Each week about 3 million patients pay a visit to an urgent health care center in the United States. That trend represents a move away from having to sit for hours, potentially, in an emergency room versus using an urgent care facility.
In a 2010 Rand Corporation study, they found that nearly 1 in 5 hospital ER visits could be treated at a 24 hour urgent care clinic. That would shift to using the immediate care clinics represents a 4.4 billion dollar savings potential. The walk in doctors office or urgent care clinic also represents a more efficient use of time. Typically when you visit the urgent health care clinic, you are seen far quicker than a typical ER or doctors office since they are treating more minor and common issues.
Visits to emergency rooms are now numbering around 110 million annually, but you can avoid that by using immediate medical care clinics for all, but the more serious types of medical emergencies. When you are unable to get into to see your primary doctor, you can usually be seen relatively quickly at urgent care centers. For example, broken bones may be painful and serious, but that is usually something that can be taken care of at an urgent health care center instead of spending more time at the emergency room.
Broken bones actually make up about 6.8 million doctor visits every year in the U.S. That can account for serious cost and time savings depending where you seek care. For those under 75 years of age, the most common fracture is in the wrist. For the over 75 crowd, the most common fracture is the hip. While debilitating, these fractures and broken bones frequently do not require extensive facilities to treat.
When you or your family members experience minor medical issues, you can use an urgent care facility instead of waiting for your doctors office to fit you in, or instead of visiting the emergency room. References.