Urgent Care or Emergency Room?

BIDMC Contributor

MARCH 30, 2018

A doctor and patient talk about a leg injury

If you’ve ever been in an emergency room, you know that ERs can be crowded, busy and sometimes chaotic. Wait times may be long, especially if you’re not dealing with a serious illness or injury. Oftentimes, you also end up paying a high insurance co-payment.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center offers two convenient options when patients need immediate treatment for non-life threatening medical conditions—our urgent care locations in Chelsea and Chestnut Hill.

At these urgent care centers, every patient is treated by a board-certified emergency medicine physician. You do not have to be a BIDMC patient to receive care at a BIDMC urgent care. But if you are a BIDMC patient, urgent care physicians can access medical records from throughout the BIDMC network to help improve communication with your primary care doctor.

“Primary care doctors within the BIDMC system are automatically notified when one of their patients is seen in one of our urgent care centers,” explains Barbara Masser, MD, Medical Director, Ambulatory Emergency Medicine. “All records, notes, lab tests and imaging are accessible via the same electronic medical record, making it easier for the patient and the care team to follow up.”

Urgent care is not a new concept, but a fast-growing one throughout the U.S. Why? According to the Urgent Care Association of America, there is usually little wait time compared to an emergency room and co-pays tend to be lower. And unlike many primary care practices, most urgent care centers are open on holidays and weekends.

The Advantages of Advanced Urgent Care

At BILH Urgent Care-Chestnut Hill and BID-Urgent Care at Chelsea, you will see only emergency medicine-trained/board certified physicians who can quickly and appropriately diagnose and treat problems that other urgent care centers may find too complicated.

“If a patient at urgent care has a serious illness or injury that really needs to be treated in an emergency room, we will arrange for ambulance transport to BIDMC, BIDMC affiliated hospitals or a hospital of the patient’s choice,” says Masser.

Both locations have additional medical facilities on site, including X-ray and a lab for blood testing, which makes it easy to diagnose and treat patients all under one roof.

Care is provided for patients ages 2 years and older. Most insurance plans are accepted, physician and insurance referrals are not needed, and walk-in services are provided—no appointments are necessary.

But if you do want to skip the wait, urgent care appointments can be made online at bidmc.org. An easy-to-use app even delivers timely text messages to update you on your appointment time.

Read a list of BID-Urgent Care frequently asked questions.

Book an appointment:

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.
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