When you don’t feel well and your primary care physician’s office is closed, you can visit an after hours urgent care clinic rather than going to the hospital emergency room. Walk in urgent care is a convenient alternative, and you won’t have to wait long to see a physician or mid-level provider. Furthermore, your bill will be considerably less than if you went to a traditional hospital emergency room.
As their name signifies, after hours urgent care clinics are open for extended hours. The actual hours of operation will vary from location to location. However, over 66% of these facilities begin seeing patients before 9:00 a.m. on Monday through Friday. Urgent care services are also available until 7:00 p.m. or later on weeknights.. A significant number of after hours urgent care clinics are open on the weekend as well.
A survey conducted by The Urgent Care Association of American found that 57% of patients only needed to wait for up to 15 minutes before being seen by a physician or physician’s assistant. The survey also indicated that 80% of urgent care visits lasted an hour or less. It’s important to note that 65% of these facilities always have a physician at their site.
Since a physician, or group of physicians, own 50% of these clinics, expert medical care is available. There are a variety of different medical issues that can be evaluated and treated at an urgent care center. This includes the flu, headaches, and ear, nose, and throat infections. If someone needs intravenous fluids, 70% of urgent care centers can provide this service. Furthermore, 80% of these facilities are able to evaluate and treat fractures.
Roughly 40% of after hours urgent care clinics have electronic prescription ordering systems. This is an added convenience for patients that require medication. Even more of these facilities have the capacity to view lab and imaging results on computerized systems. Medical staff can record and review patient demographics, billing, condition and procedure coding, and clinical notes on these systems.
When you become ill or sustain a minor injury, you can visit an urgent care clinic for an evaluation and treatment. If you haven’t been to an urgent care clinic before, it’s important to note that you don’t need to make an appointment ahead of time. Once you receive treatment, you will have a first-hand experience of the advantages associated with urgent care clinics.