Thursday, 30 May 2013

The Importance Of Online Urgent Care Directories

The way that people search for information has drastically changed even in the last few decades and it is not an exaggeration to say that information technology has revolutionized the way society seeks and consumes information.  The yellow pages, or a phone book, were the previous method used by people in order to look up the services they needed to use.  However, the very nature of these old directories meant that the amount of information available was limited, usually to just a name and phone number.  With the advent of the internet, consumers now have an immensely powerful tool to find information about almost any business or service they need.

Online directories are a very easy and convenient way to search through the massive amounts of information available on the internet.  Information only has meaning to the people who find it relevant and can find it quickly when needed.  The rise of smart phones has only seen this become even more true, as people have become accustomed to being able to find the information they need instantaneously, and in great quantities. Online directories have been vital as a means of making sense of all this information and bringing this information to people’s fingertips. 
Google and other search engines have recognized the importance of sifting through the overwhelming amount of information available, and attempting to highlight local results in their searches.  However, only a specialized online directory can do a satisfactory job of providing a complete listing of relevant results with all the information needed by the consumer.

There are a very few industries which have been benefited more by the presence of online directories than the healthcare industry.  The importance of online healthcare directories cannot be overstated especially when viewed in the context of the urgent need and typical stress being experienced by the people who are searching for care.urgent care directories are designed to be very easy and convenient to use in order to help facilitate the care process, not impede it.
Urgent care centers are a modern concept within the healthcare system based on the ideas of fast, convenient and quality healthcare for patients, and here the importance of online urgent care directories is even more obvious.  Patients searching for urgent care need information quickly, and do not want to waste their time having to do multiple searches in order to find urgent care near them.  These clinics are oriented towards treating urgent medical issues and the best online

Accordingly, it is now quite easy to find care at urgent care centers.  A good online urgent care directory will have thousands of listings covering most cities across the country.  At the very least, some basic information should be available to let a patient know the hours of operation as well as the contact information for the clinic.  New advances have seen these directories roll out the ability to search for a provider with the use advanced searches for a clinic via a patient’s location, insurances accepted, type of treatment needed and other specialty options. Patients can also find information about various laboratories or other services managed by these centers.  These advanced capabilities give patients the flexibility they need to easily locate an urgent care center or walk-in clinic that matches their health and payment needs. 

Yet a quick word of caution.  The information available on online urgent care directories is generally quite accurate as the information is usually updated often.  However, it is worthwhile to look for signs that the listing is actively being managed by the clinics themselves in order to be assured of the validity of the information shown.  And if there are any questions, it is well worth a call to contact the clinic itself in order to verify that the patient’s insurance is accepted, or that the clinic offers the specific service needed.  Things like accepted insurances can be subjected to frequent change so making sure that the chosen clinic participates as an in-network provider can help to manage costs and prevent denied claims. All of these factors should be taken into consideration when choosing an urgent care center, in addition to the other important points like the hours of operation, driving directions, distance, and any requisite forms for pre-assessment. 

Today, we are living in the age of social media and networking sites.  Health care companies of all sizes are using online marketing techniques to attract new patients and improve their bottom line.  But in order to actually reach patients, online healthcare marketing efforts must be thoughtfully planned with a long-term commitment to build a brand that lasts.  Things such as blogs, social media like Facebook and Twitter, and the facility’s own website should all be utilized.  Urgent care directories offer a great way to reach a large number of interested patients with relatively little effort and a potential large return on investment.  For this reason, they should be a cornerstone of any marketing strategy for urgent care clinics.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Life And Medical Care Services In Pennsylvania

As a responsible and caring head of a household, there are certain details about a city and state that are particularly important to consider before moving to settle there.  These details can be broken down in to several categories, such as the overall environment of the area, which takes into account the general lifestyle and people in the area, the weather and type of climate. Entertainment is another important category which is concerned with the proximity of outdoor activities as parks, mountains, rivers, and beaches as well as the local culture, festivals available and, for those young enough, a vibrant night life.  The neighborhood itself should also be carefully considered with an eye towards the type of housing available, and their proximity to things like grocery stores or restaurants. But above all, the biggest concerns about a new place to live should be around the basic public services and facilities like schools, libraries, and available medical services within the community.  These services and facilities are essential for ensuring a certain quality of life.

Let me share my story about how I considered all these factors and why I chose to relocate my family to Pennsylvania in order to enjoy my retirement years.  For those who know me, the choice of Pennsylvania may have come as a bit of a surprise. My family is traditionally from the South and I have quite a few medical issues that will require regular medical check-ups for the rest of my life.  Though my ailments are fortunately not serious ones like cancer or memory loss, I am a diabetic and suffer from high blood pressure.  In view of my advanced age, my doctors have recommended that I receive frequent and regular check-up sand stay on medication.  And because of these ailments I have to constantly measure my blood sugar as well as blood pressure and keep detailed records of these measurements.  The small town I’m from offered only limited medical resources to help take care of my conditions.  For my minor ailments, the choice was either the emergency room, or the one primary care doctor in town.  The emergency room constantly had extremely long waits, just to be taken back to a room and wait even longer.  I can understand that other, more serious issues were treated first, but my entire day would be wasted waiting on my treatment.  The primary care doctor in town was wonderful and knew my history, but as the only doctor in town, he had a long list of patients, and getting a same or next day appointment for those times when my issues flared up was out of the question. 

I think by now you might have guessed one of the major reasons why I opted to relocate to Pennsylvania for my post retirement life.  In addition to offering a fantastic mix of outdoor activities and modern city life, Pennsylvania is also known to have a number of excellent healthcare resources for older Pennsylvanians with facilities like modern urgent care clinics in almost every city and borough throughout the state. When researching the medical resources available in places to live, I came across the urgent care concept and immediately knew that it could help me with my issues.  Rather than having to wait several days for an appointment with a primary care doctor, or spend all day waiting in an emergency room, urgent care centers offer walk-in appointments for urgent, but non-life-threatening issues.  The doctors typically have experience in an emergency room, which means they’re well trained to take care of almost any urgent issue and the caring, courteous staff that I’ve encountered make for a much friendlier environment than a sterile ER.  Never once have I felt that the level of care I received wasn’t of the highest standards.  Making sure there are appropriate medical facilities during my travels is also important to me and I even had the occasion to visit a walk-in clinic in Gettysburg when I went to view the site of the Civil War battle. 

This is not to say that there aren’t a full set of medical services available in Pennsylvania.  There are plenty of emergency rooms available but they are no different from others I have visited. They are literally packed with people who are suffering from major and serious problems and you must endure the typical piles of paperwork just to have a 5 minute visit with a doctor. Pennsylvania also has significantly more medical specialists than my hometown, so I feel comfortable knowing that if I develop any further serious medical issues as I age that I will be able to find treatment.  However, for the moment, knowing that an urgent care center is available to provide quick treatment whenever needed is quite comforting.  And while receiving quality medical care was the primary factor in my decision to move, other people will love the history of the state, the beautiful scenery and all the outdoor activities.  For all of these reasons, I have greatly enjoyed living here in Pennsylvania.