When your little one falls and fractures their wrist or we just can’t seem to get a fever to go down, no matter what we do, the first place we tend to go on short notice is the emergency room. This isn’t necessarily wrong or a bad thing but there is a better choice available. As long as the situation is not life and death you could go to an urgent care facility and receive the same or better service in a shorter amount of time, while spending less money. Let’s go over a few of the benefits of going to urgent care centers over the emergency room.
Shorter Overall Times
Urgent care facilities not only have shorter wait times but they even have a call ahead option at some clinics. If an urgent care clinic offers this option you can either go on their website or call them and they will give you an estimated time of when your appointment would be if you put your name in now. Typically you want to arrive five or 10 minutes before that to fill out any paper work. However, even if you decide not to use the call ahead option or the urgent care facility near you does not offer it, once you walk in and sign in, your wait time will be no longer than 15 to 20 minutes. Once you are being seen during your visit, urgent care center workers strive to keep the actual visits at the shortest amount of time as possible so that you can get in and out quickly.
Better Cost Effectiveness
The emergency room is much more expensive than urgent care. The average emergency room visit costs over $1200. That’s with no extra tests done or diagnoses made. I don’t urgent care you will spend far less than that and be able to get all the tests done that you need, receive a diagnosis and a possible prescription when needed. Typically a visit to the emergency room will cost 4 to 5 times the amount as a visit to urgent care facility. Even if you have an insurance plan with a deductible, you can still end up paying hundreds of dollars in additional costs but at an urgent care center the co-pay is far less. If you do not have insurance the rates are still affordable at an urgent care facility where is emergency room you’ll be paying for that trip for months to come.
Lower Stress Level
An emergency room deals with life or death situation so understandably the stress level is very high. The atmosphere is fast paced and patients are seen in order of priority. At an urgent care there are still doctors and medical professionals available and they are able to take more time on each person in order to give a more accurate diagnosis. The problem with the emergency room is that often give low priority cases a snap judgment and often end up misdiagnosing situations.
There are only a few things that are not so positive regarding an urgent care but they can usually be worked around.
- First, there are only a few 24 hour urgent care centers. While most clinics are open late, they are not open all night. So in those cases you would have to go to an emergency room.
- Urgent care clinics only take situations that are not life and death. If they determine your condition to be life threatening, you will be transferred to an emergency room at a hospital.
- If you do not go to an urgent care on a regular basis you may not have a record on file so every single time you go you will have to fill out family and personal health history because you will not be seeing the same position every time.
However if you are okay with these three disadvantages, then you are likely to prefer urgent care centers over the emergency room for the reasons mentioned above. The pros really do seem to outweigh the cons for urgent care clinics unless you are very partial to seeing the same doctor for all your issues or something like that.