There are many instances when someone might need immediate medical care, but it is not life threatening or an emergency. Minor injuries, large cuts in need of stitches, and high fevers are just a few examples of the types of injuries and illnesses that can be treated at urgent care medical centers. It is estimated that three million Americans visit an urgent care facility every week.
Urgent care centers provide a faster and more practical alternative to hospital emergency rooms for non emergent cases. Urgent care facilities are open longer hours than most doctors offices, you can even find urgent care open on Sundays, and urgent care patients can usually be seen by a doctor right away without an appointment. That is usually not the case in a physicians office.
Studies have shown that around one out of every five people who go to a hospital emergency room could be treated at an urgent care centers, which would potentially save 4.4 billion dollars in health care costs each year. Nearly half of the adult patients who went to emergency rooms (48 percent) did not need to be hospitalized and had gone to the ER for health care because their regular doctors offices were closed. Urgent care provides a great alternative for those who need medical assistance right away, but are not emergent.
Visiting an urgent care center is usually quick and convenient. Patients can call to make an appointment for that same day, or simply walk in. It is common to find urgent care open on Sundays and for long hours during the week. Some urgent care centers also have prescription dispensing onsite, to make the visit even more convenient.
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