The rise of the urgent care center has been a meteoric one here in the United States. Currently, as many as three million people attend urgent care locations over the course of just one single week throughout this one country alone. Thanks to this demand, there are now more than 20,000 doctors employed at urgent care clinics, a number that is only likely to rise in the years that are ahead of us. And the reasons that the demand for urgent care treatment has continued to climb are many.
For one thing, the convenience of urgent care clinics is so much greater than seeking out many other kinds of medical care. This becomes particularly stark when we compare the average urgent care clinic to the average emergency room. In an emergency room, you are likely to end up waiting a great deal of time if you do not have an emergent medical concern. As a matter of fact, it is not uncommon for people to wait up to an hour or even longer before ever seeing a medical professional. In addition to this, the average emergency room visit is hugely costly as well, leaving people – even those with insurance – with a bill that exceeds $1,000.
At your typical urgent care centers, however, this is fortunately not the case. As a matter of fact, the average waiting time in more than half of all walk in clinics is only just 15 minutes. And in more than 90% of all such medical centers, you won’t be waiting for more than half of an hour at the very most. And as the average urgent care location will be open every single day of the week (as is the case, after all, for more than 80% of all such walk-in clinics), the typical walk in medical care clinic is likely to keep many people from going to the emergency room.
After all, walk in urgent care centers can handle a much broader scope and scale of cases than many people give them credit for. For instance, up to 80% of all walk-in clinics are even able to tackle the diagnosis of and treatment for fracture cases, provided that the fractures in question are not overly severe. And in addition to this, up to nearly three quarters of all such medical clinics are also able to provide IV fluids, which can hydrate patients in need of it and save them a costly and hugely time consuming trip to the nearest ER. The data backs up the breadth of cases such urgent care centers can handle, as it has found that only around 3% of all cases first seen in a walk-in medical clinic will ever need to be transferred to an emergency room, though it is still important to go to the ER if you are experiencing a true medical emergency of a life threatening nature.
Of course, more run of the mill cases are also able to be handled in the average multicare urgent care setting. For instance, various skin conditions can receive both evaluation and treatment. Poison Ivy, found in every single state located in the continental United States, impacts up to 85% of the population if they come into contact with it. And though the rash that develops as a result of such contact is typically not dangerous, it can most certainly lead to a great deal of discomfort and even pain. Going to an urgent care center for treatment is ideal, as this can provide the relief that is so sought after but in a much more convenient and cost effective way than seeking medical care elsewhere, such as at a hospital or even a general practitioner’s office.
Food poisoning cases are also frequently seen in urgent care clinics, ranging from mild to considerably more severe. After all, as many as 48 million people will deal with food poisoning over the course of the typical year. And while most people will recover with ease and without intervention, this is not the case for everyone. Therefore, it is important to seek medical care for the symptoms of food poisoning when and if it should ever become necessary.