You may remember the days when all urgent care needs were provided by hospitals. So, for example, let’s say you fell over and had a suspected twisted ankle – you would have gone to the Emergency Room at your local hospital. However, in the last 10 years or so, we have seen the emergence of an alternative: walk-in urgent care centers, such as RiteCare Urgent Care Medical Center in Hialeah.
But what are they exactly? How do they differ from Emergency Rooms? And when should you go to an urgent care center instead of a hospital? This article aims to answer all of those questions. So read on for answers!
What are urgent care centers?
The best way to describe urgent care centers is to talk about the services they provide. They provide non-life threatening medical care. In order to do this effectively, many of them also provide diagnostic services, such as X-rays and blood tests, in order to evaluate patients’ conditions and injuries. Some of them even provide primary care. For example, RiteCare Urgent Care Medical Center in Hialeah provides all of the above, plus also Occupational Medicine, primary care, the treatment of work related injuries, and Physical Therapy in Hialeah.
How are urgent care centers different from Emergency Rooms?
There are three main differences between urgent care centers and hospitals. First, urgent cares specialize in the treatment of non-life threatening medical conditions. For all life threatening medical conditions it’s still best to call 911 or to go to your nearest hospital.
The second difference is waiting time. In Emergency Rooms they triage the patients, so that those with the most life threatening injuries are treated first. In other words, if you have a non-life threatening injury, then you are likely to spend several hours in the waiting room. By contrast, walk-in urgent care centers, like RiteCare’s Medical Center in Hialeah, have relatively short waiting times and can often see patients within 30 minutes.
The third difference is cost. Treatment at hospitals is notoriously expensive. By contrast, urgent care centers usually provide more affordable treatment. Plus nowadays most of them accept most major insurances. For example, here is a list of the insurances RiteCare accepts, and here are the work comp insurances.
When should you go to an urgent care center instead of a hospital?
Ultimately, the decision is up to you, however you may want to consider the above factors when making the decision. For all life threatening medical conditions, 911 or the hospital is still your best option. But for non-life threatening medical conditions, urgent care centers are a great option. Let’s take our original case of a suspected ankle sprain as an example.
An ankle sprain would be triaged at an emergency room as non life threatening, so the wait time may be quite extensive. In this case, an urgent care center may be your best option, as you are likely to get seen quicker. Furthermore, an urgent care center such as RiteCare has an onsite X-ray to diagnose if it is a just a sprain or a break. And you know what the cherry on the cake is? Your bill. Not only are you usually treated faster, but your bill is likely to be much less than from a hospital.
RiteCare Urgent Care Medical Center in Hialeah – More Information
RiteCare Medical Center opened its doors to care for our community on November 12, 2005 under the direction of Dr. Joukar. The center was founded on the following core principles: to provide optimal patient care by ensuring all patients receive reliable, personal, excellent healthcare that is cost effective, to create and maintain a great working environment, and to continuously evaluate and improve every aspect of our practice to ensure that we excel in both patient care and employee satisfaction.
Read more about RiteCare’s Urgent Care Medical Center in Hialeah or Schedule an Appointment.
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