Urgent care vs. ER vs. Primary care
when and why go to an urgent care center
Sometimes, when you manifest the symptoms of illness, the best way to go about treating it is not so straightforward. The average person may not have the necessary skills and knowledge to properly assess the seriousness of their condition. If you overreact to the symptoms, you might feel an urge to go to the emergency room. There, you may well discover that your condition is not life threatening and not for the ER to take care of. On the other hand, your primary care medic may be booked up. After all, it’s flu season and his cabinet waiting room is full. Waiting for the next available spot may be too long and your condition may worsen. Choosing to stay at home and treat your symptoms with over the counter drugs, until your appointment with the medic, may prove to be an underreaction.
Urgent care centers – the solution for serious, yet not life threatening conditions
In many countries of the world, healthcare providers have been complaining about overcrowding due to persons coming in to treat afflictions that turn out not to be emergencies at all. These statistics have been on the rise, with people having the tendency to overreact to symptoms or just ignoring other options for diagnosis and treatment. That has proved to be the case especially for parents of young children, who have been storming the ERs all around the world. In fact, 71% of emergency room visits with children under six years of age turn out to be non-emergencies.
The other option for diagnosis and treatment that is sometimes ignored is the visit to an urgent care center. And there are plenty of options in this department. Some sources show that there are 537 cities with at least one urgent care center in New Jersey alone. So the first reason to go to an urgent care center is because it’s the most appropriate for your situation, and it won’t be difficult to find an available one in your area.
Quality of urgent care center services
Of course, quality of service will vary from one health care center to another, but for one thing, it is much more likely that you won’t have to wait in line until someone attends to your needs. According to solvhealth, the average wait time for walk-in patients is 15-45 minutes, which is considerably less than the ER. Many urgent care centers, such as ours, offer extended hours and flexible appointments. Also, since urgent care centers are connected to the health system network, it can be very convenient to choose this type of facility, since your records are easily accessible.
In general, urgent care centers care not only about the medical procedures, but also about customer service. It is much more likely to find a patient-centered approach here. And this often comes at a good price. Average urgent care visits costs are 5-10 times cheaper than average visits to the ER.