It was once the case that, should there be anything wrong with you, that you go straight to the doctor?s office or a hospital. However, this is no longer such a straightforward case, especially with the advent of urgent care centers. An urgent care clinic can offer many of the same services as a hospital, but with many benefits including cheap or free services, short wait times, and efficient care that can fit in to almost any schedule. So what are the benefits of walk in medical clinics, and why are they ? in some cases ? better options than the hospital or a private practice.
One thing that few realize about walk in clinics is their confidentially, especially in the case of an STD testing clinic. An STD testing clinic offers testing to both men and women, and most are completely anonymous. A hospital-sponsored STD testing clinic may be more expensive, require identification, and have a slower process. In the cases of sexually transmitted diseases and infections, anonymity is of the utmost importance, as is time. The confidentiality offered by walk in clinics extends to most if not all services, and speed, as you?ll see below, extends to every part of the clinic.
The Urgent Care Association of America reports that 57% of patients at urgent care centers wait 15 minutes or less to be seen, and 80% are seen in 60 minutes or less. Remarkably, this efficiency ? with people being taken care of far faster than they would be at a hospital emergency room ? doesn?t cut into the quality of care given. This may be because approximately two-thirds of all urgent care clinics keep a mix of physicians, nurse practitioners and physician?s assistants on staff, with 65% of all clinics having at least one physician on-site at all times.
A recent study by the CDC reported that almost half of all adult ER patients turned to the ER despite not being sick enough to be admitted to the hospital ? precisely because their local doctor?s office was closed. This kind of sickness or ailment could involve the flu, minor broken bones, or even a bad cold. The beauty of urgent care locations is that they can take care of all of these problems on a much wider scale; a person can walk in with an ear infection before work, receive treatment, and get back to their jobs on time. This doesn?t just concern emergency conditions or even immediate sicknesses. Parents can take their children to urgent care clinics for vaccinations before school, and pick up prescriptions for medications.
As you can see, the level of care you receive an urgent care center is by no means inferior to that you would receive at a hospital. It?s quality care at a reasonable price, without the long wait required by alternatives. Why not try it?