One of the main reasons for the rapid growth of the urgent care industry is that primary care physicians have, in the past couple of years, received a hefty caseload and as such they do not have as much time to spend with each patient, as well as scheduling problems and longer wait times.
If you have ever needed urgent medical care, you know that waiting in a line to be taken care of is not something anyone wants to do. At certain doctors offices, you just have to wait sometimes and that can be brutal. However, according to a survey by the Urgent Care Association of America, 57 percent of patients wait 15 minutes or less to be seen, while 80 percent of all visits take 60 minutes or less.
Although urgent care centers are mostly for mild to moderate ailments and illnesses, there are plenty of advanced urgent care centers, which provide lab services, xrays and routine physicals. For some people with limited access to a regular care doctor, this can be a very important service.
Another great thing is after hours urgent care. According to a study by the Center for Disease Control, around half of adults patients who were not sick enough to merit treatment from the emergency room said they only went to the emergency room because their primary doctors office was closed. Fortunately, urgent care hours are far more flexible than a traditional doctors office, and there are even some places that offer urgent care 24 hours a day.
The next time you have something like an ankle sprain or the onset of strep throat, it would be most wise to avoid the emergency room. You could always go to your primary doctor, but are you going to be able to get an appointment? If so, how long are you going to have to wait before you see the doctor? Would it not be much better to just go to an advanced urgent care center? The choice is up to you.