What To Look For While Choosing An Urgent Care Center


Urgent care centers are an indispensable part of the health care system that provides outpatient care to patients with minor medical conditions. They differ from primary care units or family physicians in the sense that patients do not need an appointment before receiving care. Some centers may offer appointment scheduling as an additional service for patients, but all urgent care centers offer medical care on a walk-in basis. In addition, they offer extended hours beyond just the normal 9 to 5 business day meaning they are open later and usually on weekends as well. Urgent care centers are increasingly appealing to more people as a means of avoiding waiting for care in emergency departments or for an appointment at the doctor’s office.

Facts About Urgent Care Centers

Generally speaking, urgent care centers are independent from hospitals. While Emergency Rooms located within hospitals are equipped to treat major, life-threatening circumstances such as strokes and heart attacks, urgent care centers provide medical care for minor emergencies and acute illnesses, such as sprains, fractures and upper respiratory infections. As a general rule, patients can expect to receive medical treatment for significantly less than the cost of an equivalent trip to the ER. Therefore, urgent care centers are considered to provide a cost-effective alternative. In fact, many insurance companies urge members to use urgent care centers rather than ERs at times when their doctors’ offices are closed. Urgent care centers also serve as a filter to free ERs from being overburdened with non-emergent patients, thereby allowing the required focus and attention to be paid to patients who are in life or death situations.

With over 8,000 centers serving the nation, the concept of urgent care has seen significant growth since it first appeared in the mid-seventies. While first conceptualized and started by emergency physicians, urgent care centers today boast of physicians of various specialties, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners and medical assistants. An associated called the Urgent Care Association of America (UCAOA) has even been formed and has developed norms and operational standards for urgent care centers across the country. This has helped set a nationally uniform industry standard of healthcare for urgent care practitioners, ensuring quality levels of care.

But what should you look for in the actual urgent care facilities themselves when choosing where to go for care? Thanks to the UCAOA, standards are in place to make sure patients see quality doctors and receive quality care. Therefore, the actual facilities themselves can make a large difference in a patient’s overall experience. Here are a few factors you should evaluate when choosing an urgent care clinic:

Building accessibility. Clinics that are on street level are easier to access, but if they are on higher floors, they should at least have an elevator big enough to fit stretchers, paramedics and family.

The lobby should be welcoming and equipped with enough entertainment to help pass the wait. Many lobbies offer magazines or TV’s to watch, and some even have children play areas to help occupy younger patients.

Often overlooked, restrooms can be quite important during a visit. Make sure that the clinic has a handicapped restroom available, especially when samples for lab tests may be necessary.

The urgent care center must have adequate equipment and facilities to deal with fires. For urgent care centers located above the first floor, sprinkler systems must be present. Always check to see if the clinic has an evacuation plan posted.

• For safe radiography, it is essential to have the appropriate safeguards to prevent exposure to excessive radiation. This may include special, lead treated walls and lead lined protective coverings for patients.

ER Or Urgent Care Center

It is not very difficult to decide whether the condition that requires the treatment should be dealt with at an ER or an urgent care center. For example, Allergies, Asthma, Bronchitis, Influenza, Minor Injuries, Sinus, Inflammations and Sport injuries are certainly not life threatening, yet that patient will likely be in significant pain if they do not receive immediate attention. On the other hand, emergency rooms are essential for serious, life threatening conditions such as heart attacks, acute respiratory problems, brain injury, and compound fractures or even for victims of severe accidents. In these cases, a patient requires immediate specialized medical attention. Knowing the difference of when to visit an ER and an urgent care clinic will ensure you receive the appropriate level of care, and knowing what features to look for in an urgent care clinic will make sure the visit is be a positive one.

Urgent Care Centers: Providing Quality Healthcare At The Right time


Urgent Care Centers: The Suitable Alternative

A person’s health is of the utmost and primary importance and is one area of life that should never be ignored, nor compromised at any cost. Every person wants to lead a stress-free and disease free life, but unfortunately life is not like that. Health issues often arise without warning for reasons beyond our control and because of this, not everyone is blessed with good health. At some point in time during each of our lives, we have suffered from health issues that likely caused some sort of bodily discomfort or uneasiness. When this happens, we should not ignore our symptoms or avoid receiving urgent care. We only have a single life to live and neglecting our health puts our lives unnecessarily at risk. Even a mere a delay in treatment might cause significant long term issues that can leave a person changed for life. So it becomes essential to think about your health and how it may affect your family as well as your quality of life.

