The residents of San Angelo, Texas have another option available to them if they need immediate medical care and do not face a life-threatening emergency.
The San Angelo Standard-Times reports that the Shannon Urgent Care West will open its doors on Monday, March 16. The urgent care unit will offer treatment for medical conditions and injuries that are non-life-threatening.
The unit already opened its doors for an open house event on Thursday, March 12. The 6,500 square-foot facility features nine exam rooms, a procedure room, and a casting room. In addition, the unit has state-of-the-art equipment such as X-rays, EKG, and laboratory units. The unit is conveniently located in San Angelo’s shopping district, making it accessible to not only the city’s residents but also its suburbs and from the surrounding rural areas southwest of the city.
“This is two blocks from home,” said visitor Randy Jones. “This is gonna be my urgent care home.”
The unit’s opening means that San Angelo residents have three urgent care units to choose from. Among the many benefits of the new unit, the waiting times for all three units are expected to go down. (The units’ wait times can be checked on a mobile app.)
“You can download ‘Shannon Health’ for free and click on urgent care center wait times,” said Lyndy Stone, marketing director at Shannon Medical Center. “You can compare all three locations and go to the one that is the shortest.”
Waiting times have been a pressing issue in these units. The night of Shannon Urgent Care West’s open house saw 20-30 minute wait times according to the app. However, the times have often been much longer, sometimes stretching into hours rather than minutes.
“When we had the [worst of the] flu, wait times took longer and went up to over 500 minutes,” said Gary Gibian, Shannon’s clinic administrative director. “It was horrible.”
Urgent care units have become increasingly popular for same-day medical treatments. Shannon opened its first clinic in San Angelo in 2012 and another one last year to meet the city’s demand.
According to the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine, urgent care units deliver “medically necessary services which are required for an illness or injury that would not result in further disability or death if not treated immediately, but require professional attention and have the potential to develop such a threat if treatment is delayed longer than 24 hours.”
The average cost of an urgent care visit ranges from $70 to $125, which is considerably more affordable than a visit to an emergency room — one of the many reasons why urgent care units are so popular.
“Our urgent care clinics help to keep people out of the ER and not pay the higher prices,” Gibian said.
“It is exciting to continue seeing the Urgent Care industry expanding with trusted healthcare providers,” says Lori Japp PA-C, COO & President, Integrity Urgent Care Clinics, Inc. “As the costs of healthcare continue to increase, it is important for consumers to utilize Urgent Care centers when appropriate. Urgent Care centers improve access to immediate healthcare that is convenient and more affordable than Emergency Room visits.”
The unit employs a staff of more than 20 people, including two doctors and a physician’s assistant, and hopes to hire another doctor for the evening shift.
Starting Monday, the unit will be open everyday from 7 A.M. to 10 P.M. The unit stresses the point that people with life-threatening injuries or conditions should call 911 or go to an emergency room.