Clinics are often associated with hospitals, but many operate independently. A few clinics also have their own facilities and are part of prepaid health service plans. Some labour unions even have their own clinics, which receive welfare benefits from their employers. The United Mine Workers, for example, established a network of clinics in coal-mining areas. While most clinics do not limit their services to low-income patients, they do limit who can access them.
Clinics provide primary and preventative health care to outpatients. They are generally smaller than hospitals, and patients rarely stay overnight. Visiting the clinic for routine checkups is highly recommended, and doctors can often refer you to specialists and hospitals if necessary. Whether you need a routine checkup or you have an urgent condition, you’ll likely find an affordable, convenient clinic. If a specialist is needed, however, your clinic is the ideal place to get the medical attention you need.
While hospitals and clinics have a wide range of services, both types of facilities can be very different in terms of patient care. Some are smaller than others and serve as a triage nurse for patients who may need to be admitted to the emergency room. Others are larger than hospitals and house general medical practitioners who provide ambulatory care and some acute care. Although they lack major surgery facilities and post-operative care services, a clinic may be the best place to seek care in a crisis.
In addition to general medical care, multidisciplinary clinics offer services such as beauty care, physical therapy, chiropractic, and mental health. They offer the best care for patients with a variety of conditions, and often cross-consult with other healthcare professionals. Multidisciplinary clinics may even provide services such as baby care, immunizations, and chronic disease management. A community health center may also have additional health-related services. The hours of a community health center are typically similar to those of a parent store.
In contrast, an urgent care clinic is different from a retail health clinic. Urgent care clinics allow patients with urgent medical needs to receive medical care without having to wait for an ER visit. These clinics can save money by preventing patients from using an ER. However, the costs of retail health clinics can offset the benefits of urgent care. So, it’s important to be aware of the differences between these types of clinics.
Retail clinics began to appear about fifteen years ago. These clinics are typically located within big box stores and supermarkets. These retail clinics are open seven days a week and offer a range of health care services, including complete physicals, flu shots, vaccinations, and even smoking cessation. Most retail clinics are open for extended hours, but they don’t require appointments. They are also often staffed by nurse practitioners, so it’s important to choose a retail clinic based on its convenience and location.