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Why Urgent Care Clinics Need to Be Testing for Toxicology Results

Urgent Care Clinics and Their Role in Toxicology Testing

Testing for drug use is a routine procedure for many healthcare providers. But urgent care clinics may be missing out on an important opportunity. Urgent care clinics are a great place to test for toxicology because they provide fast and accessible care. Furthermore, when patients come into the clinic, the medical staff needs to understand what substances that person has been taking. If there is any question, it can be easily answered with a simple drug test. 

Urgent care clinicians can also benefit from comprehensive toxicology results that report specific levels of drugs in the body. This information can help to identify any potential dangers or side effects associated with using specific drugs. Urgent care clinics can protect their patients and ensure quality patient safety by being proactive about drug testing.

When a patient goes into urgent care, quite often, they aren’t seeing their regular doctor. While that doctor can look up their medical records, they can’t always see what substances that person is on. People can take many street drugs, which aren’t always visible to the doctor. These street drugs can have interactions with other medications, not to mention the health risks involved.

While urgent care clinics cannot get the comprehensive testing, they need instantly from a lab such as Keystone Laboratories. They can utilize instant testing. While not as accurate, instant testing can alert the medical staff of potential drug use. This can then be confirmed with proper laboratory testing later on. These instant tests are not foolproof or 100% accurate but are an affordable, quick way to rule out certain drugs and are easily administered.

Overdosing and the Urgent Care

As of 2020, 37.309 million Americans aged 12 and up were current illegal drug users (used within the previous 30 days).

  • Opioid disorders affect 24.7% of those with drug addictions (including “pain killers,” prescription pain relievers, and heroin).
  • A drug disorder affects 25.4% of illegal drug users.
  • Tobacco or nicotine products are used by 57.277 million people (vaping).
  • An alcohol use disorder affects 28.320 million people or 20.4%.
  • Alcohol is consumed by 138.522 million Americans aged 12 and up.
  • 138.543 million people, or 50.0% of those aged 12 and up, have used illegal drugs at some point in their lives.
  • In the previous year, 59.277 million people, or 21.4% of those aged 12 and up, used illegal drugs or abused prescription drugs.
  • 13.5% of Americans aged 12 and up used drugs in the previous month, a 3.8% increase (YoY). (1)

With those statistics, it is very possible that a patient will be using some drug, whether it is a legal substance or not. To treat the patient properly, the medical staff will need to fully know what drugs or substances the patient has taken.

Drug Use Statistics

People go to urgent care for a variety of reasons, but one of those is overdosing. While trips to the urgent care consist of a bad cough or the flu, some are in active overdose, and to find out what they are dealing with, it is vital that they have instant drug testing on site. 

Deaths due to overdosing increased significantly throughout the pandemic, reaching all-time highs in 2021. It is said that approximately 107,000 people died from a drug overdose, increasing the age-adjusted death rate for overdoses by more than 14% in one year and 50% in the previous two years. (2)

With these sorts of numbers, it is imperative that urgent care will be seeing these patients. Because of this, drug testing is a must for them. Proper drug testing will allow them to better treat the patient experiencing an overdose.

How Urgent Care Sites Can Provide Quick Results On Drug Tests

Drug addiction is a serious problem that affects millions of people across the United States. In fact, it’s one of the leading causes of death in this country. Drug addiction can be very difficult to detect and even harder to treat. That’s where instant drug tests come in – they can provide quick results that help healthcare providers determine the best course of treatment for the patient.

Urgent care centers are a great place to perform drug tests because they’re open 24/7 and offer same-day results. This means patients can quickly and easily test for drugs and receive accurate information about what is in their system. Drug tests are more accurate when performed in an urgent care setting, as their staff or trained in the collection process.

Furthermore, being open at all hours of the night allow patients to be tested at any time. This helps employers schedule regular drug testing on employees at any hour. This makes it far more convenient for those that are working on off shifts such as thirds or seconds.  

The police can also utilize these services, as they pick up people clearly on something. This can be a quick and convenient way for them to find out exactly what. If they need medical attention, urgent care can provide that at the same time. 

While testing at the urgent care will most likely be an instant test, these tests are fairly accurate. To further test the patient on the levels of the drug and find out more details, they will need the help of Keystone Laboratories. 

Work With A Trusted Toxicology Expert

Keystone Laboratories, a CAP-accredited North Carolina licensed laboratory and CLIA-licensed lab, is committed to helping you make important decisions that impact the safety and health of your patients with greater confidence. Clients in 48 states can get prescription drug and substance abuse recovery monitoring, specialized testing, workplace drug testing, screening, and program management services from Keystone. Contact Keystone Laboratories today to receive the industry-leading laboratory testing services!

Urgent Care Clinics
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