If your doctor’s office is closed and you’re in need of medical care that likely cannot wait until the next day, you might think that you have to go to the emergency room. But there are a number of different reasons that the typical emergency room location is going to be far from ideal for obtaining medical treatment – unless you are really and truly experiencing a severe or even life threatening medical emergency, such as a suspected stroke, heart attack, or injury of such a nature.
For one thing, the wait times associated with emergency rooms are high all throughout the country. Here in the United States, you can expect an average wait of a full hour in just about any given emergency room. In some cases, wait times will be even much longer than that. Getting treatment for even very minor issues will take a very long time indeed. For more serious cases, care might be obtained in a more expedient way, but is still likely to take a good deal of time before you’re ready to go home and able to be discharged.
And this is far from the only reason that emergency room care is less than ideal. For in addition to everything discussed above, it has been found that emergency room costs are only on the rise, matching the pace of rising healthcare costs elsewhere in the healthcare field. After all, the average ER visit already costs more than $1,000 – and often a great deal more, for that matter. For those who are struggling financially, an emergency room visit can be nothing short of devastating – especially if they do not have medical insurance, as is the unfortunate truth for far too many emergency room patients.
But what, exactly, is the alternative? Fortunately, urgent care clinics and walk in health clinics are becoming more and more popular all throughout the United States. After all, more than three million people attend these walk in health clinics on a weekly basis, and that’s just within the scope and scale of this one country alone. This means that around one quarter of the population will attend at least one urgent care center over the course of two years, a truly impressive number indeed. Already, there are more than 7,000 walk in health clinics and 20,000 doctors and other such medical professionals staffing them, two numbers that are both expected to climb quite significantly in the years that are ahead of us.
After all, the ease and convenience of walk in health clinics is not one to be underestimated. After all, with the knowledge that 85% of all walk in health clinics are open every single day of the week, it’s easy to see htem as the convenient option, at least in direct comparison to emergency rooms seen throughout the country. In addition to this, the total average wait time is only just a mere half of an hour at the very most in more than 90% of all walk in health clinics. Many of these walk in health clinics have even been able to reduce their average wait times down to a mere 15 minutes, something that can actually be observed in up to 60% of all walk in health clinics throughout the United States. Both of these average wait times, however, are still certainly far superior to what you might experience at your local emergency room location.
And on top of this, walk in health clinics often staff top doctors and can deal with a wide array of medical concerns. For instance, more than three quarters of all walk in health clinics (around 80% of them, to be just a bit more exact) are able to treat fractures as well as diagnose them. Stitches and other forms of wound repair can also easily be given out at walk in health clinics found throughout the country. Of course, such clinics and urgent care locations can treat a considerable array of illnesses and infections as well, ranging from urinary tract infections to the flu to even ear infections and the common cold. Even sunburns can be treated in clinics.