As a patient, you have several options available to you for convenient medical treatment. If you are not facing a true emergency but cannot wait to be seen by your regular physician, urgent care facilities may very well be your best option. But it's important to note that not all urgent medical care centers are created equal. Some are independently run, while others are affiliated with hospitals or with universities. The quality of care offered may differ as well as the costs and convenience. It's essential to evaluate an urgent care center prior to visiting so you can benefit fully from this convenient medical treatment option. To that end, we'll discuss factors you should keep in mind before choosing an urgent care facility.
What Considerations Should You Keep in Mind When Evaluating Urgent Care Clinics?
Before you head to an urgent care clinic, you'll want to consider these factors. This can allow you to choose an excellent facility that can provide you with the treatment you need, exactly when you need it. To learn more about our services, please contact us today.
What is urgent care used for? This is an important question for anyone in need of health services. Though emergency centers are great for treating serious health concerns, between 44% and 65% of all emergency room episodes could have been treated at urgent care facilities.
Urgent care centers offer convenient care for individuals and families who are in need of various health services, but aren't exactly in severe, life-threatening danger.
According to Every Day Health, urgent care facilities account for 18.2% of all primary care visits and 9.7% of outpatients visits in the United States.
"The urgent care industry has evolved over the past few years, so there is a wide spectrum of urgent care practices to choose from," said David Shih, MD, executive vice president of strategy on health and innovation at CityMD. "Some practices label themselves as urgent care centers but do not fit all the criteria needed, so it’s important for patients to understand where to go in order to receive high-quality care and proper follow-up as needed."
If you're still wondering what is urgent care used for, take a look at the following medical conditions that are typically treated at urgent care facilities.
What is urgent care used for:
"Some urgent care centers... are staffed with board-certified emergency medicine physicians and licenses physician's assistants (PAs), so they can handle more complex clinical problems that require a higher-level of skill and care," added Dr. Shih. "Others are staffed with pediatric specialists who are experts in dealing with pediatric emergencies and common neonatal issues."
Though urgent care facilitates are great for all kinds of medical conditions, if you're experiencing any of the following, consider ER treatment:
Urgent care facilities are popular due to their convenient after-hours medical care and their ability to quickly treat common ailments and minor injuries. Recent studies support this. During 2016, 27% of patients in America replied that within the previous two years, they had sought care at an urgent care clinic. Also in 2016, the Urgent Care Association of America's Benchmarking Report revealed that in the previous year, upper respiratory infections, sinusitis, coughs, pharyngitis, and bronchitis were among the most frequently treated ailments at urgent care clinics. In addition, 92% of these clinics also consistently offered waiting periods of 30 minutes or less.
A current study found that even though a trip to the ER is warranted in some instances, between 44% and 65% of all Emergency Room (ER) visits could have been managed by an urgent care clinic. Becker's Hospital Review reported that just 3% of individuals coming to an urgent care facility had to be re-routed to an ER. Over 70% of visits to an ER that involved individuals with consumer-sponsored healthcare coverage are for conditions that either could have been prevented or were not critical.
Emergency room vs. urgent care: How do you choose?
Thanks to immediate care facilities, you don't have to. Here's what you need to know about them.
1. They're Ground-Breaking.
This is a revolutionary healthcare model, in which an urgent care clinic and an ER are brought together in one convenient hybrid location. As Centura Health explains, immediate care centers are prepared to quickly and accurately assess your condition and provide you with the highest quality of treatment.
2. They're Cost-Effective.
You're charged only for the degree of care that you required, whether it's for a common cold or a life-threatening health crisis.
For that reason, this model is more cost-effective. Full Spectrum ER and Urgent Care also comments that because of their capability to treat and bill for urgent care and ER care separately, the fees are generally significantly lower than the pricing for comparable health issues treated at a hospital's ER.
3. They're Beneficial to Communities.
Centura Health believes that by offering exercise and fitness classes, health screenings, and other events to educate the community, health care providers can help to promote healthy lifestyle choices and stress the need for preventative health care.
If you find yourself in need of medical attention, where to seek care is one less decision to worry about. An immediate care center can put you at ease with one-stop comprehensive medical services
This time of year, germs tend to run rampant. With lots of illnesses going around, it can sometimes be tough to tell exactly what is making you sick. In some cases, symptoms may overlap and you might not be sure whether your indigestion is due to a virus or something you ate. To clear up the confusion, we'll be discussing some of the differences between food poisoning and stomach bugs in today's post. Once you have a better idea of what's causing your illness, you'll be able to seek out appropriate healthcare services for treatment.
Food poisoning is actually incredibly common. In fact, it's estimated that 48 million Americans experience foodborne illness every year as a result of consuming contaminated foods or beverages. These contaminants can include viruses, bacteria, or parasites and can cause an incredibly rapid onset of symptoms (sometimes within one to six hours after consumption). Those symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, fatigue, cramps and abdominal pain, muscle aches, dehydration, sweating, and more. Symptoms may last anywhere from a few hours to a few days and will usually clear up on their own. Many times, you may be able to go to an urgent care clinic for diagnosis and healthcare services. Since 92% of urgent care centers maintained wait times of 30 minutes or less in 2015, you should be able to obtain relief fairly quickly. However, in more severe cases that involve high fevers, ongoing vomiting or diarrhea, or bloody stool, it's important to seek out emergency medical treatment to prevent dehydration and other scenarios.
Viral gastroenteritis may be referred to as the flu, though it's actually not the same as influenza. These stomach bugs are highly contagious viruses that can spread in a few different ways, just like other diseases of this nature. One main difference between stomach bugs and food poisoning is their onset. While foodborne illnesses can take anywhere from an hour to a month to develop, stomach bug symptoms typically present themselves within one to two days of coming into contact with an infected person. Stomach viruses also render individuals contagious for several days after they recover from their illness, which is why infected people have to be so careful about coming into contact with others. Symptoms of stomach viruses may include constipation, diarrhea, fever, weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea, headaches, vomiting, muscle cramps, low blood pressure, joint and muscle aches, dizziness, dehydration, and more. While there are some shared symptoms between stomach bugs and food poisoning, these symptoms typically last for much longer (i.e., anywhere from two to 10 days) in stomach virus patients than in those with foodborne illnesses. If you suspect you need stomach flu treatment for dehydration or other severe symptoms, you should seek out immediate care from medical professionals.
In either case, you'll need to drink plenty of fluids and obtain lots of rest so your body can recover from your illness. You may also want to consider seeing your doctor to obtain a definitive diagnosis. That way, you can take proper precautions for next time or inform your local department of health, if need be, about the potential source of your foodborne illness. Following food poisoning or stomach viruses, stick to a bland diet and avoid spicy, fattening, and dairy rich foods for the time being. You should also refrain from drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages until you recover.
If you think you're experiencing symptoms of a stomach virus or foodborne illness and you require healthcare services, we're here to help. For more information, please contact us today.
The last thing any parent wants is for their child to feel sick. Fortunately, a run-of-the-mill cough or cold can warrant a trip to your local pediatric urgent care facility. With some rest and lots of TLC, your little one will be back in good spirits in no time. But in some cases, your child's symptoms may be a bit more serious. They may even require 24 hour emergency care. But how can you tell whether that serious action is necessary? In today's post, we'll be discussing some signs that should prompt your family to seek out emergency care for your young child.
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