When you think of medical care, the first images that pop into your mind are doctors’ offices and emergency rooms. One for non-emergencies, the other for urgent care, these two institutions have been the cornerstones of the health industry since the days of doctor house calls. There is, however, an increasingly popular option that’s working its way into the healthcare spectrum, threatening to shake the tradition of the doctor’s office and the ER. Amongst smart, discerning patients such as yourself, the walk-in clinic is fast taking prominence.
The Evolution of the Walk-In Clinic
In the past, walk-in clinics were relegated to specialty health care and to drug and alcohol treatment. Increasingly over the past decade, walk-in clinics have been established to treat patients across the spectrum of the health field. Urgent care is now offered, as is anything that can be had at a regular doctors office. Travel vaccinations, sports injuries, and other health related needs are administered to walk-in patients. Many chain drug stores, such as Duane Reed in New York, now double as walk-in clinics, meaning there are more of these clinics than emergency rooms, and often closer at hand as well.
If you’ve never been to a modern walk-in clinic, there are five main points you should know that can make your health related future needs much easier.
1. Walk-In clinics are faster – With more clinics per square mile than ever before, patients are spread out amongst clinics in a way they never would be at emergency rooms. You’ll see a doctor much quicker at a walk-in than at the ER.
2. They’re cheaper too – With a walk-in clinic, your insurance will treat the visit as a regular doctor appointment. This will save you at least $15 on the copay with most insurance plans.
3. A variety of treatments – Unlike the specialty clinics of the past, today’s walk-in clinics treat across the medical spectrum. From rashes to sprains and beyond, you’re covered down at the clinic.
4. The care is better – With walk-in clinics, the doctors are much less rushed and pressured than at ERs, leading to better and more personalized care.
5. You don’t need an appointment – Unlike your doctor, you never need an appointment at the walk-in clinic. Just stroll on in and be treated. It really is that easy.
For your next medical need, give your local walk-in clinic a try. Chances are you’ll be a convert to this growing medical trend.