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Urgent care entrance Going through the accreditation process helps urgent care centers develop and implement consistent procedures, making every required standard a routine practice. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Today’s urgent care centers provide many of the same services offered by primary care providers, delivering medical evaluations, treatment and diagnostic services – including onsite radiology and laboratory – rendering them one of the highest value locations to deliver care to patients. While traditional primary care services remain the foundation, many centers continue to innovate and expand their services to meet patient trends with offerings that expand the scope of practice, including physical therapy, travel medicine, telehealth, occupational medicine and employer services.

In addition, urgent care centers ensure patients are able to receive care during the evenings, weekends and other times that are convenient for them, helping to alleviate overcrowded emergency departments so their resources can be directed toward treating emergency situations. According to a National Health Statistics Report, among adults aged 18 to 64 who used the emergency department in the past year, 11.8 percent indicated “the doctor’s office or clinic was not open” as the reason for their visit and 7 percent noted a “lack of access to other providers.”

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