Every year between 5 and 20% of the American population comes down with the flu, which often times causes complications, causing the need to be seen by a doctor. Many people can end up going to the emergency room when they are sick with the flu, which can be quite an expensive medical visit. It costs an average of $1500 for one trip to the ER. If you go to an urgent care facility instead though, it will only about $150. You can see why more people are choosing to go to an urgent care facility instead when they do not have a life threatening medical condition.
Urgent care centers are set up to treat people who cannot wait to see their own primary care doctor on the same day, but who are not in need of going to the ER. Of course, a life threatening medical condition, such as a heart attack, stroke, car accident, or gunshot round warrants a trip to the emergency room at the nearest hospital. The whole reason urgent care came into being is to ease the caseload in hospital emergency rooms, which can get jammed up by people going in for simple things like the flu.
After going to an urgent care center, the patient should follow up by seeing their primary care physician during normal office hours. One of the main reasons for the proliferation of urgent care centers all across American today is the fact that primary care physicians are experiencing increased caseloads. This increased demand on doctors leads to patients having difficulties getting a timely appointment. Sometimes patients have to wait for weeks to get in to see their regular primary care doctor, and when they do get in to see their doctor the doctor has very little time to spend on the office visit with each patient. A better alternative if you have an urgent medical problem is to go to a local urgent care facility. Nowadays, one can find a 24 hour urgent care facility in any city in the United States.
If you live in the state of Washington you can use any number of urgent care facilities. The best suggestion is to use the internet to look up the closest urgent care facility to where you live. Just use the search term ‘Washington urgent care‘ and then type in the name of your city or zipcode. A list of all of the available urgent cares will come up for you. There is no need to make an appointment. Urgent care facilities take patients on a walk in basis.