From the walk-in urgent care center to urgent care centers that focus in after hours pediatrics, the walk-in urgent care is on the rise. In fact, as many as three million patients will seek treatment in such an establishment over the course of a single week, and the average walk-in urgent car center here in the United States sees as many as twelve thousand patents over the course of the year, a number that is only expected to grow and grow in the years that are to come. Already, more than twenty five percent of all people in the United States claim to have sought treatment at an urgent care location within the last couple of years.
But why have urgent care centers climbed so drastically in popularity? Simply put, they are a much better alternative to going to the emergency room. For too many people, the emergency room has become the only place to get medical treatment when their doctor’s office has closed. But it is also true that the emergency room is far from ideal, with high costs and long wait times.
In fact, the average wait time in the typical emergency room is fifty eight minutes – very nearly a full hour – but patients waiting to see a doctor must often wait even longer than that, especially if their case is one that is non-emergent. On top of this, emergency rooms are hugely and even prohibitively expensive, with a typical visit, even one for a relatively minor concern, costing up to one thousand dollars, if not exceeding it.
Fortunately, the typical walk-in urgent care clinic provides a viable alternative to emergency room visits. In fact, it’s estimated that up to sixty five percent of all cases seen by the emergency room could actually have been thoroughly treated in the nearest urgent care location. And of the cases that are seen by the typical walk-in urgent care clinic, only around three percent of them end up being serious enough to be transferred to the hospital, with the rest easily treated right then and there at said walk-in urgent care clinic location.
And urgent care clinic wait times are far superior to the wait times of the typical emergency room location here in the United States. In fact, more than ninety percent of all walk-in urgent care centers in the United States (ninety two percent, if you are looking to be more exact) have an average wait time of no more than thirty minutes. And more than half of all urgent care locations (sixty percent of them) have average wait times that tend not to go over even fifteen minutes.
Urgent care centers are often open earlier in the morning and later into the evening – with the majority of urgent care locations open until at least seven at night, if not even later than that. Some are even open twenty four hours of the day. This is, of course, ideal for the person who develops a medical concern in the early morning, overnight, or in the evening. And it can also be great for someone who is looking to avoid missing any work in order to go in to see their doctor for the medical concern that’s in question.
And urgent care centers can provide a great deal of medical services, treating everything from cases that center around difficult breathing to cases regarding minor would repair. Even fracture care is possible – in up to eight percent of all urgent care locations. And stitches are also common and are considered to be relatively minor in the grand scheme of all things wound repair.
In up to seventy percent of all walk-in urgent care locations, dehydration can also be treated. This is directly linked to the fact that such urgent care centers are able to provide IV fluids – typically saline solutions – to the patients who are in need of them due to becoming dehydrated for whatever reason. By getting an IV treatment at an urgent care center instead of in the emergency room, the typical patient is able to save a great deal of money.