Health

Independent Emergency Care Centers Bridge Emergency Rooms and Urgent Care

The growing use of urgent care centers, both at medical centers and in independent locations, has helped patients get fast care at times when their regular doctors were not available. This has lessened the strain on emergency rooms and enabled patients to recover more quickly, instead of requiring them to wait until they can get an appointment with their doctor.

However, urgent care handles only so much. If a patient has anything more serious than what the urgent care clinic can offer, or if the urgent care clinic itself is swamped, he or she has to head to the emergency room. There, the patient could encounter a very long wait as more serious cases show up over the next several hours. Patients who need critical attention but whose problems are just shy of needing emergency surgery often get stuck in this limbo.

A new set of centers, though, is bridging this gap. These emergency care centers help patients who need anything from a lab test for diagnosing an infection to care for seizures and head injuries, issues that would normally require emergency help. When looking for an emergency center Ft Worth residents now have more choices that enable them to better care for their condition.

Determining Where to Go

Of course, the Dallas-Ft Worth region has a large number of each type of center, so choosing where to go for what condition is important.

Life-threatening emergencies need to head to an emergency department at a hospital, if possible. However, if the condition is serious but not immediately life-threatening (e.g., a broken bone, a seizure that has ended and the patient needs to be checked out), an emergency care center could be appropriate. Less severe issues — needing a test to diagnose an infection, for example — can go to either an emergency care center or an urgent care center.

When looking for an emergency center Ft Worth residents should also consider insurance coverage areas. One step that residents can take is to locate emergency centers nearby and find out the center’s status with the patient’s insurance company before something happens. That will allow the patient to identify, ahead of time, which centers should be at the top of the list of places to go.

Patients should not have to worry about getting care after hours or during very busy times. These emergency centers offer an excellent option for those who need acute care that is more involved than what might be offered at an urgent care center — and that helps everyone who needs care by freeing up spots at other types of center.

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Clare Louise

Clare Louise