Difference between Emergency and Urgent Care

Jul 12, 2011 by

What is the Difference between Emergency and Urgent Care?

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  1. khristine

    Difference between emergency and urgent care

    In terms of healthcare facilities, people usually have this perception that an emergency room offers the same medical assistance that is available in urgent care centers. The fact is emergency room and urgent care centers are two separate facilities that are distinct from each other in many aspects.

    For one, emergency room is a place within hospitals that offers medical assistance to patients who are victims of critical or life-threatening conditions with the likes of severe vehicle accidents, head trauma, heart attack, chest pains, or suicide attempts just to name a few.

    Urgent care centers, on the other hand, are medical facilities that operate outside the emergency department of hospitals. It provides medical assistance to patients who are suffering from minor injuries with the likes of small burns, ear infections, broken bones, muscle sprains, and much more.

    In the aspect of availability, emergency rooms are required to accommodate in-coming patients within a 24-hour schedule which is made possible through federal funding from the hospital. However, unlike emergency rooms, urgent care centers are private facilities that do not operate on prolonged hours. Urgent care centers normally operate from 7 in the morning to 11 in the evening. Anybody who might need immediate medical attention during the closed hours of urgent care centers will have to go straight to the emergency department of the nearest hospitals for treatment.

    Another distinct characteristic between emergency room and urgent care centers is that the former is quite pricey as compared to the latter in terms of service fee, room fee, medical items, etc. According to a reporter in Health.com, Jeanne Lee, urgent care facilities most likely treat their patients faster than an emergency room can therefore less expenses are acquired during the whole medical process.

    Also, emergency room facilities are required to accept each and every patient that needs its services regardless of its capacity to pay or insurance terms which is in contrast to urgent care centers that practices its right to turn down patients who are uninsured or are proven to be incapable of paying its medical bill/s.

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