Urgent care clinics and emergency rooms face a unique set of challenges. From overcrowding to unclear guidelines about scope of care, the issues facing urgent care and emergency clinics almost always end up impacting patients.
ZOOM+Super, ZOOM+Care’s ER alternative*, tackles many of these challenges head-on, bridging the gap between urgent care and the emergency room. Staffed with board-certified ER doctors, ZOOM+Super can treat the majority of reasons adults and kids go to the emergency room.
Here are some of the biggest issues facing urgent care clinics and emergency departments across the country—and how ZOOM+Super helps solve them.
Sadly, sticker shock has become part of the American healthcare experience. Unforeseen medical bills take people who consider themselves savvy healthcare consumers by surprise (and out-of-pocket urgent care and emergency bills aren’t cheap). Let’s be honest: most of us aren’t thinking about whether we’ve met our annual deductible during a life-threatening emergency. We’re more concerned about getting the care we need in the moment.
Surprise bills are a big problem in emergency departments. An estimated one in five inpatient visits and one in seven outpatient visits lead to surprise medical bills. This problem stems partly from the fact that we can’t always choose an in-network provider in the middle of an emergency. We get the providers who are on call when we need care.
ZOOM+Care offers urgent care through our illness/injury visits at any of our nearly 60 clinics across Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and Idaho. But if you need more extensive care (including advanced imaging such as ultrasounds or CT scans), ZOOM+Super is here to help. ZOOM+Super providers can treat 80% of the reasons adults and kids go to the emergency room, including bone fractures, abdominal pain, severe headaches, and more. But here’s the best part: compared to the ER, ZOOM+Super has lower costs, shorter wait times, and absolutely no facility fees.
Transparency is what ZOOM+Care is about, and we work to help patients understand their benefits and the costs associated with care before we treat them. If you’re insured, we recommend reaching out to your insurance company to understand your benefits before scheduling a visit. For patients without insurance, our uninsured pricing is just about as clear as it gets.
Deciding whether a trip to the urgent care clinic or the emergency room is necessary can be tricky. What if you’re not sure how severe the problem is? When a patient’s condition is outside of an urgent care clinic’s scope of care, the clinic refers them to a hospital emergency department. The last thing anyone wants in an emergency is to bounce from one crowded lobby to another.
ZOOM+Super helps avoid this because we have a wider scope of care than a regular urgent care clinic. We serve patients with serious, non-life-threatening conditions. We offer more treatment options than a typical urgent care clinic, which means we don’t need to send as many patients to the emergency room. Just look at the numbers—less than 1% of ZOOM+Super patients wind up in a hospital emergency room. So if you’re not sure whether to go to urgent care or the emergency room, ZOOM+Super might be a good option.
Nationally, most urgent care wait times are under 30 minutes. But in the age of COVID-19, this can be a major issue. Crowded waiting rooms are risky for both patients and healthcare workers. It only takes 15 minutes of high-risk exposure to COVID-19 for doctors to recommend two weeks of quarantine. This situation becomes even worse if the clinic refers a patient to the emergency room. The average wait time in emergency departments in Oregon and Washington is over two hours. And to say they’re crowded is an understatement. Nearly half of emergency departments function at or above capacity. All of these factors reduce the quality of care for patients seeking urgent or emergency care.
Why are emergency departments across the country so crowded? Because 70% of their visits aren’t even necessary. Urgent care and primary care clinics could treat most issues seen in hospital emergency rooms.
ZOOM+Super cuts down on time spent in the clinic with our efficient scheduling and wide scope of care. We usually get you in and out the door in under an hour, all without sitting around in a crowded waiting room. With on-demand, same-day scheduling through our mobile app and website, you can quickly and easily schedule your waitless visit.
*ZOOM+Super is not a hospital emergency room. If you’re experiencing an immediate, life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1 or seek care at the closest hospital.