Most people have heard of, and possibly, visited an emergency department room before. Others have also heard of a newer concept, the urgent care center. Both types of centers provide after hours medical care and treats injury and illness. Urgent care centers are generally for medical concerns that are not considered an emergency, whereas the emergency room is solely for medical emergencies. What then, are the benefits of having both of these medical models in the same roof?
One of the biggest complaints of primary physicians and family medicine offices are the hours of availability. They tend to follow regular business hours, which can make it difficult for those working regular jobs to get an appointment. Also, most medical concerns or emergencies occur after these hours. In fact, many of the medical emergencies occur over the weekend, when people have more free time and are engaging in alternative activities. Both settings also treats injury and illness with a convenient quality and cost.
Both urgent care centers and emergency departments offer much more convenient of hours. People notice and tend to use them quite frequently. There are currently 20,000 physicians who practice Urgent Care Medicine today, and the number is growing. Urgent care professionals have developed Urgent Care Medicine into an important, recognized specialty that represents this fast growing medical field. Patients who experience medical concerns after hours can visit either model, depending on their level of medical care needs.
Another benefit to having both models under one roof is the differences in costs. Average reimbursement for an urgent care visit is approximately $103 per patient, compared with $302 per patient on average in a hospital emergency department, according to a report. Patients can choose which medical model they wish to visit, based on their income and their pricing needs.
Urgent care centers have been the ideal choice for many years over emergency departments because of their reduction in wait times. When both medical models are under the same roof, patients can choose where to receive their medical care, based on wait times. Roughly 60% of all urgent care centers have a wait time of less than 15 minutes to see a physician or mid level provider, and 65% have a physician on site at all times. However, if wait times are high, the emergency room is right there.
Unsure of medical emergency
Many patients visit local urgent care settings or emergency rooms because they are unsure how serious their medical condition is. Some people will under estimate and some people will over estimate. Fortunately, with a dual medical model, it is fairly easy to move the patient to the other side easily. Also, patients who underestimate the severity of their concern are located in a hospital setting for easy and quick advanced diagnostics and laboratory services. Many parents may experience this uneasiness of which location to visit when it comes to pediatric care.
Multiple choices of physicians
A patient may be unsatisfied with the level of medical care that they receive at one location, especially if there is only one physician on staff. They may not agree with their methods and who treats injury and illnesses. In a dual medical model, however, patients have access to multiple physicians, and even second opinions, right next door. The emergency care physicians are likely to be directly from the hospital and patients can get second opinions on who treats injury and illnesses.
In some dual medical models, patients may even request additional physician referral. Employed physicians between the two often go back and forth and this can help with diagnosis and treatment. This dual staffing can also be especially helpful in increased times of visits. If the urgent care setting receives many patients at once, physicians can be borrowed from next door, and vice versa.
Most people have visited an emergency department for treatment. Most people have also visited an urgent medical care center for medical consultation. What if you had access to both models? This would increase the convenience for the patient, along with improving confidence levels of medical decisions, and make for easy transportation of medical emergencies.