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A Look At The Emergency Room Versus The Urgent Care Center

Emergency centers can be great places to go whenever you’re having some kind of medical crisis. After all, that exactly what these emergency centers are designed to handle. Emergency centers are truly life saving places in this country, there is no doubt about it. But emergency centers are not always ideal to go to when you’re having a lesser medical concern.

After all the wait time at typical emergency centers can be quite long indeed. Patients with non emergency medical concerns are actually likely to end up sitting in the waiting room alone for at least an hour. And then, when they are finally able to get a bed, they will spend even more time waiting – for tests, to see a doctor, to get the results of those tests, to be given a treatment plan, etc.

And the cost of emergency centers can be quite extraordinary. In fact, even a minor emergency center visit is likely to cost hundreds of dollars, if not thousands. On average, those who visit emergency centers, no matter where they might be located in this country, can anticipate owing more than $1,000. In some cases, the final medical bill is even much higher than this.

Fortunately, avoiding emergency centers is more than possible unless there is a true medical emergency going on, in which case emergency centers are more than the ideal place to be in order to receive the emergency healthcare services that might even turn out to be lifesaving. For less imminent threats and medical concerns, your local urgent care center is likely to be more than well equipped to handled the problem.

And there are certainly a great many benefits to going to an urgent care clinic instead of to an emergency care center. For instance, the wait time will be considerably reduced in comparison. As a matter of fact, more than 90% of all urgent care locations throughout the country boast average wait times of less than even half of an hour. And more than half of all urgent care locations – around 60% of them, to be just a bit more specific – have average wait times that do not even exceed 15 minutes at the very most. Because of this, most urgent care patients are able to get in and out within the span of just one single hour, if even that. For emergency centers, this is virtually unheard of, to say the very least.

And urgent care locations are growing both more popular and more prevalent by the year. Back in the year of 2015, for instance, there were only just over 6,000 urgent care centers open throughout the United States. Nowadays, however, there are well over 7,000 – and this number is only growing with time. In addition to this, more than one quarter of all people have actually visited such an urgent care center at least once over the course of the last two years, if not even more frequently than that.

And the typical urgent care center can provide comprehensive medical treatment, ranging from pediatric care to even wound repair. In fact, less than 5% of all patients that are first seen in an urgent care setting will ever end up needing to be transferred to an emergency room in the area. Conversely, however, up to 65% of all emergency room visits in this country could have instead been handled at an urgent care center – and this is something that would have saved the patients in question a good deal of time and money alike.

For many people, urgent care centers are far preferable to emergency centers. After all, up to 80% of all urgent care clinics are actually even able to both diagnose and treat the majority of fractures. In addition to this, they can handle the administration of IV fluids as well (at least, this holds true in nearly three quarters of all urgent care locations, which is pretty impressive by just about any standards). And urgent care centers provide comprehensive patient care for a wide array of illnesses as well, something that can also not be looked over by any means. There are very real reasons to visit urgent cares.

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