When it comes to after hours medical care there are generally two types of facilities available. There are emergency rooms (ERs) and urgent care centers. Typically, these facilities operate on their own and do not combine into a single center. For Legacy, we are both an Urgent Care and an Emergency Room under one roof, in an effort to make healthcare services more accessible to all! Unfortunately,
the healthcare sector has not followed suit with combining facilities, but keep reading below for some facts regarding the benefits of operating 24 hour urgent care locations with emergency rooms!
Combining ER and Urgent Care Services: Why it Works
1. The urgent care market is broken, but with innovative ideas, it can certainly be fixed!
Typically, people have to choose whether to go to an urgent care center or an emergency room when they are in need of a doctor. This is problematic, because an individual might go to one and actually need the services of another, and are forced to visit two separate centers. Consider the base of the issue, which is that the urgent care center market is highly fragmented. Most of the facility operators of urgent care centers own fewer than three and are unable to obtain a dominant market presence. These issues combined, create difficulties for sick individuals as there is no clear plan for care. Thus, it is imperative that the divisive nature of the industry is addressed as soon as possible.
2. It can be difficult for people to know where they need to go for the right kind of care, so combining ER and urgent care locations better serves the people!
When a person feels that they are very sick, they may seek out an emergency room to take care of them. That said, given that they only feel sick and are not in imminent danger, they would be better taken care of at an urgent care center. The reverse of this is true as well. For example, consider a recent study which shows that while 44% to 65% of all ER episodes could have been treated at urgent care facilities, there are certain times when it’s much better for an individual to seek out medical treatment at the ER. If we were to combine ER and urgent care centers together, not only would it be more convenient care for individuals but emergency centers would be more efficient.
3. Emergency room visits are a major part of the problem, as people continually use emergency healthcare services for non-emergent issues.
When it comes to ER and urgent care visits, individuals tend to visit emergency rooms for nonemergent issues. This is a pressing matter, as it costs individuals and health centers more money than necessary. Consider, that more than 70% of ER visits for patients with consumer-sponsored insurance coverage are for non-emergency issues (and/or preventable conditions). In order to rectify this issue, the combination of ER and urgent care facilities into one location can help people get the exact care they need all in one, convenient location.
If you found these tips helpful, then consider putting your effort into working to combine ER and urgent care facilities. Not only would individuals with health issues be better served, but so would the health care centers who work extremely hard at two separate locations. Consider the key facts above the next time you seek out emergency care services, as the opportunity to have better care is available when facilities are in one, easy location! Specifically, be aware that the innovation of combining facilities has proven successful (just look at Legacy). Second, the combination of services gives people access to better care all around. Lastly, combining urgent care centers can help save people money by getting them the help they need for less of a cost! All in all, be sure to consider the information above to protect not only individuals and health centers but the healthcare sector as a whole!