Why Walk-In Urgent Care Clinics.

For many patients, Urgent Care and Walk-in clinics are the main place to go for care — especially on weekends or evenings when their primary-care physicians don’t have office hours. Only 29% of primary care doctors have after-hours coverage. Urgent Care centers are a boon for patients in other ways. The wait time to see a provider is typically half an hour or less, compared to a multi-hour wait time in many Emergency Departments. And patients can often see a doctor, as opposed to a nurse practitioner if they go to a retail clinic. Moreover, Urgent Care centers offer imaging and other services not found in retail outlets. Employers, insurers and other payers also benefit from urgent-care centers, which charge only a fraction of what an ED visit would cost. And employees can get back to work sooner instead of spending half the day in the ED.

The extended hours and immediate availability of care at Urgent Care centers provides convenience for patients. As the specialty of Urgent Care Medicine grows, the public is learning that Urgent Care is a better choice over the emergency room for their immediate, non-life-threatening healthcare needs. From the AAUCM.