Your Health Care Choices
When a medical emergency comes up in your family, today’s options for getting help are more confusing than ever. Gone are the days when a quick call to the family doctor covered it all. Between walk-in clinics at the local pharmacy and the 24-hour hospital emergency room there exist numerous options for care. Making the wrong choice in any given situation could be expensive at best, and life-threatening at worst. What is today’s parent to do when your child comes up sick or injured?
According to Dr. Scott Pierce, Medical Director at Rockwall Urgent Care, “If it’s a life-threatening situation such as severe trauma, bleeding or sudden onset illness, go to the hospital ER. But for most situations, your best choice may be an urgent care facility. 60-75% of what gets seen in in the typical hospital emergency room can be handled in urgent care, for a fraction of the cost.”
An urgent care center is appropriate for most non-emergency situations. They are usually open beyond normal business hours. Rockwall Urgent Care, for example, is open until 9PM on weekdays, and 9AM – 6PM on weekends. Also, patients are likely to be seen more quickly than at a hospital, where severe illness and injury emergencies will take precedence over a non life threatening case.
Perhaps the most interesting development in the world of urgent care is telemedicine, whereby a patient can schedule a “virtual” appointment with a practitioner through video conference. Virtual visits can be used for quick treatments and requests, such as prescription refills (if your pharmacy is located in Texas), a follow-up to a recent visit, or urgent treatment for a minor medical issue such as an ankle sprain or flu symptoms.
A telemedicine patient, with the use of a computer, phone, or tablet equipped with a webcam and microphone, can be seen from the comfort of their own home or while traveling. And with the advent of accessory devices, vital signs can be monitored remotely to be sure that treatment is effective or that the patient doesn’t need hands-on care.
Leslie Wilson, Rockwall Urgent Care’s Marketing Director, adds, “Telemedicine will work particularly well for people whose children get sick at school, but the parents can’t get them into the doctor’s office the same day, or for someone who’s sprained an ankle and doesn’t want to have to get out of the house.”
The clinic encourages patients to utilize telemedicine for quick treatments and requests, such as prescription refills, a follow-up to a recent visit, or urgent treatment for a minor medical issue. Telemedicine visits are available for the low price of $75.00. The clinic is working to add Telemedicine to its insurance plans, as well.