If I’m sick, should I go to the ER or AFC Urgent Care?

With no appointment needed, you’ll be in and out in about an hour!

sick visit at walk in clinic

If you think you have a life-threatening condition, such as a heart attack or stroke, call 911 immediately. 

Should I go to the Emergency Room, AFC Urgent Care, or my Primary Care Doctor?

The professional team at our AFC Urgent Care & Walk-In Clinic of East TN locations strive to provide a safe and accessible alternative to the ER or your Primary Care Physician when the need arises.

American Family Care (AFC) is able to treat a wide variety of common illnesses and ailments, and is far more cost and time-effective than the ER. Patients at AFC are typically in and out in about an hour, with an average bill of $150.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 Americans will visit the ER at least once annually. As many of 70% of these visits could have been treated by an Urgent Care Center or a Primary Care Physician.

U.S. World and News Report reports that about 75% of children’s ER visits occur at night or on weekends, when their primary care physician (PCP) is unavailable. Many of these trips are due to respiratory illnesses, or other similar illnesses, that could instead be treated by an Urgent Care facility like AFC.

With ER costs being on average four times higher than regular doctor visits and usually having dramatically longer wait times, the American public is looking for a better solution for non-life-threatening medical situations. AFC Urgent Care offers an additional option.

What is Urgent Care?
Our facilities are walk-in health clinics and offer most of the basic services that your primary care physician and emergency room do. However, that does not mean that they should be used as a replacement for your primary care physician. AFC Urgent Care is here to help you in the event of a non-life-threatening injury or illness. If you find yourself in a medical situation that puts your life in danger, you should immediately contact emergency services. However, if you have a cold, get a cut or scrape, or think you might have the flu, we are a great option for you. Situations like these are not life-threatening, but illnesses like the flu have the capability of becoming dangerous if not treated quickly. Illness doesn’t always happen at the most convenient time, either. So if you get sick and need to see a doctor, but your primary care physician isn’t available, then visiting AFC Urgent Care may be the best option for you.

Is there anything urgent care centers can’t do?
As previously stated, we do not replace your primary care physician in any way. Your doctor is responsible for your medical history and treatment of any chronic conditions, and while walk in clinics are great for the sniffles, we don’t have access to your full medical history to treat chronic illness. Similarly, we typically will not refill prescriptions, because that responsibility and knowledge falls on your primary care physician.

All in all, AFC Urgent care is a great service available to you at times when your primary care physician may not be available. If you’ve got a cold or think you might have the flu and would like to seek immediate care, we are here to help you.

SOURCE: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2015-12-14/why-do-we-continue-using-the-er-for-care