Emergency Rooms vs Urgent Care Centers
People everyday deal with sudden illnesses and emergencies, and it always seems these unfortunate situations happen when your physician’s office is closed. If your emergency is bad enough, most people will go to their local emergency department, but that may not always be the best choice. This is where it would benefit people to know the many differences between emergency rooms and urgent care centers. Emergency rooms and urgent care centers differ in many ways, some of which include the severity of illnesses they can handle, wait time, and cost of care. In order to receive the best healthcare available to you, it’s important to know which facility can best assist you. Urgent care centers are equipped to treat patients for cuts, sprains, broken bones, headaches, cold and flu symptoms, mild to moderate abdominal pain and ear aches just to name a few. In the situation that your emergency may be more severe than you thought, the center will have you transported to your local emergency room. Most emergency rooms are equipped to handle true emergencies which include car accidents, falls, chest pains, strokes, assaults, head injuries, pregnancy complications, and severe abdominal pain. Small town hospitals are not always equipped to assist you with severe traumas, at which point the patient is flown out to an appropriate medical facility. Knowing what your local healthcare centers are equipped to handle before an accident or illness occurs is the first step in saving valuable time and sometimes lifesaving minutes We’ve all heard horror stories of the outrageous wait times in emergency rooms. According to a recent study done by Press & Ganey in 2007, the average time a patient spends in the ED is 4 hours, compared to 3.7 hours in 2006. What many patients don’t realize is they are seen in order of priority, which includes walk-ins. So for example, if you have a sprained ankle, you are considered a low...
References: Press Ganey Associates, In, 2010,. The Emergency Department Pulse Report:
Patient Perspectives on American Health Care.
Scruggs, S, 2010, Times Herald Record,
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