Every year over 89 million people visit urgent care centers to treat some form of illness or injury, and those numbers continue to climb. While many people think of urgent care as a last resort for an urgent illness or injury, statistics show that the majority of urgent care visits are for less serious issues that could easily be addressed in a traditional office environment with the patient’s primary care physician.
Unfortunately many PCP offices that operate under traditional fee-for-service or insurance based healthcare delivery models find themselves oversaturated with patients, and the result is that patients may have to wait several days for a sick visit appointment slot to open up at their doctor’s office before being treated. For those who need immediate relief from uncomfortable symptoms, their options are to wait or turn to urgent care.
Today we’re walking you through the 5 most common injuries and illnesses that result in urgent care visits, and showing how a membership with a Direct Primary Care office like ours can help patients avoid costly and unnecessary trips to urgent care by offering comprehensive and quickly accessible treatment!
Common Cold and Influenza
A longstanding commonality among urgent care centers, respiratory diseases contribute to a huge percentage of urgent care visits every year. A common cold might not seem like something that merits an urgent care visit (or costly urgent care copay) – and it probably doesn’t – but if you’ve ever had a serious cold or a bout of the flu then you’ll know that the symptoms, although oftentimes not life threatening, can hugely impact your ability to sleep, eat, and go about your daily life.
Many patients don’t want to wait 3 or 4 days until an appointment opens up at their doctor’s office to finally start getting some relief from their symptoms, so instead they head to the closest urgent care and risk exposure to other sick patients in order to get the same-day treatment they need.
Many of us, especially those with allergies and asthma, have trouble with recurring bronchitis. This inflammation of the lungs’ main airways can be either acute or chronic, but usually requires some sort of anti-inflammatory intervention to heal. Bronchitis can usually be diagnosed with a quick, in-office visit, and a prescription may be provided if the practitioner deems it necessary. At Optimum Direct Care, we know exactly what to look for so that you can be in and out as quickly as possible, avoiding exposure to other viral pathogens at the large clinics.
Urinary Tract Infections are quite possibly the most uncomfortable infections to deal with, but they’re also incredibly common. If you’ve ever dealt with a UTI in the past then you’ll know how important it is to seek medical attention quickly so that the infection doesn’t travel to your kidneys – and so you can actually pee without experiencing that excruciating pain! At ODC we can quickly get you tested for a UTI and prescribed the antibiotics necessary to get you back on track, all within your same-day or next-day visit. You’ll even receive the antibiotics for free as a perk of your ODC membership!
Common infections like pink eye and Staph are some of the main reasons for urgent care visits every year, and in the pediatric sector ear infections are also a big culprit! Anyone with children knows how nice it is to be able to see a doctor the moment symptoms strike. In addition to making your kids super crabby ear infections are extremely uncomfortable and can actually damage the inner ear, so swift treatment from a medical professional is a must!
Sprains and Strains
While slightly less common, many people visit urgent care for sprains and strains each year. Sprains and strains are more common during the warmer months, likely due to increased physical activity outdoors when the weather is nice, but contribute to urgent care visits year round. While a sprain or strain is something some doctors may not be able to treat in-office, at Optimum Direct Care we can quickly splint and wrap sprains, strains, and even minor fractures so that you don’t have to wait indefinitely at an urgent care center.
How DPC Is Changing Things
From common cold to mild sprains, the reality is that many of the conditions patients visit urgent care centers for are mild issues that could be easily treated in-house (and oftentimes with no extra charge thanks to your membership benefits) by a DPC physician like Dr. Muzzi!
At Optimum Direct Care our patients always have access to same-day or next-day appointments, so you never have to worry about waiting to be treated by our doctors. Patients can be treated here in our office, or they can set up a telehealth appointment if they don’t want to risk further contaminating themselves or the people around them! Additionally, all office visits are included within the cost of your DPC membership – so whether you have one sick visit a year or 10 sick visits, you won’t pay any additional copays out of pocket when you visit our practice.
By choosing ODC for your primary health needs you eliminate the need for an urgent care appointment and everything that comes with it, including high copays and long wait times. A membership to ODC is so much more than a family doctor that you can trust and rely on; we also can care for your sick kids, coughs, and sprains in a timely manner. There’s no need for waiting hours in an office, surrounded by sick people, just to be seen and referred to a doctor for tests. Switch to a provider you can trust – with both the big things and the little things.