Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Do you know what to do before heading to the ER?


Every year, millions of Americans use emergency rooms (ER) for routine medical care. They face long waits for care that they could receive more quickly in a doctor's office — and much more cost-effectively. Plus, emergency room treatments for non-emergency medical conditions is a major contributor to the rising cost of health care.
Cost Comparison: ER vs. Office Visit1
Average emergency room treatment: $689.00
Average physician's office treatment: $97.00
You can help avoid a long wait, get quality care and spend less when you find a facility based on your symptoms. It’s easy.
Use the information below to help you determine which course of action is necessary for your condition.2

If you have one or more of these symptoms
go immediately to the ER or call 9-1-1:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Chest pain lasting two minutes or more
  • Difficulty breathing; shortness of breath
  • Sudden loss of vision, numbness or difficulty speaking
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Severe burns
  • Head trauma
  • Major broken bones
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Sudden or severe pain

If you have one or more of these symptoms visit the nearest
Urgent Care Clinic. For a list of available clinics, use the Find a Doctor Facility tool on m.healthpartners.com or the free myHP app

  • Severe migraines
  • Severe back pain
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Minor broken bones (toe, foot, finger)
  • Fevers
  • Asthma attacks (mild to moderate)
  • Severe cough
  • Eye irritation
  • Pinworms
  • Minor reactions to medications (itchiness, skin rash, hives)
  • Animal bites
  • Wounds requiring stitches

If you have one or more of these symptoms contact your physician's
office or call the CareLine 24/7 at 800-551-0859:

  • Sore or strep throat
  • Urinary tract and bladder infections
  • Earaches or ear infections
  • Minor fevers
  • Cough, colds and flu
  • Nasal congestion
  • Allergy symptoms
  • Skin issues including rashes, ringworm and chicken pox
  • Pink eye
  • Head lice
  • Insect bites
  • Minor burns, cuts and scrapes
  • Sprains and strains
  • Any situation where it would be convenient, but not necessary, to seek care from an emergency room

Go Online
Still unsure?
If you’re still unsure, call ahead and describe your symptoms to the staff of the urgent care center. If the urgent care clinic in question can't accommodate your condition, they will advise you to go the nearest emergency facility.3

1  Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield Health Care Analytics, 2011
2  American College of Emergency Physicians, 2012
3  National Association for Ambulatory Care, 201