There are hundreds of millions of people living in the United States today. With the amount of strain that those people have the capacity to levy upon emergency rooms, a different and more flexible solution was needed. In the 1970s, immediate medical care centers, or 24 hour urgent care facilities, were created as a means to lighten the work load of emergency rooms by treating the less life threatening illnesses. Here are a few facts about the history of urgent medical care in the United States.
1. One of the main drivers for the growth of the urgent care industry is the increasing caseload of primary care physicians. Not only can it be difficult for patients to make an appointment, it can be even harder to make an emergency appointment. One of the benefits of flexible urgent care hours is that they are open and available to help when a doctors office is closed and the problem is not serious enough for a visit to an emergency room.
2. The typical emergency room visit costs a patient an average of 1,500 dollars and usually takes at least a couple of hours to complete the visit. Treatment at an urgent care center on the other hand costs, on average, under 150 dollars and usually takes under an hour to complete.
3. On average, between five and 20 percent of Americans come down with the flu every year. This depends largely on the strain that is prevalent during the year, and the availability of a vaccine that works specifically for that strain. While most people do not need to visit after hours urgent care when they come down with the flu, they are open and available for at risk patients and those with a particularly severe case.
4. Every year, Americans living in the United States get approximately one billion colds. Though the common cold is generally associated with the winter months, people come down with a cold year round and occasionally have a severe enough reaction to need immediate medical care. Urgent care centers are one of the best resources for these situations.
5. Did you know that most common fracture in people under the age of 75 is a wrist fracture? Once a person passes the 75 benchmark, the hip is the most commonly fractured bone.
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