The Future of Urgent Care Centers


Denver walk in clinic

It should come as no surprise that urgent care facilities are rapidly growing and developing all over the country. A growth spurt for family health clinic centers began in the 1990s and is still continuing today. This growth has been fueled by frustration with emergency room wait times and the unavailability of primary care appointments. The public’s desire for quick and inexpensive medical care shows that the urgent care industry is only going to keep growing larger.

For many patients, after hours urgent care facilities are their primary place to go for medical care. More and more people are choosing these after hours urgent care facilities, especially due to their availability on weekends and evenings. The convenience of a low cost health clinic along with the shorter wait time is appealing to many patients. People are choosing an emergency walk in clinic over an emergency room for non-life threatening conditions simply because they don’t want to wait to be seen in an emergency room. Additionally, the cost of an after hours urgent care visit is typically much less than the average $1,318 spent at an emergency room. Urgent care provides medical treatment without the patient having to sacrifice quality. Even though it’s less expensive and the wait is shorter, patients are still seen by a certified doctor. Patients are treated quickly and efficiently and receive quality care.

Current data shows that the U.S. will need about 52,000 additional primary care physicians by 2025 in order to meet growing healthcare needs. Luckily, the number of urgent care physicians is around 20,000 and quickly growing. Urgent care professionals have helped make urgent care medical care into an important aspect of the medical field.

The outlook for the future of urgent care medicine is looking very positive. Physicians who are going to school for family medicine, internal medicine, pediatric care, and emergency medicine are pursuing additional education in urgent care medicine. Additionally, current physicians are taking the necessary training to become Board Certified in urgent care medicine. Training programs for urgent care medicine are developing to fit the current needs.

Many current urgent care centers are seeking to get urgent care center accreditation. Accreditation is completely voluntary, but allows an urgent care center to measure the quality of its service and performance compared to nationally recognized standards. Accreditation shows the community that the urgent care is committed to providing high-quality care.

Overall, the urgent care field is rapidly growing to meet patient’s needs at a low cost while providing quick, efficient care.

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