Since the first walk-in clinic was established by CVS in the form of their MinuteClinics, the concept of retail and walk-in clinics has been wildly accepted.
The outstanding reason for this is that Americans prefer the convenience of walk-in clinics for easily diagnosed ailments and minor injuries. There are a number of reasons that walk-in Birmingham, AL clinics are more convenient than an appointment with your regular family doctor if you have one at all.
For those that are in better-than-average health but experience flu-like symptoms or need superficial stitches, the quick visit, easy-to-find location, and quality care received are all reasons that clinics such as a walk-in Birmingham, AL are so popular.
A whopping 38% of baby boomers say they would go to a walk-in. According to the 2008 Survey of Health Care Consumers by Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, one in six Americans has already visited a walk-in clinic. Numbers are continuously on the rise as CVS is on track to opening 1,500 of their MinuteClinics by 2017.
Typically located in an urban location, walk-in clinics can be found within easy access near amenities such as shopping centers, malls, markets, or downtown streets. This makes it easy for visitors to a walk-in clinic to pop-in while they are out and about, or simply to visit their closest clinic.
Thanks to these easy-to-find locations, people can visit a doctor, complete grocery shopping, and run other errands all in one trip.
2) No appointment
Sometimes sickness hits us without warning, or an accident happens and we’re in desperate need of a quick visit to the doctor. Calling your family physician could mean an appointment in a couple of days from now, too far in advance to acknowledge the potentially urgent, or nagging problem.
Instead of waiting for your problem to disappear while you wait for your appointment, visiting a walk-in could mean discussing and getting an insight into your issue with a doctor in as little as 15 minutes.
3) Short wait times
Emergency rooms and doctor’s offices alike can experience excessive wait times. When Americans spend approximately 37 billion hours each year waiting in line, waiting to see a doctor is the last thing that you want to do.
The timeframe that walk-in clinics aim for patients to be seen by a doctor is 15 minutes. Due to this, 67% of people said they would be more likely to use a walk-in clinic at the first sign of illness as opposed to their primary care physician.
4) Qualified Doctors
Some walk-in clinics in Birmingham, AL are operated by a pharmacy in a retail center. These clinics are often limited in what they offer and are overseen by nurse practitioners who can make the most basic of diagnoses and prescriptions.
Choosing a physician-run clinic ensures that you’re visiting with an actual doctor who is fully qualified to perform tasks required of an urgent care center. As 35% of clinics are operated by physicians, or groups of physicians, the likelihood that your neighborhood walk-in Birmingham, AL is operated by a registered doctor is probable.
Despite the nurse practitioner versus doctor debate, convenient care clinics had a 92.72% compliance rate for appropriate testing, according to a study by the Convenient Care Association. The report also states that due to electronic health rates and convenient service, these types of offices have a high return rate when compared to traditional doctor’s offices.
5) Lack of a family doctor
One of the biggest struggles in the American health care system, especially since the Affordable Care Act, is that people do not have a Primary Care Physician (PCP). The Association of American Medical Colleges reports that there is likely to be a shortage of 90,000 doctors by 2025.
While Boston tops the shortage with a current 66-day wait for an appointment with a family physician, doctors have already begun to struggle with their patient load. Those looking for a family doctor are struggling to find one who will take them on.
This lack of a family doctor means that they don’t have an office to call to make an appointment and that they may be going without visiting a doctor, even when a visit is needed.
Since this shortage is already affecting those searching out a doctor, the convenience of walk-in clinics is looking more appealing. While a walk-in clinic physician may not be your primary care physician, the prevalence of electronic health records makes sharing information with them easier. The convenience of these records means that you’re not without a medical history.
According to the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine, doctors at urgent care walk-in centers are seeing an average of 4.5 patients per hour. This makes them incredibly effective, and also means that your chances of getting in to see a doctor at an urgent care Birmingham, AL clinic are very good.
Since this shortage is already affecting those searching out a doctor, the convenience of walk-in clinics is looking more appealing.
Without the need for an appointment, no waiting lists to see doctors, short wait times, and effective care for those who have better-than-average health are all reasons that the American population is going to continue using walk-in Birmingham, AL clinics. At Quick Care Family Medicine, we’d be happy to see you. Stop in for a quick check and we’ll make sure you’re seen and on your way within 15 minutes.