Saving Emergency Room Visits for True Emergencies

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Though a primary care provider’s office is the best place to visit when you have a non-emergency health issue, sometimes health problems come up outside of office hours. 

According to research from the New England Healthcare InstituteOff Site Icon(NEI), as many as 56 percent of all emergency department (ED) visits are avoidable because the issues could have been dealt with somewhere else.

Instead of using EDs for true emergencies, people are frequently using them for any non-urgent after hours care. Knowing what constitutes an emergency can be the first step to cutting down unnecessary ED visits.

The National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH) states that if a person or unborn baby could die or could become permanently disabled then it is definitely an emergency.

Call 911, according to the NIH, in situations including:

  • Choking
  • Electric shock
  • Head injury that includes passing out, fainting, or confusion
  • Neck and spine injuries
  • Seizures
  • Severe burn
  • Severe pain or pressure
  • Stopped breathing

Go to an Emergency Department or call 911, according to the NIH, in situations including:: 

  • Arm or jaw pain
  • Breathing trouble
  • Deep wound
  • Dizziness that won’t go away
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Inhaled smoke or poisonous fumes
  • Passing out, fainting
  • Seizures
  • Serious burn
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Sudden confusion
  • Suddenly unable to speak, see, walk, or move
  • Throwing up blood
  • Throwing up or diarrhea that won’t go away
  • Unusually bad headaches

When your health issue is less severe, it’s best to try to see your primary care provider. However, when your health issues come up outside of office hours, you have other options.

Though urgent care facilities are an option, they sometimes have limited evening and weekend hours. Urgent care visits – as well as emergency department visits - also usually cost more than a visit at your own provider’s office.

Premier Physician Network's After Hours Care (AHC) is a convenient, cost-effective alternative for non-life threatening illnesses and minor injuries that happen outside of regular physician office hours.

The AHC offices are located in Beavercreek, Englewood, and Troy, with each office offering slightly different services.

AHC offices are open seven days a week (excluding a few holidays) on evenings and weekends. They are meant to be an extension of your physician’s office. Physicians at AHC locations can treat the same types of injuries and conditions as your physician, perform physicians, provide immunizations, and take X-rays on-site.

The cost of an AHC visit is typically the same as a co-pay for a regular physician office visit. And, if your physician uses the online medical record system Epic, a record of your AHC visit will be sent along to your doctor following your care.

For more information about alternatives to emergency room visits and After Hours Care, talk with your doctor or find a physician

Find Your Perfect Match

Answer a few questions and we'll provide you with a list of primary care providers that best fit your needs.

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