It’s important to know when and where to go for care. If a health concern arises after hours and you cannot wait until your physician is available, an urgent care center may be the best choice.
Without doubt, the ER is appropriate when immediate medical treatment is needed for a serious accident or emergency. If you or a loved one experience a life- or health-threatening medical situation, call 9-1-1 or proceed to the nearest hospital right away.
But for those less serious illnesses or injuries that need prompt attention, but aren’t exactly emergencies, an urgent care center is the better alternative. Here’s why:
So, how do you know if your situation can be treated at urgent care, or if an ER visit is needed? If you have the following, go to the ER:
Examples of problems that an urgent care center can treat include:
Urgent care centers can treat pediatric and geriatric patients, although frail elderly people or very young infants should go to an ER with any serious medical issues.
All CDPHP primary care providers are required to have a 24-hour on-call physician. If you’re unsure as to what to do, consult with your PCP’s office for direction. Or, use the CDPHP Find-A-Doc mobile app, web-based Provider Search or call member services to find a nearby urgent care center.
Again, if you believe that you’re experiencing a life-threatening emergency, dial 9-1-1 for an ambulance or go to your nearest emergency department.
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