The landscape of American medical practice has changed significantly over the past decade with the introduction of urgent care medical centers. Due to the limited hours of physicians and specialists, those who required immediate care had the limited choice of either waiting or taking a pricy trip to the emergency room. Urgent care provides a halfway point, offering professional level care and extended availability. Here are three strong reasons why these walk in medical centers are continuing to increase in popularity.
A Growing Field
There is no replacement for the knowledge and experience of a doctor: a growing majority of walk in clinics have a physician on staff at all times. Today there are an estimated 20,000 physicians who practice urgent care medicine, making it the single largest healthcare shift in contemporary American history. These clinics offer the same quality-level care given by a practicing doctor because as many as 33% of these clinics are owned by practicing doctors.
Medial clinics are dedicated to offer immediate medical help to patients in need. In order to do so, 85% of urgent care centers are open seven days per week. Many clinics offer extended hours of operation with a majority of medical centers remaining open from 9 am to 9 pm — if not longer. It is estimated that around three million Americans visit urgent care centers across the country every week: there is a reason people trust urgent care.
Perhaps the most impressive feature behind urgent care is the diverse range of treatment options available from a walk in clinic. In 2012 the most frequent diagnosis for urgent care was for upper respiratory conditions with the most common procedure involving the treatment of wounds. Furthermore, four out of every five centers can provide fracture care. A growing number of clinics have a dedicated medical center emergency room with full-time staff. These medical center emergency rooms, like the emergency room of a hospital, can help treat severe injuries at a moment’s notice.
When it comes to your health, there is no replacement for a medical professional: thankfully the experience, trust, and knowledge of medical professionals provides the back bone for urgent care clinics.