Right Care. Right Place. Right Time.
Life’s inconveniences don’t only happen between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Too often, illnesses and injuries occur in the evenings, overnight or on weekends.
You may wake in the middle of the night with shortness of breath and chest pains. Your child may fall and get injured on the playground. Or perhaps your baby spikes a high fever over the weekend.
When situations like this occur, we’re faced with uncertainty about where to go for care, especially if pain is involved.
Knowing when to seek treatment from your primary care provider, convenient care or the emergency department can be tricky.
“We often see patients in the ER who could actually receive care at a walk-in clinic or their primary care doctor,” said Destinee DeLemos, M.D., co-medical director of Genesis Medical Center, Davenport Emergency Department. “Recognizing when to go to the ER versus convenient care can be confusing since most people feel injuries and illnesses need to be addressed quickly. However, there are clear differences in the level of care provided at each.”
Primary Care Provider
Your primary care provider should be your first call in non-emergency situations, and they play an integral part in your long-term health care. Your provider knows you and your health history, including what medications you’re taking. Regular check-ups from your provider also can prevent health issues before they occur.
No matter your age, it’s imperative you establish care with a provider. Genesis can help you find a provider who you can trust and who fits your needs by calling 563-421-DOCS.
Convenient care helps fill a vital gap for minor illnesses and injuries when your primary provider is not available and your illness or injuries are not life-threatening. Patients are often surprised at how much the walk-in clinic can handle.
It’s best to visit convenient care for colds, flu, minor cuts and burns, sprains and strains, fevers, sore throat, pneumonia, minor fractures, seasonal flu vaccines and stitches.
Genesis Convenient Care locations are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays for those after-work and weekend medical needs. Before heading to any of the clinics, patients can check wait times or reserve a spot in line at www.genesishealth.com/cc.
While convenient care is well-prepared to handle a wide range of pressing health issues, some medical conditions are emergencies and patients should go directly to the emergency room or call 911.
“I think sometimes patients are a little scared or in a bit of denial over their symptoms,” Genesis Convenient Care Medical Director Robert Mixsell, M.D., said. “Most of those instances are chest pains, where people think it’s just a cold, and a close second would be abdominal pain. Both of those require a much higher level of care than we can provide at convenient cares.”
Emergency rooms are staffed and equipped for more complex and critical care or life-threatening conditions, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, head, neck and eye injuries, sudden numbness, weakness, speech difficulty or vision changes, severe abdominal pain, seizures, coughing up or vomiting blood or uncontrolled bleeding.
“The best thing to do if you’re questioning where to go is call your primary care provider, if you have one, to ask them where they suggest you go,” Mixsell said. “Otherwise, you can always call any of the Genesis Convenient Cares to say, ‘Hey, is this something you’ll treat or do I need to go to the ER?’ ”