The Benefits of A Walk-In Clinic
- Less Waiting
- Less Costly
- Higher Staff-to-Patient Ratio
- Comfortable, Relaxed Environment
- Open After Most Primary Care Doctors Close
- Flexible Scheduling and Walk-Ins
- Referral Network
- Additional Services Provided
- Provides Education to Patients
Walk-In Clinics Close To Home
Walk-in clinics are continuing to expand their reach in the Houston area. The benefits of having so many facilities available are numerous. Patients would be able to have the option to stop in at a walk-in clinic rather than spend the time waiting in a crowded emergency room. The environment in an emergency room can be less comfortable and you may be more susceptible to catching an illness in a busy emergency room. For example, Next Level Urgent Care is a walk-in urgent care clinic that has added eight branches in addition to the original. This gives people in the area more options for treatment than the numerous emergency rooms in Houston.
Being seen more quickly is one of the advantages of going to an urgent care clinic. The average wait times at an ER can vary drastically due to the fact that emergency rooms are set up to see the sickest people first. If you have a sore throat or a sprained ankle, you won’t be a priority at an emergency room. From check-in to check-out at an emergency room, the average patient will wait close to 1 hour and 20 minutes. Compare that to the average time between check-in and check-out at a walk-in clinic, where most patients are seen within minutes.
You can also have a more cost-effective healthcare visit at an urgent care clinic. The average copay for a walk in clinic is between $25 and $75. An emergency room copay could cost $150 to $500. Also, the treatment costs for various illnesses and injuries at a traditional emergency room vary widely. One nationwide survey found a difference of $70,000 between the lowest and highest treatment costs for a urinary tract infection. Steep charges like this are practically unheard of at your local urgent care clinic.
Better Patient/Staff Ratio
Urgent care clinics typically enjoy a higher staff-to-patient ratio, meaning that doctors and nurses can give you the attention you need and aren’t overworked or distracted. There is comfortable seating and an atmosphere that is closer to a private clinic than a hospital. Next Level Urgent Care has expanded the number of clinics available but they have also included a huge staff expansion. Now, their nine clinics employ almost 100 nurses, clerical staff and medical practitioners.
Many walk-in clinics are available to you after your doctor’s office closes for the day. Primary care physicians often have very limited clinic hours and tend to be closed for weekends and holidays. If you work a full-time job, it can be difficult to get in to see your primary doctor, and even more difficult to get an early appointment for an urgent illness or injury. Urgent care clinics have extended hours and a more flexible schedule than most doctor’s offices.
If you don’t currently have a primary care doctor or need a referral, a walk-in clinic can be very useful. Urgent care facilities often have great referral networks available to find you a primary care physician to meet your needs. Walk-in clinics can also refer you to specialists if your condition requires a more thorough evaluation, testing or treatment. Next Level Urgent Care Clinics have a very large network of providers to draw from. That means patients can find the specialist they need or pick a primary care physician that fits them best.
Walk-in clinics such as Next Level Urgent Care have more ability to spend time with patients than a rushed emergency room staff. Part of that means answering patients’ questions and explaining any diagnosis and treatment. The more important part of patient education for many urgent care clinics is teaching and informing patients when they should seek the care of an emergency room or urgent care facility. This information can be vital to someone with injuries and illnesses that are easy to treat when caught early but can progress quickly. It is also important to get treatment right away in cases where complications could arise if too much time is spent without it.
More Services Than An ER
Some quality walk-in clinics, like Next Level Urgent Care, offer follow-up care and phone calls. You can even have access to nurses for questions on a dedicated line. In many walk-in clinics like Next Level Urgent Care Clinics, you can also rate the care you received with feedback surveys that can help improve the quality of care provided. Most emergency rooms only provide the service of a one-time visit with no follow-up and expensive or limited referrals. They also won’t tend to survey patient happiness with care provided or ask for feedback.
Who Should Use A Walk In Clinic?
- Mild to Moderate Illness or Injury That Can’t Wait For Primary Care Appointment
- Diagnosis and Prescription Needs
- Referral Needs
- Additional Services and Follow-ups Desired
How Walk-In Clinics Are Changing
Technology is drastically changing how patients are cared for in most medical facilities. Walk-in clinics are also using technology to continuously improve patient care. New apps can be used to facilitate check-ins for a faster, easier experience and no more waiting in lines. The app can also allow you to preregister for quicker service. The ability to preregister means you won’t have to sit and answer tons of questions or fumble with your ID and insurance card. You won’t even have to wait for a person to be available if you don’t want to. Pre-registration can be done at your convenience.
Walk-in clinics like Next Level Urgent Care are providing patients with specialized apps to speed up the check-in process. Next Level Urgent Care is also providing patients with a call-ahead care line. This gives you the freedom to schedule an appointment ahead of time if you wish. The call-ahead care line takes the uncertainty out of a walk-in appointment time so you know when you will be seen.