It’s late in the evening and Sunday and you’re feeling a bit under the weather. Not sure what’s going on, you decide to try to get some rest and lay down. After a while, you realize you’re feeling even worse and decide to do something about it. Wait, your primary care doctor’s office is closed, and you’re definitely not ill enough to make a trip — and an expensive one at that– to the emergency room, but you need something. What are your options? In situations such as these, consider taking advantage of urgent care services for your medical needs.
Enter the world of urgent care. Once regarded as sub-par “doc in box” facilities, urgent care centers have become the single fastest growing segment in the American healthcare industry, as they continue to bridge the gap between hospital emergency departments and primary care physician offices. The public demanded affordable, convenient, and quality healthcare options and they received in the form of urgent care clinics.
What is urgent care exactly? Urgent care services focus on the evaluation and medical treatment of acutely arising conditions, or ailments that are not chronic such as arthritis. Though a patient who has arthritis and is in pain may go to an urgent care center for treatment, these centers concentrate on conditions such as respiratory infections, stomach bugs, strains, sprains, fractures, and others that require immediate medical attention but are not severe enough to warrant a visit to a hospital emergency room.
Additionally, urgent care services are extremely affordable, especially in comparison to an emergency room visit which can cost in the thousands for those who are uninsured. Even for patients who have health coverage, several are choosing urgent care services over other treatment options in order to save time and money.
The focus of these centers is convenience and affordability. Often times, patients can be seen and treated within an hour, no appointment necessary. Additionally, several urgent care centers have expanded their services to include in-house prescription dispensaries, which allows patients to leave with their prescription medication at a reasonable cost, and without having to make an extra trip to the pharmacy. In order to continue providing convenient and quality care to patients, several centers now offer x-ray and lab services, again, eliminating the need to go an emergency room.
So even though an apple a day may keep your primary care physician away, you should still consider receiving treatment at an urgent care clinic. Ger more information on this topic here.