Illness or injury often happens unexpectedly, and when it does, knowing whether to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider, go to Express Care, Urgent Care or the Emergency Room will help you choose the right options for your healthcare needs.
Your primary care provider should always be your first stop for everyday health concerns. If you don’t have an established primary care provider it is important to remember they can be your best ally in your journey to better health. Establishing a relationship with a primary care provider means you will have a partner in your healthcare. Your primary care provider knows your health history, they can help manage chronic medical conditions or other ongoing medical needs and they can refer you to a specialist if needed.
Express Care or Urgent Care clinics are designed to treat non-emergency medical conditions and are a great alternative for everyday health concerns when you aren’t able to see your primary care provider. Express Care or Urgent Care clinics are typically staffed by nurse practitioners and should be used for conditions that do not require follow-up. At some locations, lab and x-ray services are available and the cost of the visit is less than using the Emergency Room.
Emergency Rooms are designed for true medical emergencies that may require hospitalization. Always choose the Emergency Room if you are experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain, have broken or dislocated joints, or have symptoms of a heart attack.
Choosing the correct level of medical care will help make sure you receive the attention you need when you need it. Remember, Express Care or Urgent Care clinics play an important role in staying healthy, but they should not replace your primary care provider. No matter what your age or health history, a primary care provider is your go-to resource for knowledge and support regarding long-term and chronic health concerns and management. Routine visits with your primary care provider are an integral part of overall health management and wellness.
Hannibal Regional Medical Group’s primary care providers will listen to your story and take the time to understand your needs while working with you to individualize your path to better health. At Hannibal Regional Medical Group you can choose a provider who will listen, help and heal - because when it comes to your health care, the one you choose, the one you trust, and the one you see makes all the difference. To start your journey to better health call (573) 629-3500.