Urgent care clinics and other such walk-in clinics have taken the United States by storm. They have really only been around for a short period of time, but their impact has been an impressive one indeed. As a matter of fact, urgent care centers were first established less than a full 20 years in the past, back in the year of 2000. In the time since, they have multiplied fervently, with more than 7,000 urgent care locations found in this one country alone all by the time that we reached the year of 2016. And in the time since that data was first gathered, the number of urgent care facilities seen in the United States has only continue to climb.
The number of people these medical walk in clinics have served is also an ever growing number. As a matter of fact, recent research suggests that more than one quarter of the population of the United States has been to at least one urgent care location over the duration of the last two or so years. This means that up to three million people are attending various urgent care clinics and walk in urgent care centers over the course of a single week.
But why, exactly, is the medical clinic such a compelling place? What makes it better than a family practice or even the emergency room? At the end of the day, it’s really not about which one is better, which is best, which is worst. It’s essentially about utilizing all services appropriately. For instance, you will likely go to your GP for wellness visits and for any chronic medical concerns. However, such doctors often do not have particularly long office hours, with little to no weekend or holiday availability. If you develop some kind of a health concern during these times, you will need to access another venue for healthcare.
The emergency room is always open, but should really only be utilized for true emergencies. Otherwise, it gets clogged up, the doctors and nurses on staff becoming quickly overworked. Unfortunately, this is the case much of the time, and many people end up waiting an hour or even longer to be seen. The price of an ER visit is also astronomical, making it less than ideal for visits of more minor medical concerns.
Therefore, the average urgent care center becomes more necessary than many might have realized, at least at first. After all, the majority of all urgent care locations – up to 85% of them, as a matter of fact – are open each and every day of the week. And some, though not all, are even open a full 24 hours as well. Even in the urgent care centers that are not open so frequently, longer hours are often seen. For many such locations, earlier openings and later closing times allow for people to get the most out of their local urgent care clinic. For those who are unable to take time off of work to go see their doctor, urgent care locations provide the perfect alternative, one that is well worth it at the end of the day.
And urgent care centers provide a much faster and more efficient medical experience. For one thing, more than 90% of all urgent care locations (virtually all of them) have an average wait time that does not exceed a mere half of an hour. In up to 60% of all urgent care centers, this average wait time is even lower – as low as 15 minutes, for that matter. Therefore, getting in and out of an urgent care clinic with the urgent care treatment needed is a simple thing – and is not uncommon to be completed within the span of just one hour.
Ultimately, there are many reasons you should frequent your local urgent care center. More and more people are, after all, becoming quite comfortable indeed with the concept of urgent care center care as it is becoming more and more obvious that this level of care is quite high indeed. In the years that are ahead of us, the prominence of the urgent care center is likely to grow and grow.