You may need immediate care if you suffer abdominal pain, dislocations, sore throat, fractures, or allergic reactions. An urgent care center is your best bet to get quick relief from the pain or symptoms.
Unlike emergency centers, there are many urgent centers across the United States, which makes them accessible. Moreover, urgent care has other benefits like affordability, no need for appointments, and extended working hours.
Although urgent care is an excellent alternative, it has several shortcomings, including unexpectedly long wait times. To that end, it’s essential to choose an urgent care facility that values patient experience.
What Causes Long Wait Times in Urgent Care Centres
The time it takes to diagnose a patient contributes to long wait times in urgent care centers. A physician must first rule out all life-threatening conditions through physical examinations. Then, the patient is sent to undergo further tests that include X-rays, biopsy, CT scan, blood tests, or electrocardiogram.
An urgent care center that’s poorly equipped to conduct the tests means more time and delays before a patient leaves the facility.
You can expect long wait times when too many patients simultaneously book a doctor. Since each patient’s case is unique, the doctor will likely fall behind schedule. The doctor will have to spend more time with the patients, causing long delays in the queue.
What’s more, an overscheduled physician is likely to offer less quality service because they worry more about the workload than the patient.
Most urgent care centers schedule their physicians to be available during the day and on weekdays. However, there’s a mismatch between their availability and the patients requiring immediate care.
You’ll find more patients on weekends, at night, or in the evenings. Some patients also visit care centers in their free time, e.g. lunchtime. In peak periods, the front-end staff has to handle more check-ins, insurance verification, and scheduling.
In addition, the available physicians must see many patients, some of whom require more care, explaining the long wait time.
A disaster finds everyone unaware, especially on a large scale. The local urgent care centers could become overwhelmed if there are multiple car crashes, mass shootings, or a flu outbreak.
During disasters, injured victims turn to local facilities, including urgent care centers. Unfortunately, the sudden demand can overstretch physicians and facilities, explaining the long wait times.
Availability of Specialists
While general consultants are available throughout the week, it’s not the case with medical specialists. If a patient cannot see a gynecologist, cardiologist, or neurologist on demand, it can result in long queues and extended wait times once the specialist becomes available.
Speak to a Compassionate Physician From Newport Urgent Care
While wait times depend on factors like the availability of physicians or peak times, an urgent care facility should plan ahead. In response, the facility should deploy enough physicians and scheduling systems to avoid disappointing its patients.
At Newport Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine, we work diligently to minimize delays and enhance the patient experience.
Contact us online or call us at 949.752.6300 to speak to our team.