Annually, emergency room visits total about 110 million. That obscene number means that most emergency rooms are clogged, with wait times of up to several hours. The main reason for this gross influx of patients is not because these people are in such severe medical distress that they are at risk of loss of life and limb. It is actually because they believe that they have nowhere else to go for medical treatment. This lack of knowledge is an epidemic in our country, and the cure is making sure that everyone is aware of the presence of urgent care facilities or immediate care centers.
These urgent care facilities offer medical services for patients with conditions that are not serious enough for an actual emergency room visit, but do still need rapid attention. Because most urgent care facilities offer 24 hour urgent care or walk in doctors, they provide medical assistance when most people’s regular physicians are unavailable. Unfortunately, only 29 percent of people’s primary care doctors are actually available for any after hours services, meaning that before the urgent care facilities, the options were emergency room or wait it out.
That is a terrible set of options, because no one should be forced to wait while they suffer from an injury, but if it is between waiting or paying some exorbitant emergency room costs, some people will wait. For instance, the average visit to the emergency room can cost around $1,500. While those average trips to urgent care facilities come out to under $150. The problem here is the hospital system with its insane pricing, but lest we get too political, let us focus on the good that urgent care facilities can provide.
On top of all that, some states allow their urgent care centers to have point of care prescription dispensing. This means that they are able to buy most medicines just prescribed to them right in the facility itself, before they even leave the building. This is especially beneficial if they are receiving treatment late on a Saturday night and have no chance of getting to a pharmacist until Monday morning at the earliest.
So think about that urgent care facility before a trip to the emergency room the next time Uncle Julio breaks his hip sliding down the hill on a garbage can lid. They are quicker, offer more in terms of savings and convenience, and their doctors are just as well trained as any found in an emergency room. Helpful info also found here. More research here. Learn more about this topic here.