How Long do Typical Appointments Last at Urgent Care?
The first thing to understand is whether the facility you are visiting or planning to go to is really an urgent care or just a namesake business merely calling itself an urgent care. Unfortunately, there are medical offices that call themselves an urgent care when in reality they are merely regular medical offices that are misrepresenting themselves as urgent care. These offices have confused customers who now believe that many or all urgent care centers are inefficient. As a consumer, it is important to visit only Urgent Care Association (UCA) Accredited Urgent Care Centers, the important word here being ‘Accredited’. UCA Certified Urgent Care is merely a certification obtained by mail based on membership and a paper application whereas an Accreditation process involves a higher level of recognition for maintaining suitable standards as verified through site visits by UCA Examiners. All Statcare Urgent Care locations are recognized and fully Accredited by the UCA.
As with many other medical offices, patients sometimes notice that they spend more time in the waiting room than in a room with a doctor. In fact, studies show in primary care practices across the United States, most patients only meet with their doctor for an average of 17 minutes despite being scheduled for a standard hour-long appointment. It’s no wonder people are often frustrated.
At Statcare Urgent Care, we strive to make your visit as efficient as possible. We know that your time is precious and the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling sick or injured is spend time in the waiting room at a doctor’s office. Find out more information about our average appointment lengths as well as how to cut down on your wait time, below.
Average Length of an Urgent Care Visit
There are many factors that affect how long you’ll stay at an urgent care during an appointment. At Statcare, you can check in online with a few clicks by putting in your name and phone number and email ID. If you are logged into Statcare Urgent Care patient portal you can request an appointment via email as well. If you are on the phone with our dedicated patient care coordinator, our staff can create the appointment for you on the phone. So, there is more than one way you can make your appointment ahead of time. This will definitely save you time when you come to the office as all you need to do in the office is to go to one of the kiosks and check-in. Our staff then knows about your arrival and you will have maintained your position in the line.
At Statcare, sometimes a patient may come in needing immediate attention; such as someone with a bleeding cut or chest pain or nausea and vomiting. Our staff will attend to them on a priority basis. And there are times when our provider will go into a room and realize the patient needs far more services and hence more time than initially anticipated. This is just how the flow in a typical urgent care works as the staff is constantly dealing with the unknown. Therefore, it’s challenging to make a definitive statement on the average appointment length. On a good day with a few people in line before you, you could get in and out in well under an hour. But when an urgent care is full and you have a particularly complicated medical concern, it’s not uncommon for your urgent care visit to take longer than what you anticipated. The staff at Statcare knows how to keep the flow of patients moving. So, if you are there just for a PPD Test Reading or a vaccine, you will be able to get in and out in less than 20-30 minutes.
At Statcare, we try hard to keep your urgent care appointments to much less than an hour. We understand that most of our patients are busy at work during the week, or simply can’t waste an entire day sitting in a waiting room. Part of our success for reducing time spent at our urgent care centers is offering several convenient locations for our patients to visit. We built our urgent care centers in close proximity to public transportation because we want you to be able to come in, get treated and go on your way again seamlessly.
While we want to be efficient, we don’t want to rush you through your appointment either. Our doctors are trained to answer all your questions thoroughly and pay attention to the symptoms you describe. We are constantly juggling quality patient care with the best use of your time. We think we do a good job of getting it right.
Urgent Care Innovations to Cut Down on Wait Time
Statcare is always innovating our service offerings and procedures to make sure that you’re getting the quality care you need. We’re also dedicated to focusing on the future of medicine — specifically, we’ve created an efficient Telemedicine department.
Telemedicine appointments, or meeting with an online doctor, are very similar to a traditional urgent care appointment, except much more convenient. You can schedule an appointment with your online doctor from anywhere as long as you have a reliable connection to wifi. During your virtual appointment, you can be diagnosed, ask questions and seek treatment from the comfort of your own house. Avoid worrying about extra commuting time or even wait times. Just select the time that works for you and join your appointment when it’s time.
Before we implemented our Telemedicine practice, we made sure that it was as full service and convenient as possible for our customers. There was clearly a need for a more convenient urgent care option, and other parts of the country had seen success with online doctors, but we wanted ours to be the best choice available before launching it. We ensured that our online doctors could write prescriptions when necessary and that health insurance providers would help cover the costs. It wasn’t truly innovative, in our opinion, unless our patients could get all the benefits of a traditional in-person appointment.
