A family practice doctor is a valuable person when you can get in for an appointment. In today’s busy world, however, the schedules that family practice doctors keep do not always mesh well with the needs of the patients.
A funky pain after an extra long run occurs on a Sunday afternoon, not during normal office hours. The sports physical that you just found out your son needs has to be submitted before the end of the week. It is Monday, but when you call for an appointment, you find that every one of the times allotted for sports physicals is already taken. Just as you family gets ready to leave for vacation on a Saturday morning in the summer, your three-year old wakes up with what looks like pink eye. Your family practice doctor has some Saturday morning hours, but they do not start taking calls until 9:30 am. You have plans to be on the road by then.
When the hours and the availability of a family practice doctor do not meet the needs of your schedule and when emergency room visits seem too expensive, one solution that many families turn to are 24 hour health clinics. These full service medical locations are so popular that in some metropolitan areas advertise wait times on large billboards located on busy expressways.
Five of the Top Reasons to Visit a Walk In Health Clinic
- Quality Care.
As many as 95% of all centers have physicians on staff. These physicians are able to make a diagnosis, order an x-ray, and write a prescription, as well as provide many other services of a family physician’s office. Nearly 70% of urgent care centers can provide intravenous fluids when they are necessary. Additionally, 48.6% of these centers also provide prescription pharmaceuticals that are pre-packaged for immediate dispensing. The inventory of these medications offer a full course of treatment in the quick care offices, eliminating the need for an additional trip to a pharmacy.
- Affordable Care.
Like family physician’s offices, most health care clinics accept insurance cards and prescription cards. Unlike large hospital emergency rooms, quick care centers have less overhead and are able to offer more affordable services. Additionally, many quick care clinics also post on their websites and in their waiting areas the exact cost of many of the most basic services. A quick internet search, for example can provide information about how much a patient will pay for a strep throat test or a flu shot. Some studies indicate that the difference in cost between an urgent care visit and an emergency room visit for the same diagnosis can be as much as $228 to $583.
- Convenient Care.
Walk in clinics across the country have extended hours that provide service to patients in the evenings and on the weekends. At times when primary care physician’s offices are closed, an urgent care location is open. In fact,
- How do I know when to call a personal injury lawyer? In addition to being open extended hours, walk in clinics have shorter wait times. Nearly 70% of urgent care centers have wait times of less than 20 minutes; another 28% have wait times between 21 and 40 minutes; and only 3% have a wait time of more than 40 minutes. Minor health emergencies do not wait for normal office hours. The time a parent spends awake at night worrying about a condition could easily be used for a visit into a quick care clinic.
- Future Care.
America’s health care system is in the middle of a major transition. With federal laws making health care a requirement for most citizens, the number of family physicians will never meet the demand of the growing market. In fact, America likely will need almost 52,000 additional primary care physicians by the year 2025. Without this number it will be difficult to meet the country’s health care utilization needs. As more and more patients need to get in and see doctor’s a variety of health care platforms will be established. The quick care setting is a viable option for patients who need to see a doctor without waiting weeks for an appointment or hours for a visit.
Who will you call, or where will you go the next time you need quality medical care?