How To Choose Between Visiting An Urgent Care or the Emergency Room

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When was the last time you were faced with the decision of whether to visit an advanced urgent care clinic or the local emergency room? Unfortunately, many Americans face this decision all too often. Although there is not a clear cut formula for figuring out which facility is the best one for you and your family to visit, there are some things to keep in mind to make your choice easier. Below are just three of those items:

1. Type of Illness/Injury – There seems to be a sort of myth that exists around advanced urgent care clinics that the physicians can only treat extremely minor illnesses like sore throats and stuffy noses. That is simply not true! In fact, over 80 percent or urgent care centers provide fracture care, and 70 percent of urgent care centers can even provide IV fluids when they are needed. The next time you aren’t sure about whether your nearby urgent care clinic will treat the illness you are facing, just make a quick phone call or check their website. The answer might surprise you!

2. Affordability – There is no doubt that your bill from the local advanced urgent care facility will be cheaper than a visit to the emergency room. In fact, affordability is one of the main reasons people choose urgent care clinics over emergency rooms. The next time you are facing an injury or illness that can be treated at either an urgent care or the emergency room, consider the cost and let that assist you with making your final decision. Your pocketbook will thank you later if you choose the urgent care.

3. Timeliness – One of the main reasons that people continually choose to visit an urgent care center instead of the emergency room is because of time. It seems like everyone has their own horror story of having to wait in the emergency room waiting room for hours only to be able to spend 5 minutes with a physician and be sent on their way. Advanced urgent care centers are not like this at all. In fact, nearly 60 percent of urgent care patients wait 15 minutes or less to be seen by a doctor.

Visiting an urgent care facility rather than an emergency room will save you time and money, and don’t be concerned that the urgent care won’t be open. Nearly 70 percent of all urgent care centers open prior to 9:00 am during the workweek, and most have hours on the weekend as well. As you can probably see by now, these are not the only three reasons to choose urgent care over the emergency room, but they do help in making the decision easier.

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