What Are The Busiest Times To Visit Urgent Care?
Certain times of the year are far busier than others at urgent care facilities around the US. The winter months tend to see more respiratory illnesses and infections, while summer months tend to see more injuries related to sports and other recreational activities.
As of 2012, the average urgent care center in America saw around 357 patients each year. That’s 160 million total visits per year when you combine all urgent care facilities. These numbers were higher than 2010 by about 3 additional patients per day. In other words, more people are utilizing the services offered by urgent care centers than ever before, and for good reason.
Urgent care is the perfect place to go for minor to moderate illness or injury, when you need to see a doctor as soon as possible or sooner than your regular doctor can squeeze you in. The alternative is going to the hospital, which is always going to cost you more money. ER wait times are typically longer as well.
According to the Urgent Care Association of America, 69% of urgent care facilities have wait times that are less than 20 minutes. 28% have wait times between 21 and 40 minutes, and just 3% have an average wait time over 40-minutes. The actual amount of time you spend in the waiting room has a lot to do with luck of the draw, as well as the time of day and year that you visit.
Florida Urgent Care: The Busiest Times Of The Year
Urgent care facilities in Florida see an average of 15% more patients in March than they do in September. The end of January through March sees a surge in the numbers of people visiting urgent care. Visits peak in March when the weather shifts and allergies tend to get worse.
The months of August and into September tend to see a reduction in traffic. Yet, by mid-September patient numbers begin to rise again. The summer months see the most injuries related to sports and other outdoor activities. Yet, not enough injuries occur during the summer months to make up for the decline of cold and flu-related visits.
Why do numbers rise in the fall? It has a lot to do with kids returning to school, where they are exposed to more illnesses and germs. Plus, organized sports start up again, increasing the need for sports physicals as well as treatment of injuries. Urgent care gets more and more crowded the closer you get to winter, when the spread of cold and flu viruses peaks.
Does Time Of Day Impact Urgent Care Wait Times?
Time of day and even the day of the week can impact how long you wait to be seen at urgent care. Sunday night is a common time for people to visit urgent care. That’s because it’s the weekend and most doctors do not work on Sundays. Plus, it’s the day before school and work starts again and people often need a note from a doctor to take the day off. Mondays can also be one of the busiest days day of the week hence why it’s nicknamed “Medical Monday.”
The days following a holiday, such as the day after Christmas, tend to be the busiest as well. While there are definitely patterns, it’s impossible to predict when your local urgent care will be calm and quiet and when it will be a complete zoo.
Arriving at Urgent Medical Center right when we open can help reduce wait times, as you are guaranteed one of the first people to see the doctor that day.
We know how busy you are and we know what it’s like to be sick and stuck sitting in a waiting room. That’s why we created a simple online check-in process (http://www.urgentcarefl.com/web-check-in/) you can use before coming in. Of course, walk-ins are always welcome!
When Should I Go To Urgent Care?
Urgent Medical Center offers extended hours and is open on the weekends. If you have a minor or moderate illness or injury, urgent care proves far more affordable than your local ER. Plus, we take care of so many different services aside from just unexpected illnesses and injuries, such as physical exams, sports physicals, sleep issues and so much more.
Give us a call today to inquire about wait times, make an appointment online or simply walk-in. No matter how you go about it, we are here for you!