It can be difficult figuring out the difference between emergency care, your local clinic and the average hospital. Knowing this distinction, however, will ensure you both get the treatment you need no matter what and save money on medical costs. From minor burns or back pain to sprains and cuts, urgent care centers are prime resources for delivering immediate, on-the-spot medical care.
How Many Urgent Care Rooms Are There?
Emergency rooms and urgent care facilities are a necessary middle-ground between the ease of local clinic and your regular doctor or nurse. There are, as of now, around 20,000 physicians who practice Urgent care medicine today — this can occasionally cross over with emergency room facilities, so be sure to double-check any given medical facility to know what they can provide you in your time of need. Urgent care professionals have developed urgent care medicine into an important and recognized specialty. Estimates have shown around 9,300 walk-in, stand-alone urgent care centers in the United States alone. Another 50 to 100 new clinics open every year, fluctuating due to corporate buy overs, consolidations and healthcare changes.
What Are Common Injuries?
There are many reasons Americans seek out the aid of an emergency room or pediatric care, though some are more common than others. Minor burns or back pain are frequent sources of irritation and concern, leading many to head to their local emergency room for quick treatment when a doctor’s appointment would prove too long a wait. Abdominal pain causes a significant amount of stress and debilitation and chest pain can be a sign of a deeper issue. Last, but not least, the emergency room frequently sees people who have severe issues that need to be treated as quickly as possible — allergic reactions, broken bones and head trauma are but a few of these commonalities.
How Do Urgent Care Centers Work?
Urgent care centers are necessary to treat minor to moderate injuries and illnesses that can’t wait for conventional check-ups. A physician or group of physicians own around 50% of urgent care centers. The urgent care center market is considered highly fragmented and most don’t have a dominant market presence, though this is expected to change as healthcare models continue to fluctuate. Minor burns or back pain can be easily addressed by professional staff and see individuals on their way within the same day, though severity can make this number vary.
How Often Are Urgent Care Centers Open?
Due to their need to address spontaneous issues, urgent care centers are open on a frequent basis. Urgent care clinics will average around seven exam or treatment rooms on top of operating seven days per week at nearly 97%. The average patient-per-hour ratio for urgent care physicians is at around five people per hour according to surveys conducted by the American Academy Of Urgent Care Medicine — this can vary greatly depending on the severity or acuity of the patient’s condition.
What Should I Know About Urgent Care Centers?
Properly treating your conditions and saving money does not have to be mutually exclusive. Minor burns or back pain on top of general illnesses like the flu can be reasonably addressed and resolved at an urgent care clinic, keeping your finances low and physical health secured. According to private studies conducted by Milliman, nearly 65% of all ER episodes could have been easily treated in urgent care settings. Another report by Truven Health Analytics saw at least 70% of emergency department visits from patients with consumer-sponsored insurance coverage being easily prevented through simple outpatient care. With emergency care on your side, you’ll never have to worry about your health.