Nobody loves going to the doctor. Fortunately, in the 21st century, you have other options for your healthcare than sitting in the waiting room at your local physician’s office.
Between telemedicine, urgent care, and the emergency room, your options for healthcare have never been more diverse, nor has quality medical care been more accessible. Each of these choices provide faster care than going to a traditional doctor and, in some cases, are a fraction of the cost.
But which of these three options are your best bet for your specific medical needs? In this post, we’ll explore each type of medical care so you’ll know exactly where to go for treatment when you need it.
When Should I Choose Telemedicine?
Both doctors and patients alike were somewhat uncertain when telemedicine services like Teladoc first arrived on the scene. After all, how could an all-virtual doctor’s visit replace the traditional in-person model? But now, the practice has proven to be equally as effective in most cases as face-to-face visits, providing accurate diagnoses and positive results.
Telemedicine is built entirely around modern technology: mobile devices and computers allow for audio and video communication between patients and their doctors to enable visits and consultations without ever meeting in person.
Benefits of Telemedicine
Telemedicine services like Teledoc create incredible reductions in healthcare costs by allowing patients to save both time and money. A virtual visit with your doctor means no gas money spent, no time spent in a waiting room, and can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. Patients who are sick can also avoid spreading their illnesses to other patients and healthcare staff.
Telemedicine is the ideal solution for:
- Non-urgent ailments
- Minor health concerns
- Consultation services
- When you cannot make it to a doctor’s office in person
- Questions or care needed when traveling
When Should I Choose Urgent Care?
According to the Urgent Care Association, there are now more than 7,000 urgent care centers across the United States. These facilities provide care for illnesses and injuries that are not life threatening, employing family practice and emergency physicians, nurses, radiologists, and other specialists. The services they provide are very similar to emergency room services, with shorter wait times and greater affordability.
Benefits of Urgent Care
Urgent care provides fast, efficient, and affordable medical services when you need in-person medical care, but neither want nor need to go to an emergency room. While the services provided by urgent care centers are much like those of emergency rooms, an ER visit can cost as much as 10 times more than receiving the same services at an urgent care center. Plus, the average wait time at urgent care centers is usually less than 30 minutes.
You should use urgent care if:
- You are suffering from an illness or injury that requires medical attention
- You have minor or major health concerns
- You’ve had a non-life threatening emergency(accidents, sicknesses, etc.)
- You must meet with a doctor or specialist face-to-face
When Should I Go to the ER?
Emergency rooms have been around for generations and provide a wide range of essential healthcare services. While ER doctors and nurses are equipped to handle virtually any injury or ailment, the most common use of ER services is for traumatic or life-threatening circumstances. ER visits tend to come with hefty price tags even if you have exceptional insurance coverage.
Benefits of the ER
Emergency rooms provide the highest quality emergency medical care possible, day or night. When you are unsure or unable to decide where to go and are experiencing severe pain or have been seriously injured, you can go straight to the ER.
The ER is the right choice if:
- You’ve suffered life-threatening injuries or illnesses
- You require rapid or advanced treatments like surgery
Choosing the Right Care Option for You
Regardless of the specific situation you’re in, you’ll be able to find quality treatment through one or more of these options. Of course, details are crucial when it comes to your health – if your issue could be addressed by a Teladoc professional, you could save a tremendous amount of time and money by taking advantage of the latest advancements in medical care. If you know you need an in-person visit, going to an urgent care center is always a safe bet; even if the provider believes you need a higher level of care than they can offer, they’ll take you straight to the ER.
Remember: when in doubt, the wisest course of action is to consult with your physician on all health matters.
At Alliance Direct Benefits, we believe that our members should be in control of their healthcare. Ready to take advantage of convenient, affordable Teladoc services? It’s your choice to make! Every member of the Alliance is guaranteed 24/7 access to Teladoc, with zero copays or consultation fees. Join today to get access for the whole family.