• The Benefits of Visiting an Urgent Care Center Over an ER

    on Sep 28th, 2017

In the past, a patient suffering from a sickness or injury after normal business hours only had one option if they felt they were in need of immediate medical attention: a trip to the local hospital to be seen at the emergency room. However, thanks to the convenience of urgent care centers like ours, individuals now have other options. There are a number of benefits to visiting an urgent care center instead of an emergency room, so if you find yourself sick or hurt with a minor ailment, a quick trip to an urgent care center is probably your best option.

Save Time

An emergency room is named as such for a reason: emergencies are treated there. If you're heading to the ER with a minor injury, however painful it may be, you're going to take a back seat to a patient with a potentially life-threatening ailment. That fact alone can cause the wait time at an ER to drag on, especially if there's a high patient volume when you check in. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average time spent at the ER between wait time and treatment time is around two hours.

Urgent care centers like ours, on the other hand, usually see patients within 15 minutes of arrival, if not immediately. It is always our goal to see you as soon as possible. If you need prompt, same-day care, simply call ahead to schedule an appointment. By scheduling an appointment, you eliminate the need to wait to be seen at the ER.

Some of the most common medical problems that can be effectively treated at urgent care centers include allergies, infections, minor burns and cuts, rashes, fevers, flu, and even things like broken fingers and toes. There's no need to waste time at an ER when you can receive quality care at a local urgent care facility.

Save Money

In addition to saving time by choosing an urgent care center over an ER, you will also likely save money. The cost of medical treatment will vary based on the issue at hand and the severity of the issue, but in general, urgent care centers are considerably cheaper than emergency rooms. Non life-threatening injuries can be dealt with just as effectively at an urgent-care center for a fraction of the cost of an ER trip. According to the Medica Choice Network, a simple ailment like an upper respiratory infection can cost almost $500 to address at the ER, but only around $100 through an urgent care center. Of course, it's important to remember that these numbers are averages taken from thousands of submitted claims, and your individual price tag will vary based on your particular insurance plan and injury, but the overall trend is crystal clear: urgent-care centers are significantly cheaper than a trip to the emergency room.

If that's the case, why do patients continue to visit the ER for non-severe ailments? Some people just don't know that there are alternatives to the emergency room when primary offices are closed. A simple injury like a jammed finger can cost upwards of $1,500 to treat at an ER, but less than $200 at an urgent care center. It's a lesson that many patients have been learning the hard way.

In addition, the co-pay for an urgent care center visit will be lower than the co-pay for an ER visit on many insurance plans. Check with your insurance company to verify rates, but most patients have found that it's more cost-effective to visit an urgent care.

More Laid Back

A trip to the emergency room can be a daunting experience. The hustle and bustle of a busy hospital, combined with the potential for the ER to be treating a number of patients with severe, life-threatening injuries doesn't make it a very fun place to be – particularly for children, who often find an ER trip to be quite scary. While heading to an urgent care center with a sickness or injury is no walk in the park, the experience is more calm and laid back than at an ER. Our staff goes above and beyond to make patients feel comfortable and at-ease, and it's our goal to see our patients as soon as possible, with little to no wait.

More Convenient

With five convenient locations in the Portland area, chances are it's easier to take a short drive to one of our urgent care centers than it is to take a potentially lengthy trek to an emergency room. There's no need to visit a hospital when you can schedule an appointment or simply walk in at one our locations. Contact us today to find the location closest to you, or to learn more about our services.  

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