Here in the United States, urgent care centers have spread all throughout the country. As a matter of fact, there are now more than 7,000 urgent care locations found in the United States alone, at least according to data that was gathered in the year of 2016 (and showing a number that has only likely increased in the time that has passed since). Over the course of just one typical week, up to three million people will visit one urgent care clinic or another and will be served by one of the 20,000 doctors that works in such walk in clinics.
But why, exactly, have walk in urgent care centers become so prominent in the world as we know it? For one thing, they provide a viable alternative to emergency room care. Utilizing the local emergency room for less than emergent medical conditions is certainly not ideal, thanks to the fact that wait times are long (an average of one hour, but often stretching far past this time marker) and costs are high. Doctors in the emergency room are also often overworked and stretched too thing, meaning that they are not able to give their less emergent patients the care that they need. And as up to 65% of all emergency room cases could have instead been treated at any given walk in urgent care center, it is clear to see that walk-in clinics play a very important role indeed – and one that is only growing in prominence with the passage of time.
Of course, the array of conditions that can be treated in a walk-in medical care clinic is vast. In fact, urgent care treatment is quite all encompassing indeed, at least when it comes to non emergency medical care. A multicare urgent care center, for instance, can provide some forms of preventative health care. Providing a flu shot is easy to do, and many an urgent care center will offer the option to get one at their center right before flu season rolls around. And as up to one fifth of the entire population of this country can be infected by the flu during a particularly bad season (and no less than 5% in even the most mild of flu seasons), this is very important indeed. For while many people think of the flu as no more serious than the common cold (of which there will be around one billion cases per year), this is not the case. The flu can all too easily lead to much more serious complications and can even fell otherwise young and healthy adults.
In addition to this, injury care is often also offered at many an urgent care center. For instance, ankle sprains are commonly seen, thanks to the fact that up to 25,000 of them will occur over the course of just one single day. In some cases, the sprain will contain a fracture as well. Fortunately, this is an injury that can also be treated at a local urgent care center, thanks to the fact that around 80% of all walk in clinics can now provide some form of minor fracture treatment and diagnosis. Ultimately, this is just another way in which urgent care clinics have become just as valuable as emergency rooms in many a community.
And the convenience of the urgent care center is certainly not something to be dismissed. Fortunately, more than 80% of all urgent care clinics provide care each and every day of the week. In addition to this, it is not uncommon for a walk-in medical clinic to actually offer care around the clock. While this might be the case in your area and neighborhood, it is still more likely than not that your local urgent care center offers more extended hours than the typical doctor’s office will, making it the ideal place to go when a medical issues pops up in those hours that your regular doctor’s office is closed.
Ultimately, we cannot step away from the fact that urgent care centers and walk in clinics have grown more and more necessary for communities with each passing year.