Care for illness or injuries that require immediate attention but not severe enough to be put under emergency care. This type of care falls under the walk-in kind of clinic category that focuses on providing ambulatory care to patients outside a traditional emergency room. In urgent care, the patient is treated in a dedicated medical facility. Minor injuries or illness that are not too serious are treated in the urgent care department. Urgent care centers are however different from ambulatory healthcare centers in terms of on-site facilities and patient condition.
In the US, there has been a drastic increase in the number of urgent care centers. Not only do urgent care centers provide immediate care, but also saves medical expenses considerably as compared to the costs incurred when admitted to the emergency department. Many emergency medicine physicians are themselves setting up urgent care centers to address the increasing public demand for unscheduled medical care.