Some medical emergencies necessitate a visit to the emergency room or a 911 call for an ambulance. Others are best treated by an urgent care practice. As winter approaches, however, getting to an urgent care facility in the Northern United States could be difficult. If you or a family member needs medical attention that doesn't necessitate a 911 call this winter, consider calling an urgent care facility that provides house calls. An urgent care house call could help you avoid both bad roads and dangerous viruses -- especially in winter.
House Calls Are Becoming More Common
Once considered a medical practice of the past, house calls are making a comeback. Citing data from Medicare Part B filings, Medical Economics reports that the number of Medicare-billed house calls increased from 1.4 million in 1999 to 2.3 million in 2009 -- an increase of 64 percent. Looking into the future of medicine, the article notes that the American Academy of Family Physicians expects the number of house calls performed annually to continue to increase as the population ages.
Urgent Care House Calls Keep You Off Bad Roads
House calls are useful in a variety of settings. Physicians offer them to patients who are willing to pay a premium for the added convenience and to patients who are physically unable to leave their home. In urgent care settings, they offer a unique benefit -- especially in the Northern U.S. in winter. They keep patients off of snowy and icy roads.
It's virtually impossible to completely avoid driving on snowy and icy roads in winter if you live in the Northern U.S. Driving on bad roads isn't a good idea when you need medical care, though. If you slide off the road, it may take even longer to get the medical attention you need -- and you might be cold while you're waiting.
By asking a physician to come to your house, you can avoid risking an accident on bad roads. Physicians can also slide off into a ditch, but doctors that provide urgent care house calls should be better prepared for winter driving than you are when you need medical care. First, they aren't under the emotional duress you're under. Second, many keep an emergency roadside kit in their car, as they know they'll likely be driving in slippery conditions during the winter.
Urgent Care House Calls Protect You from Harmful Germs
Additionally, by asking an urgent care physician to come to your house, you can reduce the risk of being exposed to harmful viruses and dangerous bacteria. Even though hospitals, urgent care centers and doctors' offices all do their best to maintain clean and sterile facilities, they can't eliminate all risk of exposure. Occasionally, people pick up a virus or bacteria when they go to a medical facility.
When you're seen in your own home, you won't be exposed to the germs of other patients. There won't be anyone next to you coughing or sneezing, and you won't have to use the same public restroom that dozens of patients use. Because you'll be exposed to fewer people, you'll be less likely to contract something when you're seen.
If you need urgent care, and the roads are snowy or icy, call an urgent care center that provides house calls. Not only will a house call be convenient, but it'll keep you off of bad roads and away from potentially harmful germs. After all, needing urgent care is bad. Needing urgent care while stuck in a ditch, or getting sick while being treated, though, is worse. Make the safe call, and ask for a house call by an urgent care physician.