So far, our online doctor services have been a great success for our patients. Not only do customers who use the service love it, but those who still come in for a traditional urgent care visit are excited about the decrease in wait time. The overwhelming and positive feedback only encourages us to continue to focus on additional innovative services.
Here is a little secret. If you are in any Statcare locations and see that it is taking longer than you had planned, you can always ask for a Telemedicine visit from within our Urgent Care and our medical staff from another urgent care location will jump on the Telemedicine call and start taking care of you. They will order tests you might need and even send out refills for your prescriptions and sick note for work to your inbox.
Testing and Vaccinations at Urgent Care
Some patients only come to urgent care when they need a quick test done. Although it may vary by day, these appointments are generally much shorter than other types of urgent care visits. Because our staff is always prepared for routine tests, we can handle a high volume of patients without any wasted time. Be sure to highlight this when you are first greeted by our staff that is checking you in. Let them know you are here just for a flu vaccine or a PPD Reading or a specific blood test. They will make sure you get taken care of quickly.
STD Testing at Urgent Care
STD testing can be an uncomfortable scenario that patients don’t want to experience with their regular, everyday doctor. They’d prefer a discrete location with a doctor they may never see again. We totally understand, and we encourage people to make urgent care appointments with us for these kinds of screenings.
When you arrive for STD testing at Statcare Urgent Care, our staff can typically process your tests quickly and efficiently. We all make ourselves available to answer any questions you may have, particularly around STI treatment and next steps. We also know that this is likely an appointment you want to speed through, so we don’t take any more of your time than we have to.
Fortunately, if you’re in a time crunch, you don’t have to wait around to hear the results of STD testing. Our offices will contact you about your results and help you navigate the next steps, no matter what your test shows. Quality care and convenience are what Statcare is all about!
DOT Physical at Statcare
Another routine service offering that we offer at Statcare are DOT physicals. These are physical examinations that commercial truck drivers must pass in order to be eligible to do their job. It includes physical fitness, hearing, vision and urine tests. The Statcare staff has worked to make the entire process so efficient that appointments typically only take approximately 30 minutes in our urgent care centers. As long as you come with all the correct information we require, you should be able to have a seamless appointment.
Vaccines at Urgent Care
Lastly, many people visit Statcare Urgent Care because we offer flu shots at a convenient location. You don’t need an appointment to get a flu shot or any vaccine. Statcare keeps MMR, Tdap, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis, Varicella and many other vaccines. Just come down to any one of our locations and ask for one. Patients who only want a shot can check in online, come into the office and check in on the kiosk to skip the wait in waiting room. Because you have an appointment, you will be taken directly to the doctor administering the shots. Come get a flu shot on your lunch break or right after work. We’ll be ready for you!
Ways to Prevent Long Urgent Care Appointments
Certain elements of urgent care are simply unpredictable. You never know how many people will start to feel ill or injured at the same time. However, there are steps to take in order to make the best use of your time at an urgent care location.
The first tip is to make an appointment. With a designated appointment, you are guaranteed to meet with the doctor. You won’t have to worry about sneaking in before the doors close and hoping you’ll be seen by one of our staff members. Urgent care appointments are designed so you can walk in right before your appointment and typically head home in well under an hour.
You can also schedule an online doctor’s appointment before you come in to see a doctor in person. Patients commonly schedule an online doctor’s appointment, get their diagnosis and their treatment done first, then visit one of our urgent care locations only if they have additional tests that they needed or a follow-up visit for a problem that needed someone to check them out in person.
While we’re on the subject of questions, write yours down before you show up for your urgent care appointment. In the hustle and bustle of their appointment, many people tend to forget the specific questions they were hoping to ask their doctor. Avoid the dreadful feeling of going home with a list of unanswered questions by writing down exactly what you want to know. Your Statcare doctor will be more than happy to go through each point with you, one by one.
What If My Urgent Care Appointment Isn’t Long Enough?
To patients who leave their urgent care visit wanting a little more information or needing a little more guidance as they navigate their treatment plan, we suggest making a follow-up online doctor appointment. With this second appointment, you don’t have to travel directly to an urgent care location, you can get all the questions about your blood test results addressed as well as get answers to other issues that you may have recently identified. Many patients have found success and relief when they use a hybrid of online doctor appointments and traditional urgent care visits.
Our promise at Statcare is to always focus on reducing your time at urgent care. Our goal is to make you healthy as quickly as possible — usually, that means getting you a treatment plan and getting you home to rest. If you have any suggestions for how we can improve our system, we’d always love to hear from you! Contact us by phone or click here to learn more about our urgent care services.