Essential Guidelines For Choosing An Urgent Care Facility
One of the main challenges facing the US healthcare sector is a shortage of primary care physicians. Sometimes, you cannot see your primary care doctor for months due to a lack of available appointment times. Hence, the available medical professionals cannot provide treatment in a fast and convenient manner. For this and other reasons, the urgent care model is rapidly gaining popularity in the United States.
Why Do You Need Urgent Care?
If you have an urgent medical need that requires immediate attention but is not life-threatening, you should go to an urgent care center. The urgent care model allows you to see a physician any time you want, even without an appointment. Also, your health needs are addressed within the shortest time possible.
The main benefits of urgent healthcare include:
- Flexibility- It's good to remember that getting injured or sick doesn't always happen when it's convenient. Sometimes, the two incidences occur at night, while in other times, they happen over the weekends. In such cases, you need a healthcare facility that operates beyond normal business hours.
- Quicker Services- Urgent care centers are associated with shorter wait times. Within 30 minutes or even less, you will have received high-quality treatment.
- You Don't Need an Appointment- Some medical conditions require urgent care. It can be frustrating when you can't see your primary care provider at a time when a health condition can't wait.
- Even More Serious Problems Can be Treated- Don't assume that urgent care centers only treat minor problems, such as the common cold. You can also get first-aid care for emergency conditions before being referred to a specialist.
Choosing an Urgent Care Center
Currently, there are about 9,000 urgent care centers in the United States. Thus, you have a lot of choices. But, it's an uphill task to choose one that matches your health needs and preferences. When choosing an urgent care facility for you and your family, you need to consider the following factors:
- Location- If possible, find a center that is close to your home or workplace.
- Working Hours- You should choose an urgent care facility that opens when it's convenient for you, even at night, weekends, and holidays.
- Payment Methods- If you have health insurance, choose a facility that accepts it. If it doesn't accept insurance, check if it has affordable self-pay options.
- Staffing- Choose an urgent care center with qualified and experienced providers. They should be experienced in family, emergency, or internal medicine.
- Population Served- Always choose a clinic that cares for patients of all ages.
Sometimes, you may have an urgent medical condition, but your primary care provider is unavailable. If the health problem requires immediate attention but isn't necessarily an emergency, you can visit an urgent care center in your neighborhood.