U.S. emergency rooms saw more patients than ever in 2014, but that doesn’t necessarily mean urgent care isn’t getting its message out. New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that over 141 million people ran to the ED that year (compared with 130 million the previous year), but some top reasons tended to be complaints for which it would not be appropriate to visit an urgent care center—chest pain chief among them. In addition, mental health problems and opiate overdoses reporting to the ED are on the rise. On the other hand, hospital admissions are falling, which could be an indicator that there are still too many people heading to the hospital with symptoms that urgent care centers are prepared to assess and treat.
New ED Data Reflect Changing Perspectives on Immediate Care Needs