HCA Midwest Health - December 01, 2017

Should You Go to an ER or an Urgent Care?

Every type of healthcare facility serves different needs and HCA Midwest Health works to address all of them. Travel miles away to the hospital for a simple sprain or a flu shot? That’s probably not the best use of your funds or medical benefits. Urgent care centers or your primary care doctor can handle those easily. But it gets trickier when you have more complicated conditions. HCA Midwest Health has facilities to deal with all of them: physicians’ offices, urgent care centers, emergency rooms and full-service hospitals.

Urgent care centers can deal with basic medical needs when your primary care doctor isn’t available. But even when you use those, you want your primary care doctor to know about it. If your doctor is affiliated with HCA Midwest Health and you go to one of our physician office urgent care centers or a CareNow Urgent Care we will keep your doctor up to date on your care.

For more serious conditions, you want an emergency room associated with a hospital: Chest pain, stroke, head injuries or major trauma, open fractures or severe bleeding, severe pain or weakness or numbness that is on one side. Those conditions can be handled at an emergency room, which is open 24 hours. Emergency rooms associated with a hospital can offer care that is dedicated to ER patients. Our ERs have imaging services that provide rapid testing for ER patients, so results come back quickly. In addition, ERs have more equipment (like CT scanners) and emergency trained healthcare teams.

No matter what level of care you need—doctor’s office, urgent care, emergency room or admission to a hospital—there’s a place in HCA Midwest Health for you. Look into your insurance coverage, but remember that medical emergencies should be treated at your nearest emergency room. Find out which hospitals and urgent care centers are in-network, and know which facility can serve you best at different times. At HCA Midwest Health, we have the largest network of ERs and urgent care facilities only minutes away from where you live, work and play—so we’re always nearby and easy to access when you need us most.

When you are in doubt, call your physician or go to the nearest ER.