Difference Between an ER, a Hospital, Urgent Care
Choosing where to go when you suddenly feel ill or have an accident can be the most crucial decision of your life. Making the right decision can help save your life.
Today at Supreme Care ER in Houston, Texas by Cypress and Jersey Village we will look at the differences between a stand-alone ER, a Hospital ER, and Urgent Care centers. The information will help you decide where to go when you have a medical emergency.
What is an ER?
Emergency rooms are life-saving care facilities for people during dire situations. These healthcare facilities specialize in providing prompt medical assistance for severe cases where every second counts and more benign conditions where a patient’s life is not in immediate danger.
Emergency Rooms are obligated to have a doctor on staff at all times; they also employ specialized nurses and have a wide range of diagnostic technology available on-site, including x-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs, and clinical labs.
Are Stand-Alone and Hospital ERs Equal?
A stand-alone Emergency Room operates independently from a hospital. Still, it must follow the same strict regulations as a hospital ER which guarantees the safety and quality of care you receive.
Hospital and freestanding emergency rooms share many similarities. Both are open 24/7 and have licensed doctors, nurses, laboratory, and radiology technicians available at all times. And both can treat severe and life-threatening conditions, including fractures, bleeding wounds, respiratory problems, stroke, and heart attacks.
However, there are some benefits of receiving care at a freestanding ER, such as:
- More convenient locations
- Shorter wait times
- More personalized care
These benefits result in faster discharge times, allowing you to leave and recover in the comfort of your home, and higher overall patient satisfaction.
Freestanding ERs are Not More Expensive
There are some misconceptions regarding stand-alone emergency rooms. For example, some people believe services are more expensive at a freestanding ER than in a hospital ER; however, this is not true. Pricing at both facilities is comparable, and since insurance companies by law cannot deny coverage for emergency care in an out-of-network facility, you are likely to have the same out-of-pocket and copay expenses.
What is an Urgent Care Facility?
Urgent Care clinics are a good option for non-emergency situations because you are unlikely to find a doctor present. Instead, most urgent Care clinics employ physician assistants and nurses to treat patients.
Although they offer some diagnostic technology, such as X-rays, they don’t provide the full range of diagnostic testing an ER does, which could complicate and delay treatment if your condition is more severe than expected.
Where to Go When You are Unwell
When a sudden illness or accident occurs, most people are unsure of where they should go to receive treatment. Unfortunately, delaying or making the wrong choice can compromise your life. So here is a quick guide to help you make the right decision.
Call 911 or go to the nearest ER should you experience any of the following symptoms:
- trouble breathing
- Pain in the chest area, jaw, or arm (symptoms associated with a heart attack)
- Unusually severe headache
- Slurred speech
- Loss of muscle coordination, having trouble keeping your balance
- Sudden confusion, dizziness, or weakness on one side of your body
- Loss of consciousness (fainting or passing out)
- Severe allergic reactions
- Head trauma
- Broken bone
- Severe bleeding
- Deep wounds and severe burns
- Very high fever
- Ingestion or inhalation of toxic or poisonous substances
- Coughing or vomiting blood
- Persistent diarrhea or vomiting
Visiting an Urgent Care clinic is advisable for the following conditions:
- Mild to moderate back and muscle pain
- Minor cuts and burns
- Mild diarrhea
- Skin rash
- Mild to moderate cold and flu symptoms
- Minor allergic reactions
At Supreme Care ER, we believe patients should receive quality care with minimal hassle. That is why we always have the most qualified doctors and nurses on staff available to treat you and your family.
In the end, if you ever have a doubt, your best bet is to visit Supreme Care ER.
We offer free medical screening to help guide you to what is your best course of action depending on your particular emergency. After all, only a medical expert will truly understand the difference if something is urgent care or emergency room.