Johana Rodriguez, Marketing Liaison at AvantGarde Urgent Care, this week launched the first health consumer awareness campaign to encourage Tampa Bay area residents, visitors and tourists –to shop smart for healthcare.
The purpose of this campaign – to educate our community to shop smart for health services and the common misuse of emergency rooms (ERs) for nonemergency care.
“Monday June 20th, 2016 was the first day of summer, and with summer here we have begun the highest-traffic season for the beach, tourists – and of course also for emergency rooms. While everyone wants to stay away from visiting the ER – and we hope to never need one – many people visit ERs every year for non-emergency ailments or injuries that could be better treated in urgent care centers because they needed medical care and didn’t know where else to go”.
“In many cases, patients that end up at the ER could have saved significant time, money and frustration by avoiding ERs for non-emergency or life-threatening conditions. Our goal is to raise awareness about the benefits of visiting alternatives to the ER in our community – the first in a series of awareness campaigns over the coming months designed to encourage everyone to shop smarter for health care.”
First and foremost, Rodriguez stated that she wants to be clear that health and safety is a priority for everyone– and that we should always call 911 or seek medical treatment at the nearest ER if we are experiencing chest pain shortness of breath or a life-threatening condition.
“Our goal is to inform our community about ER alternatives so that we as a community make better decisions when it comes to seeking medical care. By choosing wisely our community will benefit with the best and safest possible patient experience when they suffer an injury or illness,” Rodriguez said.
EMERGENCY ROOMS VS. URGENT CARE: THE FACTS
• The average cost for an emergency room visit is $1,757
• The average cost for an urgent care visit is $153
According to the CDC, there is 136.3 million of ER visits per years; however, a recent review by Anthem reveals that approximately 50 percent of emergency room visits were for non-emergency conditions that could have been treated in an urgent care.
These are some of the most common conditions that could be treated in urgent care centers:
• Upper respiratory infections
• Sprained ankle or other extremity
• Urinary tract infection
• Gastrointestinal issues
• Car Accident Injuries
• Foreign body removal
• Minor injuries: sprains, back pain, minor cuts and burns, minor broken bones, or
• Minor eye injuries
• Common illnesses: colds, the flue, earaches, sore throats, migraines, low-grade fevers and limited rashes
This link – from the U.S. National Library of Medicine – offers additional helpful tips to determine what cases warrant calling 911 and seeking ER care vs. urgent care:
WHY SHOULD WE CARE?
CONVENIENCE: Urgent Cares offer the walk-in convenience of the emergency rooms in a clinic style setting with after-hours availability, delivering care more efficiently and with less waiting times. Additionally, most urgent care locations have on-site X-Ray equipment and on-site laboratory which can handle more sever urgent care services such as broken bones, burns, dehydration.
COST: ERs are not only more expensive for the state – they are more expensive for patients personally! Patients pay higher copays, deductibles and coinsurances for ER visits, and insurance participants pay higher premiums when ERs are being utilized for non-emergent care.
IS IT AN ER OR URGENT CARE CENTER?
Some hospitals in Tampa now have smaller free-standing, off-site ERs that may appear similar to neighborhood urgent care centers. These free-standing ERs deliver ER services and charge ER rates – and may not be appropriate for non-emergent care. Whether it is attached to a hospital or not, if it says “EMERGENCY CARE” you are at an ER where life-threatening conditions are the only things that should be treated.
SPREADING THE WORD
Rodriguez is encouraging all Tampa Bay area residents to share these facts with fellow co-workers, neighbors, family and friends. “This is an issue that affects every single person in our community, by eliminating non-emergency cases from emergency rooms, we are also leaving ER doctors free to focus on critical, life-threatening cases.” Rodriguez said.
About AvantGarde Urgent Care
AvantGarde Urgent Care is conveniently located at 5112 N. Habana Ave, Tampa, FL 33614 and is open 365 days a year, including weekends and holidays from 8AM-8PM. AvantGarde Urgent Care is dedicated to providing high quality Urgent Care in a state-of-the-art facility for an affordable price. There is no appointment necessary to see our experienced and compassionate medical care providers. AvantGarde Urgent Care is able to immediately accommodate any sudden health care concern that arise in our community. Whether it is an illness, injury, physical, pre-employment screening, work-related injury, car accident or need for an instant X-ray or laboratory service, AvantGarde Urgent Care is immediately available to help. AvantGarde Urgent Care accepts most insurances. You do not have to have insurance in order to be seen by a doctor at AvantGarde Urgent Care. For Tampa visitors and tourists, AvantGarde Urgent Care will accommodate your specific needs. For more information, please contact AvantGarde Urgent Care at (813)801-9111 or visit their website: www.AvantGardeUrgentCare.com.