If you have ever visited a busy hospital emergency room, unless you were seriously injured or gravely ill, chances are you probably had a lengthy wait. Since emergency room staffs always prioritize those patients with the pressing needs, long wait times are nobody’s fault, because there are only so many emergency room personnel to treat everyone.
Although millions of people never think twice about heading to the nearest hospital emergency room when they need to find immediate medical care, those with minor injuries and illnesses are better off seeking treatment at one of their local urgent care facilities. In fact, an estimated 20% of all emergency room patients could be treated competently at an urgent care center.
Patients who choose urgent care treatment over emergency room care not only free up hospital emergency room personnel to focus on patients with the most serious injuries and illnesses, the also save themselves considerable time. Unlike the typical emergency room experience, the average urgent care patient is treated and released within one hour. In fact, data gathered by the Urgent Care Association of American shows that nearly 70% of urgent care patients wait less than 20 minutes for treatment.
In addition to shorter wait times, another significant advantage of urgent medical care facilities is their affordability. As most people know, you can expect to pay at least $500 dollars per emergency room visit, regardless of the type of treatment one receives. On the other hand, most urgent cares charge about half the cost of the average hospital emergency room.
Given the affordability of urgent medical care, they are an excellent choice for individuals and families that do not have health care coverage. However, urgent cares are a fine emergency medical care option for anyone who prefers not to spend hours waiting for treatment in a hospital emergency room.