When you have a pressing medical concern, you need the right kind of help right away. Which urgent care center should you use? Here are five practical tips to help you make that important choice.
From the front desk staff to the nurse who triages your medical concern to the doctor who evaluates and treats you, a professional team with excellent credentials is a must. Check the urgent care center website to learn who heads the team, and if he or she is board-certified in emergency medicine or another specialty, such as internal medicine or family practice. If possible, stop into the center to get a feel for the atmosphere and how welcoming and prompt the front desk staff is. First impressions really do yield good information about how you will be treated in your time of need.
If you use public transportation, be sure the center is located near the bus stop or train station. If you drive, ask about convenient or free parking located adjacent to the building. If you have mobility needs, be sure the urgent care center is handicapped-accessible.
Additionally, check the hours of operation. You want to be sure it’s open on the weekend and in the evenings to serve you when your primary care physician is not available for sudden, unexpected medical needs.
Finally, select a practice in your own neighborhood, if possible, that is committed to serving the needs of all people in the area.
The best care is found at a facility that serves pediatric, adult, and orthopedic needs – from strep throat to the care of sprains, asthma, and diabetes stabilization. Look for on-site labs and diagnostic imaging, as well as services that include physical examinations, immunizations, drug testing, and employee services.
Find out if the urgent care center accepts your health insurance, whether it’s Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance. If you are self-pay, the center should be open and transparent about fees for services.
Find out if you can walk in, use online check in or call ahead to inform the staff when you are arriving. Ask what the average wait time is – both for getting checked in and for triage and treatment.
Also, many of today’s medical practices offer telehealth visits for simpler, but important, health issues. Ask if this service is available at the urgent care center and how patients may access it.
Our team, headed by family practice physician, Dr. D. Luke Kehres, proudly delivers compassionate, quality medical care to patients of all ages. We would feel privileged to be your urgent care center whenever you need us.