Indiana, PA - Indiana County

STEVE WOLFE's 'SEEDS OF WELLNESS:' When to go to the ER

by on March 25, 2014 10:50 AM

People have been asking questions about the proper use of an Urgi-Care.

This column should make it easy for you to decide which service will be best when care is needed.

Let’s start with the purpose of an Urgi-Care.

An Urgi-Care is designed to help you in an “urgent” situation such as a small laceration, a sprain or strain, and cough cold/symptoms.

No appointments are taken for Urgi-Care patients. We all know that this time of year it can be quite difficult to get a same day appointment with your primary care physician (PCP) when you are ill.

The Urgi-Care is there to help. You’re ill, but not ill enough for the ER, yet need to be seen — Urgi-Care is there.

An Urgi-Care is not designed to replace your PCP, but rather to support them in your care.

General PCP functions such as immunizations, yearly physical/well checks, and management of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and thyroid conditions need to be managed by your PCP.

By the same token, we are not designed to care for such things as obvious fractures, chest pain, shortness of breath and stroke symptoms.

These types of issues are best handled in the emergency room, and we will transfer you to the nearest ER for care.

Because Urgi-Care is not a PCP or ER, your insurance company will not allow us to collect the PCP or ER co-pay.

The hospital will collect the specialist co-pay if an Urgent Care fee is not listed.

When to go to the ER:  

• Chest pain or pressure

• Stroke symptoms  

• Pregnancy complications

• Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath  

• Obvious fracture  

• Large/severe lacerations

• Abdominal pain

• Kidney stones

• Burns  

• Severe headache  

• Severe allergic reactions

• Assaults (physical/sexual)

When to go to the Urgi-Care:

• Sinus pain/pressure

• Earache

• Allergy symptoms

• Sore throat

• Sprains/strains

• Cough/cold/flu symptoms

• Urinary symptoms without abdominal pain

• Minor lacerations

• Pink eye

• Rashes

• Mental status change/depression  

The website www.indianarmc.org also lists the average wait times for both UrgiCare centers and the Bork Emergency Center.

However, we urge you to choose the service based on your need and not the length of the wait.

This is just one more way that you can control your and your family’s health.

You are worth it!



Steve Wolfe, the President and CEO of Indiana Regional Medical Center, writes the periodic Seeds of Wellness column in The Indiana Gazette. His columns appear Tuesdays on the Health Page in the paper and in the Community News on The Indiana Gazette Online.
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