Medical Clinics, also known as outpatient clinics, or ambulatory care clinics, are health care facilities that specialize in non-life threatening outpatient treatment. While they can either be publicly or privately owned, they typically provide the majority of healthcare needs for their communities. Typical treatments include cuts that require stitches, burns, scrapes, fractures, insect bites, sinus infection, flu symptoms, fever, rash, toothache, earache, and others. In addition, these health care facilities are often associated with a hospital or medical school, which aids in the supply of well trained and knowledgeable staff.
Hospitals versus Medical Clinics
Hospitals can cover a wide range of illness and ailments. They also have the technological capabilities and onsite staff to specialize in the most current treatments and diagnoses. However, hospitals are significant budget facilities and are more prone to encourage overnight stays.
Outpatient clinics are more prone to promoting a quick diagnosis and treatment. With virtually the same level of expertise on staff and access to the same state-of-the-art equipment, outpatient clinics are more likely to have you treated and on your way in far less time.
Another noteworthy difference between hospitals and medical clinics is the type of care. Remember, outpatient clinics provide the majority of healthcare needs in the communities in which they are present, and, as a result, there is a community aspect to the level of treatment. Doctors and staff have the opportunity to get to know you and your family, which may be the best perk of all.
Other Factors to Consider in Your Decision
While medical clinics do offer many of the same benefits as hospitals, with less fuss, there are a few other factors to consider when making your decision to seek treatment in these health care facilities. The biggest factor to consider is perhaps the hours of the operation. Often, outpatient clinics are only open during regular business hours. As a result, if you are in need of urgent care outside of those hours of operation you will need to seek care elsewhere. However, should you find yourself in need of urgent care during their hours of service, it may be worth it to seek treatment there instead of a hospital where the wait could cost unnecessary time.