Urgent Care Centers: A Win-Win
Side Note: As we all know, there are many problems with the current health care system. One of those problems is the chronic misuse of emergency rooms around the county. While there are many reasons for this, one is the unfortunate reality that many individuals don’t have a primary care provider or good preventative care. As a result, many individuals use the emergency room often in lieu of proper medical care, as a temporary, quick-fix. Thus, the emergency room sees many patients that it wasn’t intentionally created to see. As a result, emergency departments have become overcrowded. And, it’s not just the physicians and other medical staff taking note of this problem. Patients are also taking note and getting fed up with the high cost of an ER visit and the growing amount of time it takes to see a physician. While there will always be a need for the emergency room to treat the most life-threatening of cases, many less emergent cases are finding their way to a growing breed of health care facilities: urgent care clinics. Urgent care clinics are a hybrid of sorts –kind of a combination between an emergency room visit and a traditional physician’s appointment.
Clearly, patients are starting to self-select and send themselves to more and more urgent care clinics in lieu of the ER. This is taking the burden off of many previously overwhelmed and overburdened emergency departments. So, it seems to be a win-win for everyone. Patients are benefiting because they are getting more efficient and cost-effective care, and emergency rooms are benefitting by slowly re-aligning to their original intended purpose –to serve truly emergent, life-threatening cases. Since 2008, urgent care centers have seen an average growth annually of 4.7%. New York state has seen a whopping 14% growth.
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Convenience cited for growth of urgent care facilities
By BRYON ACKERMAN, Observer-Dispatch
Posted Mar 16, 2011 @ 06:34 PM
Last update Mar 16, 2011 @ 07:01 PM
When 60-year-old Ilion resident Ann Cross was suffering from a possible sinus infection Wednesday, she took advantage of the new urgent care center that the Slocum-Dickson Medical Group opened Monday in Ilion.
The Ilion Walk-In Care Center was the easiest option for her, Cross said, and it made more sense than going to an emergency room, where more pressing medical problems are being addressed.