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All Posts Tagged: urgent care

What are the Benefits of Urgent Care for Patients?

Urgent care and local walk-in clinics are much more than a last resort for patients that can’t see their doctor. In fact, urgent care physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants can provide high-quality medical services for patients.

In addition, an urgent care center offers various other benefits and advantages outside of traditional medical facilities. But many patients may not know this off the top of their heads and instead opt to wait for their primary care provider or the emergency room for medical services.

So what should patients know about the benefits of urgent care?

Urgent Care is usually less expensive than other medical facilities

The great news about using urgent care is that patients will only pay a fraction of the cost of another type of medical provider.

On average, an urgent care center will provide services such as x-rays and sore throat treatment almost 80 percent less than an emergency room, per an analysis on healthcare spending from debt.org. A major benefit of using urgent care for sudden medical needs is that patients won’t have to worry about the significant cost of an ER for treatment.

Patients that may not be able to afford emergency room treatment should always consider urgent care as a viable option whenever they need it.

Urgent Care wait times are much shorter than the ER or your doctor’s office

Patients that want care at their doctor’s office will usually have to schedule an appointment to get treatment. With urgent care, you’ll only have to wait a few minutes in order to get your medical needs addressed.

Urgent care centers and their respective walk-in clinics allow patients to get treatment on the same day without the need for an appointment. Additionally, patients will only have to wait a few minutes to get seen, complete treatment, and pay for services.

Any patient that wants to visit an ER may seriously need to consider using urgent care because ER wait times can be extensive. Unless a patient is experiencing a full-blown medical emergency, the wait for an ER visit can be up to a couple of hours!

FirstCall Urgent Care provides a fast and affordable urgent care option for patients in Laurel, MD

So now that you can see the benefits of urgent care you’ll need to find a local walk-in clinic that can address your immediate healthcare needs. Any patient located in Laurel, MD should try FirstCall Urgent Care to get a variety of healthcare services.

Call us at 410-730-3399 for more information or visit us directly at 10981 Johns Hopkins Road for a variety of medical services including:

  • STD testing
  • Injury treatment
  • X-rays
  • Flu shots
  • Lab testing
  • DOT physicals
  • School & Camp physicals
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The differences between urgent care, retail centers, and primary care

Many patients may confuse urgent care centers, retail clinics, and primary care offices because of their similar names/services.

However, it is important to understand that these types of medical providers have varying degrees of comprehensive care, clinical capabilities, and other ways to provide care to patients. So what are the main differences between each

Retail Clinics

Retail clinics provide walk-in services for patients are located inside of  large stores, like supermarkets and department retailers. Instead of physicians, retail clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners (NPs) or physician assistants (PAs), and are intended to be affordable and efficient.

Different location operators provide different services, but generally, retail clinics provide care for common illnesses and injuries, including a sore throat, cold and flu symptoms, allergies, minor cuts, burns, rashes and headaches. Some retail clinics may also perform immunizations, annual physicals and health screenings. The operating hours for retail clinics vary, but are generally open from 8 a.m to 8 p.m during the week. 

Primary Care

Primary care offices are staffed by family physicians and provide a variety of services intended to support continuous care. Primary care physicians establish a relationship with their patients, manage their health, provide patient education and counseling, and promote wellness improvements. 

Primary care providers, or PCPs, are responsible for offering preventative services that can keep illness at bay. A primary care office performs vaccinations, physicals, check-ups, screenings and blood work, and help with the management of diseases such as diabetes and asthma. PCPs provide specialty referrals if they identify any outstanding healthcare risks or concerns. Usually PCPs are open during regular business hours without the flexibility of urgent care centers. 

Make sure to meet a new potential PCP and evaluate if they are a good fit for you or your family.

Urgent Care

Urgent care centers are a bit more advanced in clinical capabilities when compared to retail clinics, based on the staff and equipment available at an urgent care center. Most urgent care centers have at least one board-certified doctor in-house to treat patients during business hours. 

Most urgent care centers are equipped with x-ray imaging services that help evaluate and manage injuries like broken bones,  Whereas emergency rooms typically have long wait times, the average wait time at an urgent care center is 15 minutes or less, based on the most recent statistics on urgent care use. 

Ultimately, you’ll likely need at least two of these providers in order to have ideal healthcare access. For most patients, a PCP as well as a trusted urgent care center can help deliver the best possible healthcare outcomes.

 

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