Urgent Care Facilities are Changing the Way in Which Health Care is Done
When urgent care centers first found their way onto the health care scene in the 1970s, they were met with little fanfare and limited success. They were the perfect example of an innovation that might have been too ahead of its time. The current success of urgent care facilities, or walk in clinics, has been covered ad nauseam recently, but for good reason: urgent care facilities are changing the health care landscape as we know it.
One 2010 study by the Rand Corporation found that approximately one out of every five visits to hospital emergency rooms could be treated at urgent care facilities. By freeing up time and space, estimates suggest that this could result in $4.4 billion in annual health care savings.
The cost, speed, convenience, and availability of these locations have been the primary pull in an age of always on the go citizens. This goes hand-in-hand with the level of care and professionalism urgent care facilities now offer too.
However, as with any successful industry, the limits need to be constantly pushed in order to maintain and improve status. That’s why we’re always excited when we hear about improvements and innovations in the urgent care field, even if they don’t necessarily come from AFC/Doctors Express. One of the most recent examples is currently taking off in Orlando, FL.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, a unique type of urgent care facility is currently thriving in the Miami-Dade County area: specialized orthopedic urgent care. Dr. Alejandro Badia opened the first OrthoNOW in 2010, and in 2014, he turned it into a full-blown franchise. Today, specialty urgent care facilities are thriving by capitalizing on a sort of niche within a niche.
“Our mission is to change the way expert orthopedic health care is delivered. It’s a simple mission. Like Uber. It’s a simple concept,” Badia said.
Overall, there are more than 6,800 urgent care centers in the U.S. that treat an estimated 3 million patients every week. As the industry continues to grow and improve, it will be interesting to see how many other specialty/unique urgent care facilities will open their doors.