EMRs in Urgent Care Centers – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

EMRs in Urgent Care Centers are popping up nationwide and giving patients a convenient alternative to the ER for their non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses. The convenience is undeniable, but patients should be aware of the potential drawbacks of using an urgent care centers as an alternative to the ER. This post will outline what EMRs can look like in urgent care centers, both good and bad, to provide you with a complete understanding of what you may be waiting for should you choose this route. In this article we described the EMRs in Urgent Care Centers

EMRs in Urgent Care Centers

EMRs in Urgent Care Centers – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly 

EMR – The Good

EMRs in Urgent Care Centers is viewed as possibly one of the drivers for changing medical services. It allows secondary care to be located in a local facility, reducing travel time from the patient’s home to their primary care physician’s office. It also allows the physician to be located in a convenience store or other non-hospital setting, which may promote more timely service delivery.


E-prescriptions have become a common practice for doctors who do not keep hard copies of patients’ prescriptions. Instead, they keep the computer-coded versions accessible by the patient’s electronic medicine cabinet. This is beneficial to the patient and other patients looking to receive their medications as soon as possible. E-Prescriptions have many advantages over hard copies of prescriptions

Other doctors’ notes 

EMRs in Urgent Care Centers are more convenient for other doctors’ notes than hard copies of prescriptions. They are easier to track and access, allowing for a higher patient turnover rate (often crucial in busy urgent care centre settings). Patients can also use their electronic medicine cabinets to store notes from any doctor they see, not just their primary care physician. This makes it easier to track what is going on with a patient and eliminates the need for file folders and cabinets.

Personal or shared medical records

EMRs in Urgent Care Centers have always been where patients can receive their electronic medical records or share them with other family members. This is especially beneficial to patients who live alone and may be unable to access their health information otherwise.

EMR – The Bad

As with most things, it can have its drawbacks. Patients using EMRs in Urgent Care Centers have reported waiting periods ranging from 30 minutes up to 3 hours before receiving treatment and being unable to return until after their general practitioner arrived at their office. Additionally, some patients have reported having trouble finding parking at an urgent care centers, leading them to spend time enroute waiting for a spot.

Imported data 

The main disadvantage of using EMRs in Urgent Care Centers is the potential for imported data to be wrong or inaccurate. While only some patients have reported this, general practitioners often hesitate to provide care that will take them out of their urgent care centre or clinic. For these reasons, they hesitate to take time out to retrieve patient records from a different system. Therefore, if an incorrect record has been imported into the EMR, it may lead to delayed treatment and potentially incorrect diagnosis.

Big data 

EMRs in Urgent Care Centers are designed for physicians to access much patient data, but sometimes more data can be wrong. Most physicians only have time to review some of the information in the EMR before deciding whether to order specific tests or carry out a procedure. More information can bog down the physician’s decision-making and treatment time.

EMR – The Ugly

There have been several reported cases where a physician treated a patient with an EMR without full use of the EMRs in Urgent Care Centers, wherein the patient needed help to retrieve their records or even know what provider to refer back to. This is problematic for patients because it leads them to delay treatment and can be detrimental to the care they receive if they cannot follow up with their proper physician. 

Personal interactions

One key feature of EMRs in Urgent Care Centers is the ability for patients to follow up with their physician through a written note. This allows them to keep track of any problems and follow up with their doctor to ensure timely treatment. However, some patients may opt out of this feature and have a more traditional paper-based visit. Patients who do not like using a personal electronic medicine cabinet and streamlined notes tend to have a more traditional paper-based visit.

Lack of verbal communication 

Most medical records are typed rather than verbal, which can be good and bad for patients who prefer written communication with their physicians. This can be a disadvantage for patients who are more comfortable with picking up the phone and making a personal call to their doctor.

EMRs in Urgent Care Centers

The Bottom Line

EMRs in Urgent Care Centers are convenient and easy, but you may need help accessing your medical records and parking. The wait times can be lengthy, and a physician may only sometimes treat you. Should you choose this route, make sure to verify that your medical records are accessible and that your provider will be one of those available in the EMRs in Urgent Care Centers.

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