HCA Midwest Health - July 09, 2018

Why do I have to travel to the main hospital so far away for services when there are so many urgent cares near me?

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

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 CareNow Urgent Care centers, we will keep your doctor up to date on your care.

Emergency rooms

For more serious conditions, you want an emergency room associated with a hospital.

  • Chest pain
  • Stroke
  • Head injuries
  • Major trauma
  • Open fractures
  • Severe bleeding
  • Severe pain
  • 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.

KC healthcare options

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.

Check out our ER Locations

Urgent care vs. ER (image gallery description)

The difference between ER and Urgent care:

  • Urgent Care is like a primary doctor's office, but with extra hours and can have added services such as x-ray machines and a lab. Most ERs are part of a hospital - even ERs that aren't on a hospital campus. They provide care for serious life or limb-threatening emergencies.
  • Urgent Care should be used for minor conditions and illnesses that need immediate attention (like minor infections, sprains and strains or cuts that needed stitches). ERs should be used for serious issues that need immediate attention (like chest pain or pressure, difficulty breathing, or cuts that need stitches). But they can treat all levels of injury and illness.
  • Urgent Care may be staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Most HCA Midwest Health Urgent Care Centers are staffed by physicians and can connect you to specialists and other care if needed. ERs are always staffed by physicians with direct access to all the specialists and clinical expertise of the hospital. Also may be seen by a nurse practitioner or physician assistant who works directly with the doctor.
  • Urgent Care Centers have extended hours and are usually open later than a typical doctor's office and on weekends. They accept walk-ins and scheduled visits. ERs are open 24/7 and HCA Midwest Health have average ER wait times that are well below the national average.
  • We have 7 CareNow sites, plus College Park Family Care:
    • College Park Family Care Center
    • CareNow Raytown
    • CareNow South Kansas City
    • CareNow Overland Park North
    • CareNow Overland Park South
    • CareNow Leawood
    • CareNow Lee's Summit
    • CareNow Blue Springs
  • We have 10 ER locations:
    • Belton Regional Medical Center
    • Centerpoint Medical Center
    • ER of Brookside
    • ER of Olathe
    • ER of Shawnee
    • Lafayette Regional Health Center
    • Lee's Summit Medical Center
    • Menorah Medical Center
    • Overland Park Regional Medical Center
    • Research Medical Center