The way medicine is being practiced in the United States today is changing for the better. Emergency services and family medicine are quickly becoming more closely linked, providing a wide array of health services in cooperation instead of having to be an either/or decision made by the patient.
For years, many of us have been faced with the decision about whether an injury or illness required the local urgent care clinic or the emergency room. Now, there is a change being made in many areas of the country. That change is one where a hybrid model of family urgent care and emergency room services are coming together under one roof. The choice is no longer necessary, and that is a beautiful thing. Here are three reasons this model is gaining so much popularity.
1.) Treatment options
The prospect of having to choose between ER and urgent care services has mainly had to do with the type of illness or injury one is dealing with. Severe injuries and illnesses have been reserved for the ER and urgent care has been for the less severe cases. The decision has always centered around how severe something was. The severity dictated which location should be chosen.
With a hybrid model where the ER and urgent care are under one roof, you know you won’t be turned away for having made the wrong choice. There are always treatment options, no matter what your condition is. Urgent care clinics will typically have seven exam/treatment rooms. If you need different treatment options, you can simply go down the hall to the emergency facility.
2.) There is only one stop to make
If you believe your injury or illness is severe enough to go to the emergency room and find out that it is not, having the urgent care facility right there is incredibly convenient. The same goes for the other way around. Rather than driving all over town to go from one place to the other, you have the convenience of knowing you will get the proper treatment when you one facility that has ER and urgent care combined.
3.) You will be saving money and time
When an injury or an illness is sudden or has become severe enough that it looks to us like it would warrant a trip to the emergency room, chances are you will be treated, even if you could have gone to an urgent care clinic. The problem will not be felt in the treatment results but in your pocketbook. Urgent care services cost a great deal less than emergency services.
In addition to saving money, you will also be saving time. In 2014, nearly all urgent care centers were operating seven days a week and 99% of them were open at least four hours per day. Many facilities have even more hours than that, depending on where you live.
Approximately 60% of all urgent care clinics will be able to have a physician see you in 15 minutes or less. Almost two-thirds have a physician on site at all times.
The choice between ER and urgent care services has not only gotten much easier, it is almost nonexistent. Why choose when you can have both?