An increasing number of low cost outpatient, urgent care centers are opening across the nation. Urgent care, also called immediate care, can be regarded as an after-hours doctor's office which gives ambulatory health care outside of a healthcare facility's emergency department on a walk-in basis without any scheduled appointment. In contrast to traditional doctor's clinics, immediate care facilities usually have radiology and laboratory facilities and minor trauma rooms. They are often open until 8pm or later and on weekends to treat a variety of conditions.
Advantages of using urgent care facilities
They are more affordable - Urgent care services cost less than emergency departments. Reimbursement by insurers for urgent care establishments is almost the same as general or family practice payments, which is significantly cheaper than the average contribution for emergency department services. Also, while copayment rates vary among insurance policies, immediate care patients typically pay 50 percent lower than what you'll typically co-pay for an emergency room visit.
They're more convenient - According to the Centers for Disease Control, patients wait around 3.2 hours to be attended in an ER department. Newer studies even demonstrate a 4 hour average visit time. By comparison, the usual wait time to be seen at an urgent care facility is under thirty minutes.
They are often more appropriate for some medical cases - Four in ten emergency room visits are for non-urgent or semi-urgent problems. This ends up in the overcrowding of hospital emergency room departments. Urgent care establishments are appropriate for injuries with an acuity higher than what is generally handled in a physician's private clinic but of lower acuity than what is seen in an ER.
Situations when you should visit an emergency room
As mentioned earlier, many patients who were treated in hospital ERs didn't really need the high level of service given by such department and could perhaps have gone somewhere else for treatment and save money and time in the process. Then again, there are cases that should be attended to in an ER. As a rule, you must go to a local hospital's ER when you experience crushing chest pain, extreme pain somewhere else in the body, significant bleeding, trouble breathing, or signs of stroke.
Tips on picking an immediate care facility
It is better to select an urgent care facility even before you will need one. Choose a center that is open every day, 365 days a year. Excellent facilities have physicians and staff who are specifically trained and credentialed to accomplish their work correctly and safely. They also must have comprehensive, on-site laboratory and x-ray capabilities. Also examine reviews from former patients to find out if they have quick and patient-centric service. They should also be recognized by local regulatory bodies.
Urgent care facilities are becoming more and more commonplace. If you want quick and affordable medical care for non-urgent or semi-urgent ailments beyond clinic hours or during weekends, they are the best place to go to.If you are interested to know more about reasons why going to an urgent care center can be better than going to the hospital, and walk-in clinic Vienna VA please click this link.