Smart ER: How Long do You Feel Safe to Wait Before Seeing a Physician?

Photo credit: UMHealthSystem

You probably expect a health insurance company to say people need to be selective about when they go to their local hospital’s emergency room because it is typically more expensive to be treated there. But what if you were told that the quality of care is often better from your family doctor? Would that change how you use the emergency room?

Before I go any further, the difference in the quality of care is not because of the emergency room staff. The doctors and nurses who work there are specialists who are fully qualified to take care of the medical needs of any patient. What they often lack is your full medical history. This can lead to duplicate tests being run, or a prescription that interacts poorly with your other medications.

In this podcast, I spoke with Dr. Robert Goodman, medical director for Blue Care Network about some general recommendations about when to go to the emergency room, an urgent care facility, or your family doctor. He also digs deeper into the topic of why knowing where to go when you are injured or ill is important for your overall health.

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