Now that the new year is upon us, so is the cold and flu season. It is as predictable as snow on the mountain that when a child becomes ill or all of a sudden seems much worse, it is either a weekend or a week when the doctor’s office is closed for the holidays. Of course, this problem is not limited tot he week between Christmas and New Years. Sometimes a doctor has already gone home for the day or has no appointment times available for the rest of the day, and the nagging question is whether waiting is prudent. When fevers spike high, ankles get twisted, fingers get slammed in doors, or when the crying just won’t stop, people are opting to use urgent care facilities rather than waiting for the doctor’s office to open or rushing to the Emergency Room. For the past three decades, urgent care centers have responded to the need for cost-effective, accessible medical care. They are the preferred location by most insurance companies for their clients to visit for non-emergency treatment. Yet, many people are still unclear as to what specific niche those buildings that have “Urgent Care” in big letters fill for their medical needs.
Dr. Randal Troyer is the medical director of Troyer Urgent Care, Inc., a privately owned urgent care center with clinics in Lake Havasu City and Flagstaff. He explains the place for urgent care in the medical community: “Urgent care is more effective in treatment and cost for non-emergency situations. The wait time in our urgent cares is a fraction of the wait time in an ER. The average minor injury cost at the ER is usually double or triple what an urgent care center visit would cost. The average co-pay is generally more costly as well. A patient should always use the emergency room for true emergencies such as chest pain, stroke, severe trauma, severe bleeding or loss of consciousness.”
Urgent care centers provide non-emergency medical care on a walk-in basis, and usually have hours that extend beyond those of traditional primary care providers. These facilities generally accept patients of all ages and treat a broad range of illnesses and injuries. They have the ability to perform minor procedures, and most have diagnostic services such as some lab tests and x-ray available on-site. So this holiday season and beyond, when the timing for your family’s illnesses or injuries are not convenient to your doctor’s schedule, remember the option of urgent care. FBN
Written by Alicen Troyer
Troyer Urgent Care, Inc., 1000 N Humphreys St. Ste 104Flagstaff, AZ 86001