Urgent care facilities have been a fixture in the health care system of the United States for decades. Here are five facts about the services that they offer.
1. There is 14 billion dollars in annual revenue to be found in 24 hr urgent care centers in the United States. These centers cover anything from anonymous Std testing sites to immediate care that is not quite serious enough to take up space in the emergency room.
2. According to a survey conducted by The Urgent Care Association of America, 57 percent of patients wait 15 minutes or less to be seen, and about 80 percent of all visits are 60 minutes or less. This is significantly less time then the majority of emergency room visits take.
3. Since there are so many people living in the United States these days, emergency rooms are often filled past capacity. Urgent care facilities were created to take away some of the burden of dealing with slightly less serious problems. Some of the conditions most often treated at urgent care centers include: sprains, strains, and fractures, upper respiratory illnesses, gastrointestinal conditions like food poisoning, lacerations, anonymous STD testing, and concussions.
4. Studies have shown that an estimated three million patients visit an urgent care center each week in the United States. These are people who either need help when the office for their normal doctor is closed, or people who have problems that are not really urgent enough to clog up emergency rooms with.
5. Since the advent of urgent care centers a few decades ago, emergency room visits have gone down slightly due to the decrease in need. In fact, emergency room visits now number approximately 110 million annually in the United States. Helpful links.
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