Skip to content

Category: Urgent Care Experience

Walk-In Clinic or ER: The Basics for When to Go Where

walk-in clinicAn injury or illness is never convenient. You or someone you love may fall ill on an evening, holiday, or weekend, when you cannot reach your primary care provider for advice. When an injury or illness occurs, knowing when you can go to a walk-in clinic – or when you should report directly in an emergency room – can save you time and additional expense.

When to Use a Walk-In Clinic

A walk-in clinic or urgent care is best for situations where you would normally see your primary care provider, but they are not available. Urgent cares play a vital role in filling the gaps between the family physician and emergency room. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that among patients who visited the ER but were not admitted, nearly half went because their doctor’s office wasn’t open.

Some people use the emergency room as an after-hour clinic but will face long waits for care due to the hospital triage system. A walk-in clinic provides middle ground by addressing patient needs that require prompt care but do not constitute a true medical emergency.

Symptoms appropriate for evaluation and treatment at a walk-in clinic or urgent care include:

●        Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

●        Abdominal pain

●        Dehydration

●        Fever without the presence of a rash

●        Strains, sprains, or minor occupational injuries

●        Flu-like symptoms

●        Small lacerations that require stitching

In general, urgent cares serve as a back-up to your primary care provider. If you have familiar symptoms of a recurring illness – such as an ear infection or UTI – an urgent care can help when your primary care physician is not available.

RELATED ARTICLE: 4 Ways to Speed Up You Urgent Care Visit

When Should I Go to the Emergency Room?

The emergency room is best reserved for medical conditions that present a true threat to patient health or safety. Symptoms that require evaluation and treatment in an emergency room include:

●        Chest pain, especially when accompanied by shortness of breath

●        Slurred speech or loss of balance

●        One-sided weakness or numbness

●        Serious or large surface area burns

●        Injuries to the head or eyes

●        Concussion

●        Fever accompanied by a rash

●        Seizures

●        Altered mental status

●        Large broken bones (hands, fingers, feet and toes are fine for an urgent care)

●        Vaginal bleeding in pregnancy

●        Severe flu-like symptoms

Knowing when to go to an emergency room and when to utilize a walk-in clinic can save you time, money, and frustration.

In general, many people use an emergency room because they are unaware a better option is available. When using an emergency room for a minor illness, you could be responsible for expensive co-pays.

A walk-in clinic can fill the gap between your primary care provider and serves as an excellent choice for minor illnesses and injuries. Visit out Urgent Care Services page for more information.

Better Providers. Better Care.

Learn why patients have come to trust Premier Urgent Care. Visit https://premierucchicago.com.

No appointment needed.
Call (773) 891-2890.
Insurance accepted.

4 Ways to Speed up Your Urgent Care Visit

reviewing patient information to speed up urgent care visitPatients often choose to visit urgent care centers because they prefer to avoid the long waiting periods associated with ER services and days-long waiting for their primary care service providers. Because of this increased demand, urgent care centers can get busy and have some wait times, albeit much shorter. Is there anything you can do to minimize this? Follow these tips to speed up your urgent care visit.

Online Check-In

Technology in the medical field not only has made healthcare delivery more effective, but it has also increased convenience for healthcare providers and patients. Many urgent care centers have websites where you can check-in online. This process is even easier if you are a returning patient to the clinic, because most of the information may be on file or in an online account. Online check-in saves time at the location and can guarantee you faster service.

Writing and Gathering Information

A great amount of time is spent looking over your relevant medical information before the actual visit. Show some consideration towards the receptionist, physician, and other staff, and bring as much of your medical information and documents as possible. In general, most urgent care clinics will require you to bring one of the following forms:

  • Valid identification (driver’s license, passport, etc.)
  • Insurance card (to verify your plan’s coverage and associated co-pays)
  • Method of payment (cash, check, card, etc.)
  • Completed patient forms.

In addition to your documents, you can bring in brief notes describing any symptoms or aspects of your current condition with as much detail as possible. Sometimes, your memory might get hazy, so writing down this information can help the healthcare provider immensely.  

Filling Out Forms Online

Just like with an appointment check-in, technology has expedited the process of filling out forms. Some urgent care clinics allow you to fill out the required forms online as you check-in. You can complete these forms from the comfort of your home and the information can be seamlessly uploaded by the time you arrive at the urgent care.

Resolving Billing

Another way to prevent potential delays and surprises right before your clinic visit is by resolving your financial information before the visit. Research methods of payment for the specific clinic you are visiting and arrive with the currency or method at hand. Also, urgent care clinics accept most forms of insurance, but double-check to ensure the chosen clinic accepts your insurance. Premier Urgent Care Chicago accepts most insurances except Medicaid.

Proper preparation will shorten your wait time, allow the healthcare provider to take better care of you and allow you to get back to the things you need to do.  

Better Providers. Better Care.

Learn why patients have come to trust Premier Urgent Care.

No appointment needed.

Call (773) 891-2890.

Insurance accepted.