(Asheville, N.C.) – The Urgent Care Association (UCA) has declared May as Urgent Care Awareness Month. Mercy Urgent Care welcomes neighbors in Western North Carolina to learn more about how urgent care can benefit their health and lives.
Just like you may have seen in Asheville, the urgent care industry has continued to expand across the country. According to the most recent UCA Benchmarking report, there are now more than 9,600* centers serving communities nationwide. These centers are helping to meet the needs of consumers on their schedules while alleviating overcrowding in emergency rooms. This is especially important during the current global pandemic, as urgent care centers stand poised to assist their communities during this difficult time.
With the rapid growth of the industry, one thing is clear: consumers demand the convenience, high-quality care and affordability offered at urgent care centers.
However, many patients still are not aware of how valuable urgent care can be for a wide variety of common medical needs – which compelled UCA to declare May as a month of education and awareness. While hospitals and emergency rooms have been in the spotlight of COVID-19 crisis, Mercy Urgent Care, and other urgent care locations, have also been on the front line since the beginning.
“We have been coordinating with local health departments in five counties in WNC to provide the most up-to-date care,” said Dr.Elizabeth McCarty, Medical Director at Mercy Urgent Care. “To date we’ve tested over 400 people for COVID-19. We’re working with local businesses to do symptom and temperature monitoring to keep their employees safe. We’re working with local doctor’s offices and rehab facilities to provide COVID-19 testing prior to any operation or procedure or admission into a residential program.”
Urgent care centers like Mercy Urgent Care are an ideal choice for medical situations that require immediate attention, such as sprains, broken bones, flu, colds and other common illness. Consumers agree – as an average of 14,000 patients visit each urgent care center each year.
Urgent care is proving its vital role in the healthcare landscape – with surging growth to better serve the ever-increasing patient base. Consumers increasingly desire more flexibility from their healthcare providers and want convenient, affordable, high-quality treatment during the evenings and weekends – hours that work best for their schedules. Episodic illness or injury may demand medical attention at a time when a primary care provider cannot fit the patient in for a visit; urgent care serves that walk-in need.
With Urgent Care Awareness Month, Mercy Urgent Care aims to educate consumers – and others in the healthcare industry – about the importance of urgent care in the healthcare spectrum, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We want patients to know that visiting MUC is one of the safest things you can do for your health. All patients are greeted at the door and triaged right away,” said Dr. McCarty. “Many can be seen via telemedicine and testing done in the privacy of their own vehicles. A rigorous cleaning and sterilization schedule has been established at each clinic and each pt is given a mask on arrival. We’re here to take care of you when you need help.”
*The full 2019 Benchmarking Survey, which addresses other industry topics including differences in urgent care centers by region, characteristics of urgent care centers based on types of ownership and various revenue correlations, is available for purchase by both members and non-members – including media – on the UCA website here.
About Mercy Urgent Care
Mercy Urgent Care was founded in Asheville in 1985 as an outreach of the Sisters of Mercy, an international institute of Roman Catholic women founded in 1831 in Dublin, Ireland. Committed to sacredness of life, human dignity, mercy, justice, service and excellence, Mercy Urgent Care believes everyone should have access to convenient, affordable and high-quality healthcare. The Sisters of Mercy have served WNC since 1900, operating the former St. Joseph’s Hospital for nearly 100 years before its sale to Mission in 1998.
Mercy Urgent Care has served more than 1.5 million patients in Western North Carolina. Donations to not-for-profit Mercy Urgent Care’s Catherine McAuley Mercy Foundation enable care throughout WNC in Brevard, Burnsville, Columbus, Weaverville, three Asheville locations and Waynesville — providing more than a half-million dollars in charity care locally as well as sending medical teams and supplies internationally.
About the Urgent Care Association
The Urgent Care Association (UCA) is a membership association of leaders, providers and suppliers in the field of on-demand, consumer-focused healthcare. UCA advances the industry and supports member success through advocacy, research, education, collaboration and high standards of care. The association maintains an active online presence and member community for daily exchange of best practices. For more information visit www.ucaoa.org.