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Difference Between a Walk-In Clinic and Urgent Care

As the U. S. News article points out,10 % of patients who go to in-store clinics are referred to a PCP, ER or other higher level care facility because their needs are beyond the scope of the walk-in.

People are becoming more educated about the existence of urgent care every day. It is ever more important in an environment of rising healthcare costs and overcrowded emergency rooms for people to know when to use urgent care over the ER. Another option exists, however, and it’s equally important to understand how it works. This other option is the walk-in clinic. Walk-in clinics offer specific services that in some important ways are different than an urgent care center. Learn the differences between a walk-in clinic vs urgent care, so when you need medical help you can make the best choice.

Walk-In Clinics

They are all over the place in strip malls and indoor shopping malls. Originally intended to serve people with no insurance or not enough insurance, walk-in clinics provide basic medical services at an inexpensive cost. They are generally designed as resources for basic health and wellness, non-serious conditions like minor infections, low-level burns and cuts, and basic illnesses like an upset stomach, rash, sore throat or the common cold.

Walk-in clinics may also offer services like pregnancy tests, contraception, routine medical check-ups and basic vaccinations. They are founded on convenience and serving basic needs and usually see patients on a first-come, first-serve basis. Usually at a clinic of this nature you will be served by a nurse practitioner who may or may not have a license to write a prescription. A physician may be on call to handle more expert needs, but often isn’t on site. Read More

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