If you’ve ever experienced debilitating back discomfort over a long weekend, or experienced extreme nausea at an inopportune time, you know how valuable the prospect of urgent care centers can be. After all, seeing your primary care physician (PCP) may require waiting for several days for an appointment time.
Both interest and demand in urgent care clinics has blossomed in recent years. The number of urgent care centers across the country has grown from 6,946 in 2015 to 8,285 as of June 2018 – almost a 20 percent increase.
Additionally, urgent care clinics are responsible for 89 million patient visits each year. That equals almost 30 percent of all primary care visits.
How Does Urgent Care Work?
Much of the rapid success of urgent care clinics can be attributed to their ability to meet public demand. Founded on a “walk-in” culture with extended hours (and in some cases 24/7 availability), urgent care clinics offer an alternative to inflexible primary care offices. They cater to people who work during normal hours or can’t take time off, and to those who get injured during non-office hours.
Plus, urgent care centers tend to have shorter wait times than hospital emergency rooms. It can be awful to wait for hours in a crowded emergency room when the triage team has deemed your emergency to be less severe than others who are waiting – and so you must wait longer.
Oftentimes, urgent care centers offer their medical services at greatly reduced costs and have transparent pricing. Emergency rooms generally charge “a la carte” for each service provided, and the prices aren’t transparent.
According to poll conducted by NPR (National Public Radio), most people who said that they have indeed visited an urgent care center did so because they believed it was more convenient, and took less time, than seeing their regular physician.
Should I Replace My Doctor with This Clinic?
Still, with all of the convenience and benefits offered by urgent care centers, they should not take the place of primary care physicians. Your PCP plays an important role in your long-term health.
These special medical centers should instead be considered a supplemental and complementary service to a PCP. In addition to being familiar with your full medical history, your primary doctor can be more helpful in assisting you with managing chronic conditions.
Urgent care specialists do, however, offer an array of on-site solutions to medical needs – from treating animal bites to helping you ward off that winter cold. Emergency rooms are reportedly overused for non-emergency patients; for those who don’t have a PCP, needs such as a prescription refill or treatment for the flu are better left in the hands of urgent care. That way, the ER can focus on those who have a truly traumatic health issue.
In fact, one study found that 75 percent of people who left the emergency room without a hospital stay could have been adequately helped by an urgent care specialist.
Urgent Care Clinic in Fairless Hills
Patient Care Now Urgent Care in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, offers advanced treatments such as care for lacerations and fractures, and the administration of IV fluids. In the past, services such as these were only easily available in a hospital emergency room.
Not limited to accidents, Patient Care Now also provides services such as flu shots, blood work, drug testing, and urinalysis in the comfort of their office. Unlike many other urgent care centers, which only staff nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, their office always has a physician on duty.
If prompt and expert medical attention is what you seek, look no further than Patient Care Now Urgent Care. For more information, call us at (267) 202-6433. You can also complete our online check-in form here to save time once you arrive. We look forward to helping you feel better quickly.