Patients generally seek care in urgent care settings because doing so is more convenient than alternative care options, and the care provided is timelier.
The study examined why people seek care at urgent care centers.
Patients were surveyed at an urgent care clinic affiliated with a large acute care safety-net urban hospital. A total of 1,006 people completed surveys while they waited for service in the urgent care clinic. Twenty percent of the people who visited the clinic during the 6-week study period were asked to participate in the study.
People indicated that they chose to receive treatment at the urgent care clinic because:
- No appointment was required (54% of respondents selected this option).
- Clinic was convenient to visit (51.2%).
- Same-day test results (43.9%).
- Same-day prescriptions available (42.7%).
- Copayment not mandatory (15.1%).
- People surveyed were seeking care in an urgent care clinic.
- Patient’s previous self-reported healthcare could only be verified if it had been obtained at the same organization as the urgent care clinic at which research was conducted.
- It was not possible to determine the healthcare professionals’ opinions of the urgency of the health situation that had brought the individual surveyed to the urgent care clinic.
- People seeking treatment at urgent care clinics may be different in some way from those seeking treatment in emergency rooms, so it may be difficult to extrapolate from these findings to situations involving emergency rooms.