If you are ever in a situation that requires medical attention, oftentimes it is hard to decide where exactly to go. Although it is always advisable to go to an emergency room for life threatening injuries, urgent care clinics are an appealing alternative for those with non-life threatening medical conditions. Urgent care centers are smaller, more intimate facilities run by medical professionals. They are intended for milder injuries and illnesses, and they especially cater to those who may not be able to afford treatment at an emergency room.
There are several reasons to choose a community health clinic over an emergency room but here are three to give you an idea of their advantages:
- They’re Affordable: Urgent care costs are noticeably lower than traditional emergency room treatment costs. On average, the difference between urgent care bills and emergency room bills for the exact same services are anywhere from $228 to $583. For those patients who don’t have a lot of money (or, for that matter, health insurance), urgent care clinics provide affordable treatment.
- They’re Fast: In addition to being more affordable, walk in health clinics are quite efficient in admitting and discharging patients. According to recent studies, 69% of urgent care units have an average waiting time of 20 minutes or less. Twenty-eight percent have a waiting time of 20 to 40 minutes, and 3% have a waiting time of 40 minutes or more. Not only that, nearly half of all urgent care units have pre-packaged medication in stock, which is considerably more convenient that receiving a script for a pharmacy. Patients who want to get in-and-out and avoid long lines at the emergency room may want to consider urgent care clinics.
- They’re Everywhere: Urgent care units can be found throughout the country. There are more than 9,000 urgent care facilities in the U.S., 95% of which have at least one physician on staff. Most units can admit roughly 340 patients a week.
There are other reasons to choose urgent care. Regardless, these units are specially trained to handle a variety of injuries and illnesses with ease, comfort, and reliability.