Finding the right type of care plays a significant role in maintaining your health. Urgent care centers offer convenient, immediate walk-in services for most of their patients. The clinics provide quality medical attention for extended hours every day of the year.
Recent studies show that three Americans walk into urgent care clinics every hour. In fact, the Center for Disease Control estimates that 27% of emergency room visits could be quickly resolved at an urgent care facility. Here are five tips to better your experience while you seek treatment in urgent care clinics.
Book Online if Possible
Urgent care centers offer access to medical professionals for patients who require fast medical attention. Most of the facilities operate as walk-in clinics where you don’t need an appointment to see the physician. According to the Urgent Care Association’s 2017 benchmarking Report Summary, 90% of all urgent care centers provided a wait time of fewer than 30 minutes. Compared to the two and a half hours wait time that you typically see in emergency rooms, urgent care is more convenient. Call the center to reserve a specific time slot to help reduce the wait time. Most clinics also offer online check-in services that enable you to input vital information in preparation for your visit. This can streamline your wait time even more.
Come in Prepared
Urgent Care facilities do not maintain medical records for long periods as compared to their primary care counterparts. You may need to come in with necessary medical documentation for faster diagnosis and treatment. Some of these documents include:
- Your current medication list
- Information on recent medical procedures
- Your insurance information
This information will help the doctor to understand your medical history and expedite the treatment process. The medical records can be in electronic or physical form. It is also necessary to carry photo identification for easier patient processing.
Find a Service Tailored to Your Needs
No one ever plans to have an accident or urgent medical event. However, it is vital to prepare yourself by knowing the right level of care to expect from your local urgent care clinic. Familiarize yourself with the type of services they offer and see if they align with your needs. Many urgent care clinics offer X-ray services and more, but this isn’t the case at every urgent care center. Do a little research in your area so you don’t have to travel between centers.
Figure Out Your Payment Options
Before you walk into the medical center, determine how you will pay for the services. A typical trip to an urgent care physician is 40-50% less expensive than a visit to the ER. Additionally, insurance plans may help offset some of the upfront fees required. The Urgent Care Association estimates that 58% of its members accept Medicaid insurance options from their patients. For non-insurers, you may reduce the cost by taking advantage of the on-site pharmacy. The pharmacy usually offers discounted prices for vital medications prescribed by their on-site physicians.
Choose an Accredited Facility
The number of urgent care centers in the US has been on the rise. By 2016, there were over 7,000 clinics distributed all over the nation. The Urgent Care Association of America and the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine set strict standards that their members should observe. The rules ensure that there is no compromise on the quality of care offered within the facilities. The certification requires centers to meet specific criteria such as operating hours, X-ray and lab services, multiple exam rooms, and a licensed doctor to serve as the medical director. Accreditation assures of quality services rendered to the clients walking into their member facilities.
Contact Care Station Medical Today
Urgent care clinics are convenient and cost-effective. Make sure you understand your medical emergency before seeking out the services since these facilities since they are not meant for life/limb-threatening conditions but rather illnesses that require prompt care. When you need help from an urgent care facility, don’t hesitate to reach out to Care Station Medical for more information.