You are here

Why Patients Choose to Visit Urgent Care Clinics for Health Care Needs


With the recent push to return to life as normal, it has been made clear that “normal” will not be what it was compared with two years ago. Anyone attending an event, traveling, or even returning to the office or classroom can attest to that as new safety measures, including COVID-19 testing, temperature checks, or providing proof of vaccination, are often required to participate in these common activities.

The amount of health care components needed to support these measures has highlighted the importance of a key player in the health care process: urgent care. People can’t always wait for a traditional doctor’s appointment, but their health and wellness needs may not warrant an emergency room visit either. By visiting an urgent care clinic, like one of the several locations offered by Crystal Run Healthcare, people can get the high-quality care they need quickly and often at a lower cost than at a hospital.

Who should go to an urgent care clinic?

Aside from a COVID-19 test, there are many other reasons a person would choose to visit an urgent care facility instead of a doctor’s office or emergency room. The most cited factors are urgency, location, and scheduling. Sometimes the medical issue or need that people are experiencing doesn’t allow for the standard scheduling system of a primary care provider. In addition, patients will often be seen quicker than trying to wait out an emergency room visit. Urgent care centers may also be more accessible to people than a hospital.

“Our urgent care providers take care of a wide variety of conditions ranging from a simple sore throat, minor sprains and fractures, and simple cuts, to a more complex condition such as abdominal pain, shortness of breath, and allergic reactions to name a few,” said Natalia Peden, director of primary care and urgent care services at Crystal Run. “The goal of our providers is to evaluate and offer treatment options that may include medical or medicinal treatment, medical advice, and at times the recommendation to go to the hospital to seek a higher level of care.”

For non-life-threatening issues, urgent care clinics also offer a less expensive option than a trip to the emergency room. Urgent care providers can prescribe any medications that may be needed and can electronically send them to the patients’ pharmacy of choice. Urgent care clinics like Crystal Run can also offer diagnostic imaging services right onsite — including CT scans, MRIs, X-rays, and ultrasounds — in addition to IV hydration, sutures, wound care, and injections. People who have scheduled infusions can also find a more comfortable experience at an urgent care like Crystal Run, which has dedicated infusion areas.

How to choose an urgent care center

When choosing an urgent care center near you, it’s important to make sure it can offer what you need in order to get the best quality of care before, during, and after your visit. Not all urgent care centers are the same or can provide the same services.

“Our urgent cares are UCA certified (Urgent Care Association) and are uniquely positioned to help treat patients using advanced laboratory and imaging services,” said Peden. “We have 35 urgent care providers and 50 staff that are dedicated to treating people’s immediate medical needs. We also help connect patients to primary care doctors, specialists, and surgeons in an expedited manner.”

Crystal Run Healthcare is directly connected to more than 400 providers in almost 50 medical specialties and can schedule a follow-up appointment or specialty consult for patients if needed. Billing and tracking the visit is simplified, too, so there is no need to worry about repeatedly providing insurance cards, relaying medical information, or keeping track of test results as it is all a part of one electronic health records platform.

Urgent care centers and COVID-19

The emergence of COVID-19 and the following pandemic greatly altered both the health care industry and daily life. Whether it’s from an influx of cases at school, weekly testing requirements, or for travel purposes, people cannot always schedule a traditional doctor’s visit for their everyday health needs. Peden noted that it is important for health care spaces to operate as quickly and as safely as possible to be able to meet the needs of their patients.

“We instituted an electronic check-in process utilizing cell phones, a no waiting room process, and offering telehealth access and outside/tent COVID swab testing as needed,” said Peden.

There has been a high demand for people to have easy access to quick COVID-19 testing to participate in certain events in their lives. Crystal Run’s urgent care centers are some of the few available that offer same-day testing and will see you in person even with COVID-19 symptoms by performing a rapid test before your visit.

Crystal Run Healthcare offers four convenient urgent care locations throughout Orange, Sullivan, and Rockland counties in Middletown, Newburgh, Rock Hill, and West Nyack. Crystal Run urgent care centers are operated by trained emergency medicine and family medicine physicians at all times, in addition to certified nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Crystal Run Healthcare’s unique, one-stop model of walk-in medical care sets us apart from other urgent care centers in the region. To see updated hours, visit our Urgent Care page here