Urgent care clinics can save the day when you or a loved one has an immediate medical need. Their goal is to meet this need in a convenient and timely manner. This makes them a good alternative to the ER (emergency room) for problems that aren’t true emergencies. They are also an option when you can’t get in to see your regular doctor. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your urgent care visit.
💡 Tip 1: Write Down Symptoms
Writing things down helps everyone summarize what is going on and get facts straight. The diagnosis often lies in the history, and if the person bringing the patient in does not know symptoms well, it’s difficult to make a proper diagnosis.
💡 Tip 2: Find an Urgent Care Center
This seems simple enough, but locating the closest urgent care centers now can take the hassle of trying to find one when you need to go. A quick Google search should help you narrow down your choices. But don’t just find one and call it quits.
First, locate the centers closest to your home, your work, and even your kids’ schools. Having multiple options is important. Second, enter the centers’ locations into your cellphone, or keep a list in your wallet, your car, your child’s backpack, and anywhere else that you can think of. Having this info handy is necessary during times of need.
💡 Tip 3: Take Advantage of Online Check-in
The ability to check-in online before you even arrive at a walk-in clinic can help to trim your wait time as well. The Urgent Care Association of America (UCA) reports that the average wait time for a patient who utilizes online check-in is just 16 minutes, compared to 24 minutes for walk-in patients. At the MD1st Urgent Care website, patients can view the current wait time at any location, check-in online to hold a spot in line and receive a text message alerting them when they should head in to receive care.
💡 Tip 4: Make Sure You Have Enough Time for The Visit
Urgent care clinics take people on a first-come, first-served basis. Most of the time, this means your urgent care appointment will take 60 minutes or less. But there may be times when you will need to wait. You can call ahead to check on wait times, but it could change by the time you get there. So, the best advice is to go when you won’t be in a hurry or be anxious if it takes some time. Also, make sure you know the clinic’s hours. They may not be able to see you if you show up too close to closing.
💡 Tip 5: Be Ready to Share Your Medical History
One of the good things about seeing your regular doctor is that he or she has immediate access to the majority of your medical history. While that’s not always necessary in every case, it can be helpful when recommending medications or courses of treatment in a given situation. If you’re able to, bring along a list of any medications you’re taking, current medical conditions, recent procedures, allergies, and contact information for your primary care doctor(s). This will allow the staff to assess your illness or injury with a more complete picture of your medical health and history and provide better care for your needs.
💡 Tip 6: Do Not add Additional Children to The Visit
Many parents bring additional kids to the visit and ask if we can “just take a peek” in their ears.
If you want them to be seen, check them in too. Again, walk-in clinics move quickly and the “quick” peek often takes longer than you’d think because the child is running around the room or fighting the exam.
The quick peek also does not allow for documentation of findings in the medical record, which might be helpful in the future.
💡 Tip 7: Know Your Insurance Policy
Health insurance can be confusing. Really confusing. But knowing what your plan does covers —and doesn’t — means that you have less of a chance to be surprised by an unexpected bill after a visit.
💁 Generally speaking, urgent care clinics provide some of the fastest, most convenient treatment available. These tips can simply make your visit even more productive and ensure your experience is a less stressful one for you. For more information about our healthcare center, please contact us today.