Quick, Reliable & Non-emergency Treatment

A recent report on the state of primary health care in the United States came as a shock to me. The study showed that America is already suffering a shortage of primary care physicians and that the shortage is likely to keep increasing drastically through the end of this decade. Fortunately, the study also mentioned a new trend in health care that has the potential to help solve this issue, and that is the concept of Urgent Care Centers. These centers are a new category of service providers as they are neither primary care centers nor are they full emergency rooms. They qualify as something in-between. Urgent Care Centers provide quick, reliable, non-emergency treatments for non-life threatening medical issues. These can include conditions like swelling in the limbs, cough and cold, flu, infections, minor burn and cuts, and simple fractures. These ailments require attention but do not necessarily require emergency treatment. However, conditions such as strokes, heart attacks, head injuries and severe fractures are the type of issues which are serious enough to require treatment at an emergency room. By focusing on less severe medical issues, urgent care centers are able to provide treatment quickly, which leaves hospitals to play a critical role in saving the lives of those who are seriously injured in an accident or who are suffering from serious ailments.

It’s good to know that these centers offer an alternative for people, whether they are an individual or a family, when it comes to finding care quickly. Urgent care clinics have something different to offer to everyone and one of the factors that make these centers so useful is that they are located throughout the country and have extended operating hours, including nights and weekends. In particular, these centers have proven to be a huge boon for senior citizens and small kids as they are more vulnerable to illnesses and injuries which require proper care and prompt attention. If these patients where to schedule an appointment with their primary care doctor, they would likely have to wait several days for an appointment and then if their doctor is available and is on time, then they might be lucky enough to see their doctor quickly. So for these patients, urgent care centers have evolved as great alternatives since they do not need to schedule an appointment and wait forever in order to consult with a doctor.

Since these centers only provide urgent medical services, rather than emergency services, they operate on a first come, first serve basis. That means patients are seen quickly. And because they have insured health care providers with certified nurse practitioners, physician assistants and board certified doctors, patients don’t need to worry about the quality of their care. These centers are equipped with modern equipment and utilize all modern medical techniques, with some centers even able to carry out minor surgeries. So, if you want to receive affordable non-emergency medical treatment for yourself or your family, look for an urgent care center in your community and be assured that you’ll receive the best health care services and high quality treatment.

Urgent Care Clinics In Arizona


Well informed is well armed.  Never is this more important than when you move into a new city.  In addition to learning new street names and where the grocery store is located, it is important to know where you can find all the major hospitals, as emergencies may occur at any moment or any place.  Health related issues should never be taken lightly, especially when you have little children.  Procrastination when seeking care may cost you dearly as a seemingly minor illness or injury can easily escalate.  As such, it is very important to be aware of the hospitals, and also the local urgent care centers, when planning to settle in a new city.  Life in general is subject to various accidents and diseases, no matter where you live.  It’s usually a matter of “when”, not “if” and when you or a family member gets injured or becomes sick in a new city, that will only add to the stress and anxiety of the situation.  Therefore, you might as well do whatever you can to help increase your peace of mind beforehand and look up the necessary information about the options available to you, including urgent care centers, before you move into a city.

Arizona specifically has long been considered a fantastic vacation location, as well as a great place to live.  There fantastic places to visit, such as spring training baseball, the Grand Canyon, beautiful golf courses, Native American history and so many other things to do.  And if you are looking for places to live, Phoenix can offer just about everything you’re looking for.  Phoenix is the capital and largest city, big enough to be the sixth most populous city in the United States.  Given its size, you have an overwhelming number of options where you can seek care.  Therefore, it’s even more important to know where the Urgent care Centerhospitals and urgent care centers are located, before something happens.  Fortunately, with that many choices, you can also be assured that you will receive quality care as Phoenix has some of the best medical professionals, medical facilities, emergency rooms and urgent care centers in the country.  No matter where you’re at in the city, the urgent medical service your family needs is within easy reach. And this is true all across the state, where there are a number of emergency centers, urgent care and after-hours clinics available.

Nevertheless, when making your list of where to go for care, you should make sure you know when it is appropriate to visit an emergency room or an urgent care center before deciding where to go.  In Arizona, almost all the leading urgent care providers operate during both regular business hours and evenings, including hours on the weekends and holidays.  Since they provide same-day care, they are often the most convenient option available in view of hectic schedules when a primary physician is unavailable.   It is well known that emergency rooms are not the fastest or most cost effective way to receive care for anything other than the most serious of emergencies.  Urgent care centers are often the better choice for when you need quick, but not emergency treatment.  Unlike emergency rooms, you can actually get in to see a doctor within a reasonable time and the staff always seems to be available and eager to serve you.  The doctors are board-certified and the staff is well trained and skilled in order to provide you with the highest standards of treatment.

As briefly mentioned, urgent care centers in Arizona are suitable for minor injuries and diseases like ear infections, high fevers, minor burns, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pains, respiratory problems, or a cold and cough.  These urgent care centers are well equipped to handle these cases with a variety of different services, which can include on-site x-rays, lab services, observation beds, cast room, procedure room, eye care room, pharmacy and many more.  If you count city by city, you will find that there are several hundred urgent care centers or walk-in clinics located across the state of Arizona.  This means that no matter where you live or travel, you will be able to find care quickly.  Especially with big cities such as Phoenix, or Tucson, you will likely find several options within close driving distance, giving you multiple options where you can receive quality care at an excellent facility.