Urgent care centers offer treatment of illnesses at short notice during regular business hours. According to the Urgent Care Association of America as well as the Academy of Urgent Care Medicine, the criteria for accreditation for such a medical center must meet the following characteristics.
1. Urgent care centers must be able to take walk-in patients during regular business hours. Their potential patients must be able to drop in during illnesses and emergencies as well as be able to make appointments. Also, an efficient urgent care center should be able to get their patients in and out of treatment with minimal waiting times.
2. Urgent care centers must be able to treat a wide variety of injuries and illnesses and be able to perform certain minor procedures. The doctor and staff need to have a broad base of knowledge and experience to meet their varying patient’s needs.
3. Urgent care centers must have a licensed physician overseeing the clinic as a director.
4. An urgent care must be open seven days per week.
5. Urgent care centers need to have X-ray and phlebotomy equipment to diagnose on site. Their equipment needs to be cutting edge, state-of-the-art technology to give their patients the highest quality in services and diagnosis.
6. This type of care center must have more than one examination room to be ready to serve patients quickly and efficiently.
7. An urgent care clinic must have proper business and ethical standards.
8. A care clinic must be able to do such procedures as stitches, putting a cast on, and do minor surgeries under local anesthetic.
9. An immediate care clinic such as urgent care must have the ability to communicate with a local hospital in case a patient needs to be transferred there. Being connected to a more extensive health network allows this fast care facility to access records to get the best diagnosis and care possible.
These centers also need to be able to accept a wide variety of forms of insurance to serve their customers better. One of the essential characteristics of an excellent urgent care facility is that it be easily accessible and in a convenient location to serve their customers.
When Should I Go to Urgent Care?
When do I go to urgent care near me? Sometimes people don’t know whether to go to an urgent care center or the emergency room, especially in the case of a sudden illness or accident when your doctor’s office is closed. Here are some useful suggestions that can help you decide whether to go to urgent care or the hospital ER.
Urgent care facilities were designed to stand in the gap if you become ill or are injured but you can’t go to your regular doctor. This fact is especially true if you feel you shouldn’t wait for a regular appointment with your family doctor. If you would feel comfortable seeing your regular doctor with your health problem but can’t get in, an urgent care may be the right place for you to be. But in the case of a life or death illness such as a possible stroke, heart attack or severe injury, you should go to the hospital.
Urgent care is not for emergencies. Some of the symptoms that are best treated in an urgent care setting are:
• Fever with no rash.
• Abdominal pain.
• Wheezing and shortness of breath.
• Smaller cuts that might need stitches.
• Possible urinary tract infections.
Preparing to Go to Urgent Care
Once you have decided to go to a nearby urgent care facility, you should round up a list of the current medications, how often you take them, and amounts you take in case your urgent care physician needs to write you a prescription for your current health problem. You should also have a list of medical and other allergies available for proper medication prescribing. One last list you will need is a list of surgeries or recent medical procedures you have had done, as well as the physicians who provided you with treatment.
The next time you need to be seen right away by a health care provider and can’t get into your doctor, consider using a nearby urgent care center. They have the staff and equipment to help you. With this knowledge, you will be able to help your urgent care medical staff provide you with the best treatment experience possible during your visit.