Stephen Wheeler…says he probably would have ended up waiting a long time if he’d gone to the doctor. And even longer at the emergency room.
But they are all about speedy service here at the urgent care center; Wheeler got in and out in 15 minutes. There’s a timer outside of every exam room so the staff knows how long a patient has been waiting. Because Wheeler was already in the MedStar Health system, the clinic was able to pull up his electronic health records and find out if he was allergic to any medications or was due for any other care.
Most of the 9,000 urgent care clinics nationwide are owned by corporations or physicians, but hospital systems are increasingly aiming to get a cut of the booming industry. Hospitals already own about 27 percent of the centers, according to the Urgent Care Association of America.