Hundreds of millions of Americans use Emergency Rooms every year, often for simple injuries and illnesses. If these Americans knew about urgent cares then many of these unnecessary visits could have been prevented, clearing up hospitals and saving each patient hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Why Should You Use Urgent Care?
There are two main reasons you should use urgent care over the emergency room when there is not a medical emergency.
Emergency Room visits are not cheap. According to a 2013 National Institute of Health Study the median cost of a visit is $1,233 but some other estimates put it closer to $2,000.
Urgent care visits are far more affordable. A visit to urgent care ranges from $50 to $200 on average, varying slightly based on insurance and the type of treatment. Outside of life threatening situations urgent care is always the more inexpensive option.
Urgent care visits are also quicker and rarely last much longer than an hour. Often they can even be less than 30 minutes. Since emergency rooms focus on treating critical patients first the average time of a visit is around 2 hours. The wait for an emergency room can be quite long if your need is not immediate.
When Should You Visit The Emergency Room?
Why would you ever visit the emergency room if urgent care is so much faster and more affordable?
While urgent care is indeed the best option in many circumstances, in a dedicated emergency an Emergency Room will still be the superior option as they are fully equipped to handle dire injuries and illnesses.
If you have received injuries that are potentially life threatening or have symptoms that could indicate a potentially life threatening disease, you should always visit the Emergency Room and call 911 if necessary.
Symptoms That May Require An Emergency Room Visit
While it is impossible to account for every situation and illness, here are some symptoms that might require a visit to the ER:
*Intense chest pain
*Severe abdominal pain
*Wheezing, shortness of breath, or any other difficulty breathing
*High fevers or rash, particularly in children
*Vaginal bleeding with pregnancy
*Severe injuries to the head or eyes
When Should You Use Urgent Care?
Urgent cares arose as a way for patients to receive treatment outside of the normal hours of their doctor’s office without visiting the emergency room. Therefore, any issue that your primary care doctor could address can probably be dealt with by an urgent care as well. If your issue is not life threatening then urgent care is normally the best and most affordable option.
Symptoms That Can Be Addressed By Urgent Care
Cases where you might want to use urgent care include:
*Fevers (without a rash) and the symptoms of flu or cold
*Minor injuries such as a common sprain or shallow cut
What Should You Do?
In the case of life threatening emergencies the emergency room is where you should go. However, urgent care is a quicker, cheaper, and just as effective solution in almost all other circumstances.
At Docs Urgent Care we pride ourselves on our ability to offer the treatment and services that you need at an affordable price. If you want to know more call us at (203) 617-0319.