Immediate Care Clinic – No Longer Necessary?
Patients seeking immediate care for medical conditions in San Francisco have many options during normal weekday hours. Aï¿½There are several immediate care clinics located throughout the city, and hospitals usually have what is equivalent to an immediate care clinic attached to their emergency department. Aï¿½Once patients determine what options are available they can further narrow down the choices according to proximity, wait times and, of course insurances accepted. Aï¿½
While ER’s tend to accept many insurance plans, a co-payment is usually required and will depend upon the individual policy. Aï¿½Waiting times in emergency rooms are always unpredictable, however there are trends to be aware of for those requiring care in the ER. Aï¿½Mornings are variable, but typically see lower volumes than afternoons and evenings, although there is never a guarantee, and the number of patients presenting to an ER often changes moment to moment. Aï¿½Late evenings and nights until 2-3am are the prime time in many emergency departments and so waits can be prolonged. Aï¿½
During these times ER staff may be routinely increased to handle the extra volume. Aï¿½Some hospitals maintain functioning immediate care clinics only during these hours, in order to take the pressure off of the emergency room. Aï¿½This can speed patient throughput, however there is never a guarantee. Aï¿½An emergency department that appears slow, may become chaotic within minutes if several seriously I’ll patients arrive concurrently. Aï¿½Emergency departments sometimes go on”divert” status, which means that ambulances transporting new patients are diverted to other facilities because the ER is overwhelmed. Aï¿½
In some cases, it is possible to call ahead to a particular ER to determine if it is on “divert”. Aï¿½If so, this may be a good time to choose another hospital, however if the problem is serious or potentially life threatening, the closest hospital ER should always be the destination. To find an immediate care clinic, an online search via Google Maps is a quick way to note the options.
A revolutionary alternative to the immediate care clinic are urgent care doctor house calls. These services offer exceptional convenience by bringing the doctor, medications, procedures, instant tests, xrays and more directly to patients wherever they are. There are no public waiting rooms to endure, and fees are far less than those of most emergency rooms. Services offered are often insurance reimbursable to a significant degree.
Many patients are finding that the convenience offered by services of this nature is unsurpassed, so that finding an immediate care clinic is no longer necessary. They prefer to let the doctor find the patient instead.