If you ask any number of Americans to come up with one word to describe healthcare, the last word they will ever think of is “convenience.” Even removing money from the equation, which is a major part of any medical service, there are a lot of things to think about and determine before you see a doctor. Questions float through your mind: is this an emergency? Do I need to be rushed to an emergency room or can it wait until an appointment can be made? Should I go to urgent care to be seen sooner or will that put me at risk of making my condition worse?
Many people are unsure when to seek emergency care. Urgent care centers frequently treat (as the name suggests) urgent but potentially non-life threatening problems, such as chest pain, lacerations, or bone breaks and fractures. In fact, the most common illnesses diagnosed are related to breathing: upper respiratory infection, sinusitis, and bronchitis to name a few. With over 7,300 urgent care centers in the country, access is not the issue — the trick is knowing when to seek assistance.
Then there’s the ever-daunting emergency room. Studies have shown that people consistently overreact to the severity of their health problem, revealing that 44% to 65% of all ER patients could have been treated at a significantly less expensive urgent care centers. Cost is major in today’s current healthcare environment, often forcing people who need help to avoid it in order to save money, especially regarding the confusion of when to seek emergency care and the risk that they could be overspending unnecessarily.
Fortunately, there is a new form of convenient care on the rise: joint ER and urgent care centers which remove the frustration over not knowing which medical service to pursue. You can head over to urgent care to try to reduce costs but, if necessary because your health problem turns out to be life-endangering, the emergency room is within immediate reach. You are guaranteed to be treated on a level which the urgency of your health issue demands — no more “rushing to the hospital” since the farthest you’ll have to go is just to the other side of the building. With the convenience of combined emergency rooms and urgent care facilities, you’ll always know that you made the right choice on when to seek emergency care.