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Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care Facility

MIAMI, FL. (PRWEB) May 07, 2013

Emergency rooms are not always the fastest choice for medical care needs, and certainly not the most cost-effective. For conditions that are not life threatening, patients may be able to save time and money by going to a local urgent care facility. Sometimes called a “doc in a box,” freestanding walk-in centers usually offer extended hours, their doctors can treat non-life-threatening medical situations, perform basic X-rays and lab work, and dispense prescriptions.

It can be difficult to know whether an illness or injury is really an emergency, but the judgment is for the patient to make. If the condition is obviously life threatening, or causing severe pain and distress, then the need for an emergency room is clear. Says Dr. Korn of Fastcare, and advises on Urgent care treatment versus Emergency room.

According to Dr. Mathew Korn, FastCare, urgent care midtown facilities, are for non-life-threatening conditions that need attention right away. These include minor traumas such as cuts, sprains, eye injuries, flu, fever, insect bites, and simple fractures. Patients are usually seen on a walk-in basis, and many centers have extended hours. By administering an EKG or adjusting a diabetes medication, Aventura and Miami urgent care centers can even help manage chronic health conditions after normal business hours, when the family doctor may not be available.
Fast Care centers have computerized radiology equipment and the ability to do lab work such as a complete blood count (CBC) test or electrolyte test. They can also run diagnostic tests for conditions such as mono, strep, pregnancy, flu, and viruses, according to Dr. Korn. In some states, urgent care centers can dispense the same medications as a pharmacy.
Their urgent care centers are staffed with board certified physician. “In our center, anytime a patient requests it, they can see the doctor rather than the physician assistant or nurse practitioner,” says ,Korn MD.

How to find one of those facilities - It’s a good idea to locate an fastcare facility close by to know where to get quick help when needed, and to research what its medical capabilities are. Paying a visit and asking about their facilities for treating a certain condition is also a good idea, such as the ability to do lab work, CT scans, or life support if the situation demands it.
To locate urgent care Miami facilities, look for one that is accredited - which indicates that it meets industry standards for ambulatory care.
Cost - As a rule of thumb, one-third to one-half that of an emergency room visit, according to Dr. Korn. Urgent care centers usually accept many types of insurance, cash, debit or credit cards.

When should a patient visit an Emergency room? In a case of symptoms of heart attack, stroke or feeling of "life or limb", it is recommended to go immediately to the emergency room, even if the person is unsure of the symptoms. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, a patient should visit the ER when having any of the following warning signs:

  •     Chest pain or pressure
  •     Uncontrolled bleeding
  •     Sudden or severe pain
  •     Coughing or vomiting blood
  •     Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  •     Sudden dizziness, weakness, or changes in vision
  •     Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  •     Changes in mental status, such as confusion
How to find an ER - If there is a choice of emergency rooms nearby, consult with the primary care physician, which ER is recommended. Check with the insurer to see which facilities belong to their network, and whether the amount of ER coverage differs at in-network and out-of-network hospitals.
Cost - According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), average expenses for all people who had one or more visits to an ER in 2009 were just over 1k.

About Fastcare - As a network of emergency medical clinics, FastCare Aventura and Miami beach provide flu shots on a seasonal basis and offer preoperative physicals and clearances when patients are required to have one done prior to a surgical procedure.
For more detailed information on the treatment of a specific type of illness, please contact FastCare at: 786-923-4000, or visit their website

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