Data from the 2014 Urgent Care Chart Survey of 1,778,075 blinded patient visits to more than 800 different urgent care clinics, conducted by the Journal of Urgent Care Medicine, show that for almost half of visits (48.6%) to U.S. urgent care centers, the prescriptions written by health-care providers are for oral antibiotics. The next 4 classes of prescriptions written are as follows, in descending order by percentage of visits: corticosteroids (13.7%), narcotic analgesics (9.9%), cough medications (9.8%), and nonnarcotic analgesics (8.4%).

The survey’s methodology and data abstraction forms were initially designed in 2008 by researcher Robin M. Weinick, PhD, then an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and a senior scientist at the Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital, and now associate director of RAND Health.


Top Classes of Prescriptions Written at U.S. Urgent Care Centers in 2014