When to Use a Freestanding Emergency Room Instead of an Urgent Care
The times when one needs emergency medical care are usually some of the most challenging times. It is usually quite hard to figure out whether to get your emergency treatment at a freestanding emergency room or from an urgent care center. Freestanding emergency rooms and urgent care centers are uniquely different in terms of the services they offer. Freestanding emergency rooms have become a very common and more appealing choice for patients. Bellaire ER has highlighted the following tips that will help you know when to use a freestanding emergency room instead of an urgent care clinic.
1. When your medical condition is serious
If your emergency medical condition is limb threatening or life threatening, it is advisable to visit a freestanding emergency room. Urgent care centers are only suitable to handle the less-serious medical emergencies that do not pose any threat to the patient’s life or limb.
2. If you want assurance of being treated by a certified physician
Physicians who handle treatment of patients who visit freestanding emergency rooms are usually board certified. A patient is assured of their treatment being handled by a certified and competent physician. This is unlike in urgent care centers where a patient can be left in the hands of a nurse.
3. When you have private insurance
One of the unique characteristics of freestanding emergency rooms is that they only accept private insurance. So if you are one of those people who purchased a private health insurance cover and happen to have a serious medical emergency, you can opt for a freestanding emergency room instead of an urgent care center.
4. If you can comfortably afford the high treatment costs at freestanding emergency rooms
Freestanding emergency rooms have a reputation of charging very high treatment fees. This due to the quality and the range of services they offer. Most treatments at these facilities cost more than $1000. If you can comfortably afford the treatment costs, then settle for a freestanding emergency room instead of an urgent care center.
5. When you need to be attended to fast
Urgent care centers require patients to wait in line for their time as they operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. Freestanding emergency rooms, on the other hand, have no such policies. The patient is treated first depending on the severity of their condition. The response is usually much faster as compared to urgent care centers.
6. When you have to be under doctor’s monitor overnight
Some medical conditions require that you be under close monitoring by a doctor for some hours. Freestanding emergency rooms usually admit patients for up to 23 hours for monitoring. People who need extended monitoring can be transferred to a hospital.
7. For effective lab test results
While urgent care centers may have their own laboratories, they are not usually as sophisticated and fully furnished as those for freestanding emergency rooms. Theirs are usually more capacitated and more advanced.
8. When in need of advanced ultra-imaging and radiography
Most urgent care centers only have X-ray machines. Freestanding ERs, in addition to the X-rays, offer CT scanning and radiology Services.
9. When in need of medication that requires IV treatment
The only other place you can get IV treatment from other than in hospitals is in a freestanding emergency room. Some emergency cases require one to be administered with IV fluid, and such a case calls for one to be treated at a freestanding emergency room as opposed to urgent care centers.
10. When emergency strikes at weird hours
The beauty of freestanding emergency rooms is that they operate 24 hours a day, every day of the week. In case an emergency occurs at night, you can always rely on them for treatment. Urgent care centers are usually open during the stipulated working hours only.
11. If your treatment requires more sophisticated equipment
Freestanding emergency rooms are equipped with more sophisticated treatment equipment that can handle the sophisticated medical conditions, unlike urgent care centers.
12. More suitable for patients who need continuous monitoring
If your medical condition requires you to be under close monitoring by a physician, a freestanding emergency room is better suited to handle your treatment as opposed to an urgent care center.
13. When you need better customer service
Freestanding emergency rooms are usually characterized by better customer service. This means that you get more overall assistance and satisfaction at a freestanding emergency room as compared to an urgent care center.
14. When in doubt of the seriousness of your illness
Just like hospitals, freestanding emergency rooms usually have ambulances and paramedics who can come to pick you from your home and begin administering treatments. Urgent care centers require you to bring yourself to them.
15. If you suspect you might need hospital transfer
While freestanding emergency rooms can handle severe medical conditions and even overnight monitoring, one may need to be moved to a hospital for further treatment and monitoring. If you suspect you may have to be referred to a hospital, visit a freestanding emergency room instead.