An estimated 130 million Americans visit the emergency room (ER) each year. It’s a staggering number that has resulted in the misuse and overcrowding of ERs across the country. ER overuse happens because many patients are not aware or informed of other choices they have, such as an urgent care clinic.
Patients with non-life-threatening medical conditions go to the ER and take up valuable space there that could be reserved for someone with a more critical condition.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how you can avoid unnecessary visits by keeping in mind these 5 tips.
Know When To Go To The ER
Minor injuries or illnesses typically do not require a visit to the ER. For example, if someone walks in an ER with a case of a flu (a minor illness), they’re preventing those critical patients who need care from getting it (say, someone who has been in a major car accident). However, serious medical conditions that can threaten life or cause disability should be immediately considered as an emergency.
Among the symptoms that can be treated at an ER include:
- Chest pain
- Stroke symptoms
- Severe head or organ trauma
- Excessive bleeding
- Breathing difficulty
- Severe stomach pain
- Vision changes
Choose Urgent Care or Walk-In Clinics
Minor injuries and illnesses are much better treated in an urgent care center. Urgent care centers are perfectly equipped to handle anything from sprained ankles to fevers to bone fractures . These centers also provide the following advantages:
- Shorter waiting times
- Faster treatment and relief
- A lot more affordable than the ER
- Longer open hours than a family doctor’s office
- More focused patient care
- Same-day care or service
It is highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with urgent care centers near your area. Knowing the nearest center can save you time, effort, and money. For Wellington residents, Premier Urgent Care is one of the most trusted urgent care providers.
Take Good Care Of Your Health
Paying attention to your health can save you hundreds of dollars. Proper diet and regular exercise goes a long way in preventing injuries or illnesses. In addition, regular physical exams and checkups at an urgent care facility can help you stay away from an ER. Be sure to check the following with your urgent care physician :
- Blood pressure
- Family history of medical problems (heart disease, cancer, diabetes)
- Preventative immunization from particular illnesses
Not only are ER waiting times longer, but many hospitals across the country now have a screening process to determine which medical conditions qualify as an emergency.
Those who do not have an emergency but want to be treated at the ER often pay almost as twice the cost of an urgent care.
Premier Urgent Care understands that ER visits can be frustrating for you and your family. Remember these tips to stay healthy all year round!