Fall break. Big plans.
The build up to the kids having three days off school in the middle of October has everyone in the house looking forward to a five day weekend. The bags are packed for the weekend in the mountains. You have planned for the warm temperatures that are predicted for the afternoons, as well as the cooler temperatures predicted for the evenings and early mornings. With shoes for hiking and games for evenings by the fire, your entire family is looking forward to the break. A break from work. A break from classes. A break from the hectic schedules that keep everyone running from one activity to another when you are at home.
And even though you cannot wait for the fun to begin, you are making your family do one thing first. As the first day when all of your are available, you are starting your day with a stop by a local health clinic for flu vaccinations. You have always made sure that your family members received their flu vaccinations in the past, but you have never been organized enough to get them all at once. In the past, your husband got his flu vaccination at work, and you and the kids got them at school or at the closest pharmacy. The flexible schedule of the neighborhood urgent care clinic, however, makes this year’s decision easy.
Urgent Care Health Clinics Provide Convenient Hours
The decision as to where to get the health care you need often comes down to timing. While it is sometimes possible to schedule some appointments ahead of time, in reality, many of life’s healthcare needs happen without warning. A sprained wrist. An unexpected fever. An unexplained stomach problem. Health clinics across the country are open many hours beyond the traditional office hours of a primary care physician.
In fact, two of every three urgent care centers open before 9:00 am during the week. Additionally, 45.7% of them are also open by 9:00 am on Saturdays; 31.1% of them open by 9:00 am on Sundays. Not only do they open early, many of these health clinics also stay open late into the evening. In fact, the majority, 90.6% of centers remain open until 7:00 pm or later on weeknights. Two out of five stay open until 9:00 pm or later.
Urgent Care Health Clinics Provide a Variety of Services
Did you know that as many as 70% of urgent care centers can provide intravenous fluids (IV) when they are needed? In fact, many health care clinics can provide more services than a primary care physician’s office. In addition to IV fluids, 80% also provide x-rays, casting, and other fracture care services. Staffed with nurses, doctor’s and physician’s assistants, health care clinics are often able to see many more patients than a primary care provider. Often attached, or nearby a hospital, these clinics also have on-call staff members who can be called in when needed.
Following a visit, many of these health care clinics also provide convenient prescription options. For instance, approximately 40% of the urgent care centers in America use electronic prescription ordering systems. Their additional use of the latest technology extends to sophisticated computerized systems that can be used for viewing lab and imaging results, collecting patient demographics, billing, condition and procedure coding, as well as clinical notes that can be forwarded to other interested staff like a patient’s primary care doctor.
Urgent Care Health Clinics Provide Affordable Services
Health care expenses in America continue to increase. In the often frustrating world of health care, many providers and patients alike are looking for ways to make the process more efficient. In many ways, the health care clinic model meets the need for affordable care.
For example, many clinics post prices for standard procedures on websites or in lobbies. The price of a flu vaccination, for instance, is not difficult to determine. The prices are listed, and patients either pay that price or have fees waived if the shot is covered by insurance.
Unfortunately, many Americans who do not have health care insurance coverage go to a hospital emergency room for the care that they need. Health clinic visits, however, are a far more affordable approach to the health care needs of most American families.
Fall break. Big plans.