Oftentimes patients seek emergency services for conditions that are not life-threatening. In fact, RAND Corp. conducted a study in 2009 that reported 14 to 27% of emergency room visits could be handled by urgent care centers or retail clinics instead.
When patients seek medical attention at an emergency room, they run the risk of an over-inflated bill that does not reflect the cost of their treatment at a more suitable institution. RAND Corp. also said that the overall healthcare savings could amount to as much as $4.4 billion per year.
These numbers fluctuate depending on the study, of course. Milliman reported that 44 to 65% of all emergency visits could have been treated at urgent care, while Truven Health Analytics said that upwards of 70% of visits could have been taken care of at an urgent care clinic.
But no matter where you get your statistics, the trend is clear. Walk-in urgent care facilities provide the necessary treatments and services for more minor injuries and illnesses that do not warrant a trip to the ER. By removing the wait from the ER, urgent care providers are able to give fast, reliable care for a fraction of the cost.
Because the U.S. healthcare system is so complex (and expensive), many people without insurance believe the emergency room is their only option for healthcare. In reality, walk in clinics are a practical and affordable option for countless Americans.
The average patient will wait less than 15 minutes at at least 60% of urgent care centers. Not only that, but 65% have a physician on the premises at all time. When alternative care is available at this magnitude, more people will see the fault in visiting the wrong facility. The number of walk-in, stand-alone urgent care centers in the United States amounts to about 9,300, with 50 to 100 new clinics opening every year.
Since most primary physician offices are closed by 5 p.m., urgent care provides an option to treat minor injuries and illnesses before or after business hours. In 2014, 97% of urgent cares were open seven days per week, and 99% are open for at least four hours every day.
However, some medical problems aren't so black and white, and patients aren't sure whether to hit the ER or urgent care center. For cases like these, Legacy ER and Urgent Care is able to provide both emergency and urgent care services on-site, and will not charge you for unnecessary care. By having both services under one roof, you will avoid unnecessary travel and expenses.
Just because kids are starting to head back to school doesn't mean that summer is over! There is still plenty of warm weather to be had, but these hot and sticky days come with one major risk factor, illness.
Here are some common summertime illnesses to be aware of during hot weather.
This is especially prominent in those who love to be in the water. Despite popular belief, swimmer's ear isn't quite the same as the ear infections you're used to. Swimmer's ear is an infection of the outer ear canal that runs from the eardrum to the outside of the head, while most ear infections affect the inner ear. Typically, it is often caused by water that remains in the ear after swimming.
In order to prevent this infection from growing, make sure to wear ear plugs while in the water and to dry your ears completely after getting out. A drop or two of hydrogen peroxide also works great on dry ears to combat any remaining bacteria.
There are many abdominal pain causes, but an extremely common one during the warm weather months is food being left in the sun for too long. Like that sketchy potato salad at the picnic, do everything you can to avoid common abdominal illnesses. The heat will cause the food to spoil, and can cause nausea, vomiting, or in severe cases food poisoning. Keep this in mind for those Labor Day parties, and keep your food in a cool space inside.
For kids everywhere, the warm weather calls for exploring outside. But this can bring you in contact with poisonous plants that can cause red rashes all over your body, itchy eyes, and uncomfortable wounds. Generally, these infections do not require emergency care if they are mild, but it is a good idea to head to an urgent care center to get them check out if you are worried about a particularly stubborn rash.
So before you head outside, read up on the different dangerous plants in your environment so you can stay away!
If by chance you come down with one of these ailments, it is important to decide if you need emergency care from the ER, or if it is mild enough for a visit to a local walk in clinic.
Emergency rooms are meant for imminent emergencies, such as a stroke, heart attack, or seizures, whereas walk in clinics specialize in non-emergency care with flexible hours. Nearly all urgent care centers operate seven days a week and are open at least four hours per day, so they offer a great backup if you cannot get in to see your primary care physician.
Considering the fact that there are more than 110 million annual visits to the emergency room, and that a full 70% of emergency department visits from patients could be prevented with simple outpatient care, a walk in clinic is the way to go to save time, money, and to get the quality healthcare you need!
There are approximately 110 million emergency room visits made annually, but the reality is that not all of them are necessary, especially for your child.
