When to Consider Urgent Care
By: Dr. Rakesh Kalra
Although emergency rooms can provide crucial medical care during severe health crises, many people might be unaware of when a trip to the ER is unnecessary. An estimated 27.1 percent of all visits to the ER in the U.S. can be treated at urgent care facilities and retail clinics, according to a Rand Corp. study, potentially saving $4.4 billion annually in health-care costs[i]. It can often be cost-effective for patients to learn about urgent care facilities in their area and the services they offer.
Urgent care clinics can offer many advantages when compared to ERs, typically providing immediate care at a more affordable cost. The average ER visit costs more than seven times as much as the average urgent care visit, according to data from Consumer Reports[ii]. Many urgent care locations are open on evenings and weekends, providing an alternative to the ER when primary care providers' offices are typically closed. All four of HealthCare Partners Nevada's urgent care locations offer weekend and evening services. The Wynn clinic is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Patients are often unaware that most urgent care facilities can treat a wide variety of illnesses and conditions, including flu, minor broken bones and fractures, ear infections, skin rashes and urinary tract infections. Some urgent care clinics also offer laboratory services. HealthCare Partners' four urgent care clinics offer many services, including:
- Basic gynecology (at the Wynn, Calvada and West Charleston clinics)
- Internal medicine
- Laboratory services
- Laceration care
- Limited immunizations
- Minor procedures
- Wellness exams and physicals
HealthCare Partners Nevada's urgent care locations include:
- West Lake Mead clinic - 595 W. Lake Mead Parkway, Las Vegas
- Calvada clinic - 1501 E. Calvada Blvd., Pahrump
- West Charleston clinic - 9499 W. Charleston Blvd., Suite 150, Las Vegas
- Wynn clinic - 4880 S. Wynn Road, Las Vegas
It is important for patients to recognize when an illness or condition is severe enough to warrant a trip to the ER. Symptoms that likely require emergent care include seizures, extreme bleeding, head trauma with loss of consciousness and severe broken bones. Urgent care can treat conditions with less critical symptoms, including sore throat, earache, vomiting and rashes.
HealthCare Partners strives to provide immediate urgent care as part of its Total Care Model, a coordinated approach to health care in which a dedicated team of primary care providers, specialists and professional staff work together to manage all aspects of patients' care and overall health. To learn more about HealthCare Partners' urgent care services, visit www.hcpnv.com/urgentcare.
[i] Robin M. Weinick, Rachel M. Burns and Ateev Mehrotra for the Rand Corporation, September 2010, "Many Emergency Department Visits Could Be Managed at Urgent Care Centers and Retail Clinics"
[ii] ConsumerReports.org, April 2009, "Urgent Care: What You Need to Know"