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Why More Parents Are Choosing Pediatric Urgent Care Over The Emergency Room

March 16, 2016
pediatric care

There is never a good time to get sick or injured, but when an emergency occurs during your doctor’s off hours, where do you go? There are approximately 110 million visits to the emergency room every year. A 2010 study discovered that around one in five of these ER visits could have been treated at an urgent care center, which would have potentially saved $4.4 billion in health care costs that year. When a situation occurs in which you need immediate care, your first thought may be to visit the emergency room. However, the reality is that many of your ailments can be addressed at an urgent care walk in clinic.

A typical emergency room visit costs around $1,500. Treatment at an urgent care facility, on the other hand, costs an average of only $150 or less. Patients are also taken care of a lot faster than those who wait at the ER. A survey shows that over half of all urgent care patients wait 15 minutes or less to see a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant, and 80% of all visits are completed in under an hour.

Parents should know that most emergencies related to pediatric care can be treated quicker and at a lower cost at a pediatric urgent care facility than at the hospital emergency room. The medical practitioners in pediatric care specialize in treating children. Common reasons for a child to be taken to urgent care include:

  • High fever
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Asthma attacks
  • Ear infections
  • Pink eye
  • Strep throat
  • Corneal abrasions
  • Allergic reactions
  • Broken bones

The conditions listed above may sound as if they can only be treated at the hospital, but the fact of the matter is that urgent care clinics are equally equipped to handle these emergency situations. Why wait for hours in the crowded ER when you can see an equally qualified doctor almost immediately at a much lower cost and receive the same quality care? In the U.s. alone, there exist 6,800 urgent care facilities. Your town, city, or county may have several, as opposed to the one hospital emergency room available within a reasonable distance. When you have an emergency, you need help fast, and oftentimes the hospital just isn’t fast enough.