Walk in urgent care clinics are becoming increasingly popular and there’s a good reason for that. Unlike a doctor’s office, you don’t have to make an appointment, or wait for hours to see a doctor. Urgent care clinics are open 7 days a week, and many have extended hours so you can stop by before or after work.
Advantages of walk in clinics
They are a low cost alternative to an emergency room visit, and they treat most common injuries and illness. Most provide onsite testing and diagnostics, as well as dispensing. For convenience they can’t be beat, and with trained, qualified staff, they provide quality medical service at a low cost. Urgent care centers can handle most medical conditions and common injuries. From flu shots to school physicals, they are a convenient way to access quality medical care. Urgent care clinics see on average 342 patients each week.
A nationwide survey found that more than two-thirds of urgent care centers have early hours, opening before 9:00 am on weekdays. And a large proportion are open on Saturdays and Sundays as well.
Urgent cares are located conveniently in neighborhoods where they can be easily accessed. There are about 9,000 urgent care centers across the country, as reported by the Urgent Care Association of America, so there’s sure to be one near you.
There’s no waiting, period. No waiting for an appointment like a doctor’s office, and no waiting for treatment like the emergency room. The wait time to receive treatment is around 20 minutes, and 69% of urgent care centers actually report shorter wait times. Another 28% report wait times from 21 to 40 minutes and only a minuscule 3% have a 40 minute wait or longer.
Convenience and quality go together. All staff at walk in clinics are fully qualified and experienced, and nearly all centers, or 95% of them, have physicians on staff. Nurses, technicians and other staff are both qualified and caring.
Low cost medical care
An urgent care visit will cost you a lot less than a similar trip to the emergency room. For the same diagnosis, it can cost from $228 to $583 less. It’s also less stressful, since there’s less waiting time, less crowding and no traumatic emergency scenes to witness.
Dispensing on site
Almost half of all urgent care centers, or 48.6% of them, can give you your prescription pharmaceuticals on site, saving an extra trip to the pharmacy. These medicines come pre-packaged for “point-of-care” dispensing in doctors’ offices, and contain a full course of treatment.
As the need for primary healthcare grows, the number of walk in clinics will continue to expand. With the wide range of medical treatments and care they offer, it’s a good idea to keep the location of your neighborhood center in mind.