Finding the Right Healthcare Option Can Help You Safe Both Money and Time


Emergency room vs. urgent care

There was a time when a sports injury on the weekend meant that you would need to spend most of the day in the hospital emergency room. Without access to a family physician’s or pediatrician’s office on Saturday or Sunday, many parents used to spend hours waiting in an ER room with a teenage athlete to see if an injury was a sprain or a break. Today, however, those long waits are no longer necessary. In fact, with easy and convenient access to a convenient care walk in clinic, patients rarely have to wait more than 15 minutes to see a qualified physician. The fact that as many as 80% of these clinics can provide fracture diagnosis and care means that patients do not have to wait until Monday to find out what kind of injury they are dealing with.

One difference between emergency room and urgent care visits is the cost. The latest research indicates that more than 70% of ER visits involving patients with consumer-sponsored insurance coverage are actually for preventable or non-emergency conditions. The fact that there are still too many people relying on a hospital emergency room for routine care of minor illnesses and injuries is an indicator that there is still a lot of work to be done in educating patients about the healthcare choices. The decision to get the necessary care in a setting that is more affordable can help the nation as a while limit the expenses that they incur.

Both adult and pediatric care needs can be met in a convenient care setting and these effective treatments are far more affordable and take less time. And while there are definitely times when an emergency room is necessary, these more expensive visits should not be the default, especially when you are dealing with a minor illness or injury.

The reason that a visit to a hospital emergency room can take so long is that these locations see the most serious of all injuries. It only make sense then that these more serious conditions are treated first. This means that the less serious cases like minor illnesses and injuries are not treated right away. In a walk in clinic setting, however, 92% of urgent care centers maintained wait times of 30 minutes or less in the year 2015, according to the Urgent Care Association of America’s 2016 Benchmarking Report.

Your weekend time is too valuable to waste it in a hospital emergency room when you could be getting the care that you need in a more convenient walk in clinic setting. The next time you or someone in your family has a minor illness or injury make sure that you select the most affordable and convenient care.

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