Parents, especially first-time parents, are known to panic at the first sign of a medical problem. And while you don't want to take chances when it comes to your child's health, every pediatrician can tell you countless stories about nervous parents, who after lightly bumping their child's head, convince themselves they've caused permanent brain damage.
So before you rush your child to the emergency room, it's important to consider more cost-effective options. There are an estimated 93,000 walk-in urgent care centers in the United States, and a number of them include pediatric urgent care in their services. Here's what you should know.
What is Pediatric Urgent Care?
Pediatric urgent care is an additional service offered by urgent care clinics that caters specifically to children and the issues they may encounter. There are specific disorders and illnesses that children are at risk of contracting, and only someone highly versed in infant and child medicine should handle them. Your child visits a pediatrician for a reason, after all.
When Should a Child Be Taken to Urgent Care?
A child should be taken to a walk in family care center in the same instances that any adult would be. If a child suffers a cold, symptoms of the flu, fever, or even a twisted ankle, those are all situations that pediatric urgent care is capable of handling. However, if your child can neither walk, talk, nor play, those may be signs of a medical emergency and should be taken care of by emergency services. Similarly, any open or misaligned fractures should be treated at an emergency room immediately.
How is Pediatric Urgent Care Different?
Unlike standard urgent care services, pediatric urgent care facilities usually have a pediatrician on staff to ensure that all patients are receiving the correct treatment for their condition. Because children are subject to different risks, it's important to have someone at the facility who understands their needs specifically.
Benefits of Urgent Care for Your Child
Urgent care services, in general, are far less expensive than emergency room visits and have shorter wait times. In fact, the average wait time at an urgent care facility is approximately 15 minutes, compared to what could possibly be hours spent in an emergency room the waiting room of an emergency room.
While severe situations certainly require emergency treatment, most cases of fever or flu symptoms can be taken care of at an urgent care center. Even things like back to school check ups and vaccinations can often be handled at a pediatric urgent care center.
Illness doesn't always occur at the most opportune times, especially in children. Don't count urgent care centers out when your child falls ill.
There are an estimated 9,300 walk-in, stand alone urgent care centers in the United States today, and more are opening every year. However, just because they offer a wide variety of treatment options, that doesn't mean you should be there for every medical emergency.
While it's important to make sure you're receiving proper care in any medical situation, it's just as important to know whether an emergency room or urgent care clinic is the right choice for you.
Do You Have a Broken Bone?
In most cases, an urgent care center can treat a broken bone. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. For instance, if your bone has been shattered or you suffer an open fracture, meaning the bone breaks through your skin, you should visit an emergency room immediately. These types of fractures are much more serious, require immediate care, and sometimes even immediate surgery.
Do You Have a Cold?
If you're experiencing symptoms of a cold or the flu at a time when your primary care physician can't see you, it's definitely time to go to an urgent care center. Urgent care centers have an average of seven treatment/exam rooms, and the physicians working are equipped to handle these symptoms. Many can even provide intravenous fluids when needed. However, if you're experiencing a severe case of the flu that could be life-threatening, you should seek out emergency services.
Have You Sustained a Head Injury?
If you've received a simple bump or cut on your head, visiting urgent care is fine. However, any severe head injuries that came as a result of falls, sports injuries, or any other kind of accident need to be treated by emergency services. Urgent care centers can handle minor injuries, but a hospital is equipped to handle possibly life-threatening injuries and severe concussions.
Do You Have Allergies?
If you're suffering from itchy eyes and a runny nose during peak allergy season, an urgent care center is the place to be. While they can't prescribe the serious medication that your primary care physician handles, they can provide simple medications for minor allergies. That being said, if you're experiencing a severe allergic reaction, you should always visit the emergency room right away. Food allergies can be especially life-threatening and require treatment as soon as possible.
Nearly 97% of urgent care centers are open seven days a week, which makes them a great option if you can't get to your doctor. Just remember: urgent care centers aren't a replacement for your primary care physician or emergency services!
Legacy ER & Urgent Care
Legacy pioneered retail healthcare in 2008 and is now ranks in the top 1% of global retailers for customer service.
When to Come?