have to make an appointment to be treated. Emergency rooms offer the same method of treatment but doctors’ offices do not.
Urgent care centers sometimes go under the guise of the 24 hour clinic. It is possible to search for 24 hour emergency clinics near me to find the nearest 24 hour clinic that takes walk-in patients. Searching for 24 hour emergency clinics near me can give the quickest needs of a patient. Finding 24 hour emergency clinics near me is helpful for health needs.
The search term 24 hour emergency clinics near me can be useful for a patient.