Patients require more education to assist them determine whether to access care in urgent care services centers or the emergency department (ED), in accordance to a survey by New York City-based urgent care provider CityMD.
Urgent care services centers have come to the forefront in recent years as viable alternatives to emergency departments (EDs) for few healthcare episodes.
In accordance to the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine, urgent care centers are “a easy option when a regular physician of someone is on vacation or unable to give a timely appointment. Or, when sickness strikes outside of regular office hours, urgent care offers an alternative to waiting for hours in a hospital Emergency Room.”
Urgent care centers can give x-rays, treat wounds requiring stitches or medical glue, screen for certain sicknesses, among other ambulatory services. Reports demonstrate that urgent care centers can assist decrease the healthcare costs and reduce patient volume in the emergency department.
CityMD surveyed 2,000 adult sufferers and inquired whether a patient should seek treatment in the urgent care center or ED for numerous example health scenarios. While few scenarios showed that patients understood the differences between the urgent care services, others revealed disparities in patient understanding.
Patients mostly had a difficult time deciding if they should go to the emergency room or urgent care center when presenting with non-life-threatening emergencies treatable urgent care settings.
For instance, just 46% of respondents correctly chose urgent care as the suitable choice for a scenario in which a kid is presenting with 104-degree fever, shivering, and coughing.
Respondents were also split on scenarios in which a kid has a deep chin laceration or an adult has a seemingly endless nosebleed. For both cases, about half of respondents correctly chose urgent care.
Patients appeared knowledgeable as to when they should access urgent care services in other, less urgent situations, mentioning knowledge of at least some of the services urgent care centers offer.
77% of respondents knew to visit urgent care for a limp caused by a possibly broken or sprained ankle. 75% of sufferers knew to visit urgent care when presenting with genital or pelvic pain because of the potential exposure to a sexually transmitted disease or infection.
Overwhelmingly, patients were capable to recognize dire situations in which they need extensive medical attention in the ED.
For instance, 91% of patients correctly selected an emergency department visit when a patient involved a bicycle crash while not wearing helmet lost consciousness. 87% of respondents knew to visit the ED when presenting with heart attack symptoms and another 87% knew to visit the ED when presenting with stroke symptoms.
In accordance to CityMD Chief Medical Officer David Shih, MD, these results indicate that patients require better information about the services offered at urgent care centers. Current assessments prove that urgent care isn’t saving the healthcare industry a meaningful amount of money, primarily because patients are not aware of what to use urgent care for. Equipped with information of urgent care services, Shih says sufferers can make the suitable choice of where to seek care.
“People do not always realize that urgent care centers can give many of the same services as an ER for non-life-and-limb threatening medical conditions, such as stitches and nosebleeds,” Shih stated.
For its part, CityMD has developed the Know Where to Go Guide, a patient-facing educational resource that summarizes the survey findings. Below each sample scenario, Shih elaborates why patients should visit either the urgent care center or emergency department for treatment.
In accordance to Shih, it’ll be significant for patients to understand which facility to visit in times of emergency, particularly given the benefits of urgent care centers.
“Yet, urgent care centers, which are designed to decrease the inappropriate ER utilization, mostly have a much lesser wait time and can be a significant cost alternative to an ER,” Shih explained. “The aim of this guide is to assist Americans to make better informed decisions when a medical situation arises.”
Other healthcare experts should also consider disseminating patient education materials about urgent care. In doing so, sufferers can make better healthcare decisions critical to getting not only the right kind of care, but to decreasing their healthcare costs.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Aetna Announces The Completion of $1 Billion Bond Public Offering
Aetna Declares A Brighter Experience For Entire Members of Aetna Dental Team
Urgent care chain utilizes patient feedback to empower performance
Patrick Conway is quitting CMS to supervise BCBS North Carolina
Copyright© 2015 Healthcare insurance News All Right Reserved