When your symptoms aren’t quite severe enough to visit the emergency room, but you need to see a doctor quickly or outside their office hours, an urgent care is your best option for affordable, efficient medical care. Often times, however, there are multiple urgent cares in your surrounding neighborhood which can make it very difficult to choose the one who will take care of you best. We’re here to give you advice on the top five things to look for when in need of an urgent care!
1. Find a Reputable Doctor and Nurse Practitioner
Since you do not have a relationship with your urgent care doctor or nurse practitioner like you do your primary care doctor, it is important to do a little bit of research before visiting. Check to see if they are listed on the website, or call the location to ask for their names. Many times reviews of the doctor or nurse practitioner will be listed online, or mentioned in the reviews of particular urgent care. A great doctor or nurse practitioner will be specifically mentioned in reviews for going above and beyond to care for their patients.
2. Clean Facilities
Though this factor may not be the first one you think of when considering an urgent care, it is incredibly important. Lack of cleanliness can lead to the spread of germs and diseases, possibly causing further illness than that of which you came to the urgent care to treat in the first place.
Research online reviews before going to an urgent care and see if past patients mention the level of cleanliness. If you are already at the location, look around the room to determine if it looks unkept. If you see something that looks suspiciously dirty or contaminated, speak up about the issue to see if they will resolve the problem or leave before receiving care if you feel your health is at risk.
3. Reasonable Average Wait Time
The purpose of visiting an urgent care is often times to be seen quickly and efficiently. While some urgent cares may have incredibly short wait times, they may not provide a very high quality of care. Others may have long wait times but provide quality care. An excellent urgent care can provide low wait times, short appointment times, and high quality care. Visit their website to see if they mention short wait times as a priority on their site. Calling ahead to check current wait times or making an appointment online (also a great feature offered by some urgent cares), may help you be seen much quicker for an appointment.
4. In-Network Insurance Coverage
One of the most common reasons an urgent care gets a bad review is due to billing problems. To avoid being charged an unexpected amount, call both the urgent care location and your insurance to make sure it is considered in-network. Your insurance provider will be able to provide a list of in-network urgent cares near you. Some insurances will still cover a visit with an out-of-network doctor, but it will be at an increased out-of-pocket expense.
Quality urgent cares will accept a wide range of insurances and inform you if your visit will not be fully covered, or not covered at all, by insurance. Common reviews of an urgent care will inform you if the billing department is helpful or not, but it is best to avoid issues by talking to your insurance company ahead of time.
5. Friendliness of Staff
While the doctor or nurse practitioner of an urgent care may be excellent, the visit can be ruined as soon as you are greeted by an unfriendly receptionist or staff member. If you feel uncomfortable with any member of the staff, it’s okay to leave or ask to speak to whoever is considered in charge, often times the doctor on duty. An urgent care that wants to take care of you will provide a great experience the whole way through your visit!
While it may seem like a bit of work, finding a quality urgent care near you is essential. You never know what may pop up that requires a quick visit to the doctor. By doing a little research beforehand you can save yourself a ton of stress and headache, as well as receive the medical attention you and your family deserve to feel better, faster. Check to see if an Our Urgent Care is near you, we do our best to provide you with the highest quality care around!