The urgent care movement began in the United States in the 1970s. In the beginning, there were not very many facilities, but the amount of them has grown exponentially around the globe in the past 40 years. Here are a few facts about the history and purpose of the urgent care in the United States.
1. Less than a third of primary care physicians who are currently practicing in the United States have any form of after hours coverage. This means that people who need help from a doctor, but are not in need of emergency care help have little to turn to besides urgent care 24 hours facilities. Urgent care facilities are available to cover this discrepancy.
2. Urgent care 24 hours centers originally were designed to provide convenient care for those who were not able to afford a visit to the emergency room and are not suffering for an illness or injury that would necessitate a trip to the emergency room. Urgent care in the current climate is also intended for illnesses that would be best taken care of by a doctor but concentrate on the evaluation and treatment of acutely arising conditions, for a wide range of patients, but are increasingly providing lab services, x rays and routine physicals.
3. The thousands of urgent care locations across the country are intended to ease the burden on emergency rooms by treating non life threatening injuries and illnesses. More often than not, the patient will be instructed to follow up with his or her primary care physician. The real point is to be available for minor emergencies when a general practitioner is unavailable.
4. The Urgent Care Association of America was responsible for the first fellowship training program in urgent care medicine which took place in 2006.
Hopefully this has given you some interesting food for thought and you now know more than you did before about the history and uses of urgent care in the United States. Research more like this.