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July is ER Diversion Month

Know Where to Go

It could save you time and money.

When you or a loved one is sick or injured, you want care as quickly as possible. Your first instinct may be to go to the emergency room, but if it isn’t a true emergency, there is a better option. You can save time and money by going to an urgent care facility instead of the emergency room. Emergency room visits can cost thousands of dollars, but, depending on your insurance, you can go to an urgent care facility and only spend the amount of your copay. Also, you can often be in and out of an urgent care facility in 30 minutes or less, while the wait time alone at the emergency room can be hours. You can also use a telehealth app or website to have a virtual visit with a licensed professional from the comfort of your home. Most can even write prescriptions.

Knowing where to go can make a huge difference. Here are some true emergency situations. Call 911 or go to the emergency room if someone has:

  • Stopped breathing
  • A head injury with unconsciousness, fainting or confusion
  • An injury to the neck or spine
  • A severe burn
  • Signs of a heart attack, such as severe chest pain or pressure
  • A seizure
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Broken bones
  • Signs of a stroke, such as numbness of the face, arm and leg on one side of the body
  • Become unable to speak, see, walk or move
  • An unusual or bad headache
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Ingested or inhaled poison
  • A life-threatening injury or symptom

Here are some situations where an urgent care or telehealth visit is your best option:

  • A cold
  • Flu symptoms
  • Earache
  • Sore throat
  • Migraine headache
  • Low-grade fever
  • Sprain, strain or back pain
  • Minor injuries
  • Cuts or wounds if bleeding is controlled
  • Medical problem if not life-threatening but needs immediate attention

If your problem is not life-threatening or there is no risk of disability, but you can’t wait to see your primary care physician, go to an urgent care facility or use telehealth. No appointment is necessary.