More and more patients in New York are opting for urgent care. These clinics are suited to injuries and conditions that require immediate care but aren’t life-threatening, such as cold/flu symptoms or minor sprains. While many urgent care centers go above and beyond when treating their patients, it’s still important to choose a clinic wisely to prevent serious issues, such as misdiagnosis, from occurring. EverydayHealth.com recommends asking the following questions when looking for a suitable urgent care center for you and your family.
Are primary care services offered?
While urgent care is best known for accommodating walk-ins, many centers also offer primary care services. These are similar to what a doctor’s office would afford, without the need to make an appointment. Additionally, medical staff may not be the same at all clinics. Some urgent care center keep emergency physicians on staff, while others have only medical doctors available. Staff is usually rounded out by registered nurses and physician’s assistants.
Do they have a hospital affiliation?
When a clinic is affiliated with a local hospital or doctor, it’s much easier for staff to communicate with your primary care physician. Open communication is essential if you’re ordered to follow up regarding a health issue. Patients can sometimes get lost in the shuffle, which means that vital treatments or medications will not be utilized as needed.
Are they accredited/certified?
When an urgent care center is accredited it usually points to a higher level of care. Accreditation is provided by the Urgent Care Association, who will actually perform a site visit to ensure the clinic is offering quality care to patients. Centers can also become certified, which means they offer a wider range of medical services, such as x-rays and lab processing. Urgent care clinics usually make their accreditation status know on their website, but you can contact the center directly to make sure.