Prevention and Wellness

After Hours Clinics

Premier HealthNet physicians answer Frequently Asked Questions about After Hours Care.

What is an After Hours Clinic?

You think your sore throat might be strep or your son’s twisted ankle might actually be sprained or broken. Where do you go for care if your regular doctor’s office is closed?

After Hours clinics:

  • See you without an appointment for just about anything you’d normally see your regular doctor for
  • Are normally open during evenings and on weekends
  • Usually charge less than urgent care clinics and emergency rooms

What Kind of Care Can I Get at an After Hours Clinic?

It’s a good idea to see your family doctor for routine care, work or sports physicals, or immunizations since he or she knows you and your health history. But if you can’t be seen in your doctor’s office, you can visit an after hours clinic. Think of it as an extension of your doctor’s office. You’ll receive many of the same services your doctor would provide – like blood tests and X-rays – but after regular office hours.

So if you’re not sure if your son’s ankle is sprained or broken, after hours care is a quick alternative to the emergency room or urgent care.

Dr. Mesker explains: What Kind of Care Can I Get at an After Hours Clinic?

 

 

When are After Hours Clinics Open?

After hours clinics are open when your doctor’s office is closed — evenings and weekends. Exact hours vary, but most after hours clinics are open from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm on weeknights, and during the afternoons and early evenings on weekends.

What Does an After Hours Visit Usually Cost?

After hours care costs about the same as a visit to your primary care doctor. It’s much less expensive than urgent or emergency care. While the average cost of a trip to the emergency room may be $500 to more than $1,200, your visit to an after hours facility will cost only as much as a physician office visit or your insurance co-payment.

How Will my Doctor Know I’ve Been to an After Hours Clinic?

Most after hours clinic doctors have their own practices, too, so they know how important it is for your primary care doctor to stay updated about your care. Many Dayton area physician offices and after hours clinics are linked through electronic medical records. (Premier Health uses a system called Epic.) If you’re seen after hours, your Premier Health doctor receives an update on your care so he or she can follow up with you as needed.

Dr. Mesker explains: How Will my Doctor Know I’ve Been to an After Hours Clinic? 

 

 

What’s the Difference Between After Hours and Urgent Clinics?

  • Hours – After hours clinics are usually open evenings and weekends when your doctor’s office is closed. Urgent Care clinic hours may vary.
  • Communication – We’ll update your family doctor in writing about your after hours visit by the next day if he or she is linked on our computer system. (Our electronic medical records system is Epic.)
  • Cost – After hours clinics cost about the same as a doctor’s visit. Urgent care centers can have higher costs and insurance copays, depending on your coverage.

When in Doubt, Go to the Emergency Room

If you think you or a loved one is having a life-threatening emergency, go to the nearest emergency room.

Emergency symptoms include:

  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Severe chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure
  • Choking
  • Severe or uncontrolled bleeding
  • Suddenly not able to see, move or speak
  • Fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness or loss of consciousness
  • Poisoning
  • Deep cuts or severe burns
  • An attack by a person or animal
  • Broken bones or sudden, severe joint pain or swelling
  • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Changes in vision
  • Any sudden or severe pain
  • Coughing or vomiting blood
  • Unusual abdominal pain
  • Suicidal feelings

How can someone tell if a cut needs stitches?

Typically, a cut needs stitches if you can’t bring the skin back together on your own and have it stay that way, Premier Physician Network (PPN) physicians.

Deep cuts where you can see the tendons or any parts that shouldn’t be able to be seen through the skin also need stitches. If you’re having trouble getting a cut to stop bleeding, that could also be a sign you need stitches.

Talk to your doctor for more information about how to tell if a cut needs stitches.

Do all cuts or scratches require stitches?

Not all cuts and scratches need stitches. Actually, most can heal on their own, according to Premier Physician Network (PPN) physicians.

Stitches are not needed for minor cuts and scratches you might get on a regular, everyday basis. They are only needed when other ways of closing a cut aren’t working.

Talk to your doctor for more information about what cuts and scratches need stitches.

What are long-term risks that can come with not properly caring for a cut?

The biggest long-term risk you face if you don’t properly care for a cut is infection, according to Premier Physician Network (PPN) physicians.

People don’t often wash their hands just before getting cut, so it can be easy for germs and bacteria to get into a wound when the cut first happens.

Other risks include excess blood loss from deep wounds, bleeding to death, and having debris or a piece of an object stuck inside the cut.

It’s important to care for both minor and more major cuts to avoid these kinds of long-term health issues.

Talk with your doctor to find out more long-term risks of not properly caring for a cut.


Schedule an appointment

To schedule an appointment with a Pediatrician, call (866) 608-FIND(866) 608-FIND or complete the form below to receive a call from our scheduling department to make an appointment.

 

Source: David Mesker, MD, Englewood Family Practice; Ratna Palakodeti, MD, First Care Family Medical; Susan Davis-Brown, MD, Brookville Family Care

Content Updated: May 16, 2018

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