According to a survey, almost 80% of adults who visited ERs said they did so because of a lack of access to other healthcare facilities.
Primary care providers have limited hours and may take a while to get an appointment. Instead, your nearest urgent care is available for more hours and is usually walk-in friendly. Emergency rooms are also walk-in friendly but may have long wait times.
There are a few differences in the care provided by urgent care facilities and ERs. To learn more about choosing the right place for healthcare, read on.
1. Type of Care
The main difference between your nearest urgent care facility and an ER is the type of care. Sure, ERs can help with many of the injuries or sicknesses that urgent care facilities can, but it will cost more.
ER visits should be saved for life-threatening medical situations or injuries. Head to an ER if you exhibit symptoms such as:
- High fever
- Chest pains
- Broken bones
- Shortness of breath
Visit an urgent care facility if you receive injuries such as sprains, strains, or fractures, or if you are experiencing symptoms like:
- Colds, cough, flu, fever
- Ear infection
2. Costs and Insurance
Choosing the nearest urgent care facility over a primary care office or ER can save you money.
The average cost for an urgent care visit is about $100-$200 per patient. ER visits can sometimes be twice that amount. Of course, the cost of your healthcare also depends on the type of insurance you have.
If the urgent care facility near you is not open, or you exhibit life-threatening symptoms, head to an ER.
3. Ease of Access
Primary care doctors handle the majority of all medical visits that require immediate attention. Primary care facilities are usually not open late or on the weekends. Appointments at primary care offices sometimes can take weeks.
Your nearest urgent care facilities or ERs are widely accessible. As of 2017, there are over 10,000 urgent care locations throughout the United States.
4. Quality of Care
Urgent care facilities are often staffed with multiple doctors or nurse practitioners at once. Since emergency rooms are busy, a patient may only be able to see a nurse. Meaning, the care that is provided at urgent care facilities is of top quality.
On top of the lack of availability, regular primary care physicians may be away on vacation, having a subordinate take their place instead.
For better and faster care, check out urgent care facilities or go to the emergency room as needed.
Reasons to Head to Your Nearest Urgent Care Facility
Your nearest urgent care facilities are quick, cost-effective, and widely available. These locations also provide quality medical care. Emergency rooms are widely available, but may not be as quick and can become costly.
Many urgent care locations take walk-in patients as needed, with no appointment necessary. Same goes for an ER visit, but it may take a while to see a doctor or nurse given how severe your symptoms are.
For more information on urgent care facilities and how we can help you with your healthcare, contact us today!