Traditionally, healthcare services have always been separated through various categories that encompass different areas of medical care. The primary differences are typically between 24-hour emergency care and 24-hour urgent care that sections itself through limitations and convenience that’s associated with each type of medical service. But that’s starting to change with the introduction of urgent care locations that implement all-in-one medical care with the same affordable care.
What’s The Difference Between Urgent Care Clinics And Emergency Care?
Urgent care medical services are staffed with various medical practitioners at any given time, from nurse practitioners or physician’s assistants, depending on the urgent care locations, rules and regulations vary by state or region. Urgent care benefits those who have hectic schedules. Research showed in 2016, 27% of U.S patients reported they visited an urgent care center in the last two years, and urgent care is also much more cost-effective, with more than 70% of ER patient’s insurance being used for non-emergency or preventable conditions. Urgent care clinics are typically open evenings and weekends to provide timely primary and medical care that treats injury and illness that would usually be performed in a medical office, such as colds and flu treatment, sprained ankles, itchy eyes, sore throats, stomach pains and minor injuries and illnesses that might require stitching. Overall, urgent care is specific in the type of healthcare services it can provide.
Emergency services offer more extensive healthcare services than the basics covered by walk-in urgent care locations. Emergency services are equipped and trained to deal with more severe injuries and illnesses, because of the variety of situation they see on an hourly basis. The type of medical treatment provided at the ER is typically more detailed because their healthcare services are comprised of board-certified physicians that are knowledgeable in all medical situations from severe health problems to difficulty breathing and lacerations. An estimated 3 million patients visit urgent care locations, reporting an estimate of 80% of ankle sprains and 69% with lower-back pains. ER healthcare services also provide more immediate treatment to patients and offer advanced diagnostic and laboratory services, unlike urgent care that only covers the basics. The emergency room allows patients to stay for observation overnight and 24/7 access to doctors varying in medical disciplines for any level of medical issue.
What’s Hybrid Healthcare Services?
There is a new form of healthcare emerging that combines emergency medical and urgent services together to provide effective treatment and convenient care without having to compromise the other. Hybrid medical centers allow for patients to be seen for an extensive range of injuries and illnesses while removing the wait from the ER and getting patients the required treatment to properly heal. According to the Urgent Care Association of America, their 2016 Benchmarking Report documented 92% of urgent care centers maintained waiting times of 30 minutes, and under during 2015, a hybrid healthcare service combined the positives of the emergency room with urgent care to create an ideal medical service that benefits everyone.