Like most people, you have probably visited a healthcare provider at some point in your life. More often than not, you visit medical facilities for routine check-ups to maintain your health. However, when you become ill or injured, seeking medical attention turns into more of a stressful matter.
This is especially true when you’re experiencing symptoms that vary in seriousness. Take abdominal pain, for example. Many abdominal pain causes are routine enough to be treated at urgent care locations, while others require emergency care. The issue for many patients is knowing whether to go to urgent care or emergency services.
Modern Advancement in Convenient Care
Because healthcare is ever-evolving, providers constantly develop new ideas and implement new technologies to provide more efficient care. In addition to aiming for shorter wait times and more effective practices, the healthcare industry has initiated a convenient way for patients to seek assistance.
Rather than deciding whether your incident requires urgent care or emergency services, you’re able to seek both. The hybrid model combines urgent care locations and emergency care facilities, providing all manner of healthcare services under one roof. These facilities aim to ‘take out the choose’ when medical attention can’t wait.
The Benefits of the Hybrid Model
With a combination of emergency and urgent care services in one location, patients can be seen and treated in urgent care or transferred to emergency care. In the likely case that matters can be managed in urgent care, patients can reduce their wait time and save a good deal of money. This is often so when it comes to patients with consumer-based health insurance. Of their typical emergency room visits, 70% are the result of a non-emergency event or a preventable condition.
In situations that need emergency care, staff can save time moving a patient to another section of the same facility rather than transferring that patient across town. This reduces the risk of congested traffic en route to the hospital and eliminates the need for an ambulance trip.
Expansion in the Medical Field
Because today’s medical staff have a broader spectrum of care than past generations, they can handle a wider array of conditions. While family medicine is an important part of medical practice, today’s doctors and nurses are dedicated to filling roles where they’re needed most, urgent care and emergency services. Many medical school seniors seek areas with higher demand. In 2009, there were fewer medical students moving into family medicine than there were in the previous year.
Because medical professionals are advancing their practice, they’re able to treat more ailments than ever before. As a result, over 95% of patients arriving at urgent care locations are treated on-site rather than being transferred to a hospital. Among urgent care visits, the most common diagnoses in 2015 were acute bronchitis, cough, acute sinusitis, acute pharyngitis, and acute upper respiratory infections. This is opposed to past years where these types of illnesses clogged emergency room waiting areas.
Features of Hybrid Care
With the combination of urgent care and emergency services provided at convenient care centers, solutions for several medical hindrances have been introduced. For example, many patients sought emergency services for non-emergency events in the past because hospitals were often the only help available 24-hours a day. At convenient care locations, 24 hour walk in clinics are open at the same time as emergency care. This availability gives patients a choice to seek non-emergency services at any time of day instead of having to wait until morning.
Parents are among the first to bring sick children to the emergency room. Because it’s often difficult to determine how serious a child’s illness is, parents would rather take precautions as early as possible and visit the emergency room. At convenient care centers, pediatric urgent care locations are under the same roof as emergency services, giving parents the option to seek urgent care first, then transfer to emergency services if necessary.
Convenient care locations give patients the choice to get the help they need without having to determine whether their own ailment is an emergency. Emergency and non-emergency assistance is provided at a single location, which takes many hassles out of the patient’s hands and pairs doctors with patients whose needs are appropriate for their skillset.