The Growing Importance Of Medical Clinics Throughout The United States
When we look at the ER and urgent care centers found across the country, we see two distinct options for medical care. Both the ER and urgent care center can provide necessary medical treatment, so it can certainly be difficult to choose between the two of them. However, this article will look at the differences between the ER and urgent care center, allowing the reader to more thoroughly and accurately decide which of the two, ER and urgent care, is the right fit for them.
First of all, it’s important to discuss the prevalence of urgent care centers all throughout the country. For many reasons, urgent care centers serve as many as three million patients over the course of just one week. There are now even more than 7,300 urgent care locations throughout the United States alone, marking a growth of very nearly 1,000 urgent care centers from the number of urgent care locations that were operational in the previous year. With as many as 20,000 doctors currently employed at such walk in clinics all around the country, there is no doubt that the average urgent care location has become a force to be reckoned with.
Though the average ER and urgent care center are very different, they do have a number of important similarities. For one, both the ER and urgent care center will often provide round the clock treatment. Emergency rooms are, of course, open at all hours of day and night here in the United States. While many an urgent care center is not open 24 hours of the day, at least 85% of all of them are open every single day of the week. And the 24 hour walk in clinic certainly does exist in many places all throughout the country. Even if an urgent care center isn’t open all hours of the day, they are still likely to be open early in the morning or later in the evening, making them an accessible form of medical care for many people all throughout the country.
Another important comparison of the ER and urgent care center is of what they are able to treat. For while seeking emergency care at an emergency room is likely in your best interests, more minor care can be conducted at either location. In fact, it’s even been estimated that the majority of cases seen in the typical emergency center – up to 65% of them and certainly no less than 44% of them – could have actually be treated at the closest urgent care location instead. On the flip side, however, only around 3% of all cases and patients seen at the typical urgent care location needed to be transported for emergency care at a local emergency room. After all, more than half of all urgent care centers – around an astonishing 80%, to be more precise – actually can diagnose and treat fractures and provide even more types of advanced medical care.
And when we compare the wait times of the ER and urgent care center, we actually find that the typical urgent care center more than wins out. After all, emergency rooms can become crowded and backed up far too easily in the United States, necessitating long wait times that span, on average, for at least an hour, if not even longer than that. The typical urgent care center, on the other hand, promises a much shorter stay than the average length of an emergency room visit.
In fact, the vast majority of all urgent care centers – more than 90% of them, as a matter of fact – have wait times that do not exceed a mere half of an hour. And at around 60% – still more than half – of all urgent care locations, the average wait time typically does not even exceed a short 15 minutes, making it easy to get in and out with time to spare, unlike the typical emergency room experience here in the United States. In fact, the average patient at an urgent care center will be able to get in and out in an hour.