Most of us will have to head over to an emergency room or urgent care clinic at least once in our lives. Accidents happen, as they say, and when they do it’s best to be prepared. One thing to keep in mind for a situation that requires medical attention is where exactly to go. It is always recommended to go to an emergency room for life-threatening injuries or illnesses that require immediate attention. For other, less-traumatic injuries, going to an urgent care clinic is often the better choice. Why? To better illustrate just how advantageous it is to go to a community health clinic, here are three reasons why you should choose an urgent care center over an emergency room for your medical needs:
- They’re Cheaper: On average, urgent care costs are lower than those of emergency rooms for the same services. Patients who go to an urgent care center can save up to $228-$583 for the same services an emergency room would provide. Community care clinics also tend to have flexible payment options as well as benefits for patients with little to no health insurance.
- They’ll Get You Out the Door Quicker: The waiting times for emergency clinics are generally lower than those of emergency rooms. Approximately 69% of community health clinics have waiting times under 20 minutes; 28% have times between 20 to 40 minutes; and the remaining 3% have waiting times longer than 40 minutes. Needless to say, patients would much prefer getting in and out of the clinic as quickly as possible rather than staying there.
- They’re Just as Good as Emergency Rooms (For the Most Part): Urgent care clinics provide the basic set of services an emergency room would, and they are manned by trained professionals in the medical field. More than 95% of the 9,000 or so urgent care units in the United States have at least one doctor on staff. Many of these units also have medical equipment typically found in an emergency room, including x-ray machines.
There are more reasons to choose an urgent care center, of course, but the important thing overall is to take care of your body. If the time comes, however, to visit a doctor, community health clinics may just be the rub to get you back on your feet!