A lot have changed since doctors were associated with little black bags and routinely did house calls. Not that house calls are not done anymore – there are still doctors who make house calls, but it will cost you an arm and a leg as a minimum. The convenience of having the doctor come to see you has gone beyond the reach of most people.
Nowadays you seldom hear people talk about going to see the doctor; when they want to get medical treatment, they say they want to go to the hospital. And for some time hospitals took over the role of providing primary medical care. Hospitals have the doctors, the facilities and the equipment to deal with medical emergencies. Then people realized that not every medical care requirement is an emergency. But if a patient goes to a hospital for treatment, he would most likely get outpatient treatment through the emergency room.
People who get medical treatment through emergency rooms pay what is known as emergency room fee, on top of all other charges for medicine and treatment. And because people routinely went to get treatment at emergency rooms, these soon became clogged. That meant paying for emergency treatment without getting the urgency that emergency treatment is supposed to have.
Then clinics like urgent care Birmingham AL began to sprout. These medical clinics had the ability to provide urgent medical care to people whose conditions are not life-threatening. This new type of medical clinic did not charge emergency room fees, and were surprisingly not as clogged as hospital emergency rooms. In urgent care Birmingham AL people found a medical care facility that provided faster service at more affordable rates.
Instead of having an all-specialist staff, many urgent care clinics maintain family physicians and general practitioners who are able to provide service to a wider range of patients with relatively minor ailments. Patients are only asked to see specialists when needed, providing further cost savings. Soon these urgent care facilities set up organizations like the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine to improve the level of professionalism and service among its member institutions and physicians, and they have largely succeeded. The continued rise in popularity of urgent care centers is a testament to that.
Now there are many high-quality urgent care centers like Quick Care Family Medicine (www.qcfam.net). These modern urgent care centers function almost as upgraded versions of doctors on house visit. They have more space, facilities and equipment – they just don’t come to the patients’ homes. The only facilities with greater capabilities are hospitals with their own emergency rooms, full range of specialized diagnostic equipment, and laboratories. Interestingly, quite a few of the most progressive urgent care centers provide most diagnostic and laboratory capabilities in-house. No wonder people who have gone to urgent care centers for treatment sometimes say they’ve been to the hospital – there’s hardly any difference except in terms of cost and speed of service.
The truth is that unless faced with a life-threatening emergency, you’d be better off going to an urgent care facility than a hospital; its more convenient and much more affordable.