When a medical emergency arises, deciding where to go for treatment is not only important but also involves a number of non-medical considerations. In some cases, a severe injury or heart attack can mean a trip to the nearest big city hospital ER. On the other hand, many medical situations such as flu, broken bones, or headaches may only require a visit to the nearest emergency care facility. Every day the number of walk-in medical facilities increases, so how does a patient select the care center best suited for them? Below are some considerations that may help.
When you’re looking for an emergency, urgent care center consider the following factors to select one that is best suited for you and your family.
- Location: Perhaps one of the most critical factors in choosing an urgent care emergency room is its location. Finding one in your community and located within a short drive is comforting when you need to see a medical professional. A short drive beats facing traffic jams and the difficult parking you’ll encounter at large hospitals.
- Hours: Medical emergencies don’t watch the clock. They can happen anytime day or night, so it’s important to know that the emergency room you select is open and available when you need them. Think twice before choosing a clinic that is only open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and is not open on weekends. The clinic you want should be available around the clock.
- Follow-up Care after the Visit: Often patients arriving at the emergency room do not have a primary care physician. Some emergency care clinics offer to continue to see patients after their initial visit. When follow-up care is available, the clinic can serve as the patient’s primary care physician. In these cases, the clinic can track the progress of the original emergency care treatment and provide ongoing routine medical care. Even if you have a primary care doctor, follow-up care for a specific medical emergency is important.
- Insurance: Knowing whether or not the emergency room you plan to use accepts your insurance is something that should be investigated before actually using the facility. As you look at ER options, check with the front desk and discuss your insurance plan. Also, once you’ve made a decision, the ER may be willing to complete all required insurance information in advance of an emergency visit. This will save a great deal of time and disruption when you come to the ER in need of medical assistance. And, if you are without insurance, check to see what kinds of payment arrangements can be made.
- Providers’ Professionalism: It’s important to know whether the ER is staffed with doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, or technicians. When you feel you need to see a doctor, it’s comforting to know one is available. And, check to see if the ER’s you are considering have a network of specialists that you can be referred to if necessary. In addition, if needed, facilities should be able to provide ancillary services such as diagnostic imagining and surgical care.
- Appointment or Walk-In Flexibility: Sometimes there is no time to phone for an appointment, and you need to visit an ER that accepts walk-ins. In other cases, more routine medical needs, such as follow-up care, can be scheduled ahead of time. Being able to make an appointment helps keep the day’s routine organized. And, usually, patients with appointments experience reduced wait times.
If you are new to the area or are just seeking quality nearby emergency care, consider Emergency Hospital Systems, LLC. We are a multiple location, community hospital system with five locations to serve you; two in Cleveland, and one each in Porter, Spring, and Humble. Our facilities are conveniently located within our communities, are easy to get to with ample free parking, are open 24/7/365, and are staffed with board-certified doctors and nurses.
Feel free to make an appointment or just walk in. We accept most insurance plans and, if you are without insurance, talk with our office staff to discuss various payment options. It’s good to plan in advance, so when you consider which emergency room you’ll choose, think Emergency Hospital Systems, LLC. Call today with your questions or to make an appointment, 281-592-5400.