An emergency room packed with people sporting colds and nosebleeds is almost laughable. Still, a great deal of people are abusing one of our most valuable emergency resources because it is convenient. The well being of our loved ones is at stake. Emergency rooms need to be available for accident victims, and others who truly need them.
The “Convenience” of Emergency Rooms is a Fallacy
What is most troubling is that emergency rooms are not convenient. People are flocking to emergency rooms with sinus infections, wholeheartedly believing that, if traditional doctor offices are closed, it is the only place to go. That is far from the truth.
There are 8,000 freestanding urgent care centers in the United States alone, and urgent care hours are more flexible than ever. Hours have been expanded to include late nights, weekends, and holidays, and some centers even offer 24 hr urgent care. Stubborn ER patrons may insist that emergency rooms are faster, and thereby more convenient, but that is also not true. Emergency rooms today are so crowded, people are waiting hours for care. What may be the final straw for people who do not belong at the emergency room, however, brings me to my next point.
People in the Emergency Room are Paying More for the Same Treatment
Urgent care facilities, including after hours urgent care, treat sprains, strains, and fractures, colds and upper respiratory problems, food poisoning, digestive problems, lacerations, and more. And they do it for less than the emergency room. Seeking treatment at an urgent care center will cut your bill in half, sometimes even more. In fact, The Rand Corportation released a study in 2010 proving that one out of five emergency room patients could have been treated by local urgent care. And these patients would have saved up to 4.4 billion dollars on medical bills!
Urgent care centers are everywhere. Even though urgent care facilities bring in 14 billion dollars per year in the United States, the stark truth of the matter is that many people are still going to the ER when they do not belong there. Free up emergency rooms. Going to urgent care hours can save time and money, even lives. Learn more.