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Finding the Right Care, at the Right Time, at the Right Place

With so many options for care, whether it is primary care, urgent care or emergency care, it can be confusing for patients to know where to go when they need treatment. It is important to note that these services are not interchangeable. For example, primary care physicians follow patients for the long term, from providing preventative care and screenings to treating chronic illnesses. Urgent cares are a good resource for when you can’t see your primary care doctor and need prompt attention. According to Mark Foran, MD, OhioHealth senior medical director of ambulatory care, you should be seen in an emergency department anytime you have a severe or potentially life-threatening condition. To provide faster, more convenient emergency services to more people, OhioHealth has begun adding freestanding emergency departments, just like those in hospitals.

OhioHealth is committed to helping patients find the right care, at the right time, at the right place. More examples of where to go when are:

Primary Care

  • Primary care is for continuity of healthcare and management of a patient’s overall health as you age. This can be for things like:

    • Preventive, wellness and illness care
    • Management of chronic diseases and conditions
    • Annual health screenings and physical examinations
    • School and sports physicals
    • Sick visits
    • Immunizations
    • Follow-up care following an emergency room or urgent care visit

Urgent Care

  • Urgent care focuses on diagnosing and treating conditions that are not life-threatening, but should be addressed promptly. These can include:

    • Cold and cough, sore throat
    • Allergies, sinus infections
    • Minor eye infections
    • Urinary tract infections, STD testing
    • Ear aches
    • Fever, flu-like symptoms
    • Minor back pain
    • Upset stomach
    • Vomiting and diarrhea
    • Insect bites, rashes and minor abscesses
    • Minor burns
    • Minor cuts/lacerations, wound care
    • Minor breaks, sprains and strains
    • Abrasions, removal of superficial foreign bodies
    • Urgent care also offers on-site x-rays, select lab services, drug screens, select immunizations and sports physicals

Emergency Care

  • The emergency department treats severe and life-threatening conditions. These can include the following:

    • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
    • Bone fractures, severe cuts or wounds, burns
    • Chest or upper abdominal pain or pressure
    • Fainting, sudden dizziness, weakness
    • Changes in vision, difficulty speaking
    • Confusion, suicidal feelings, changes in mental status
    • Any sudden or severe pain, abdominal pain
    • Uncontrolled bleeding
    • Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea
    • Coughing or vomiting blood
    • Suspected poisoning
    • Pregnancy related complications

Click here to learn more and make sure to download the OhioHealth app to find an OhioHealth Physician Group primary care physician or to locate your closest emergency department or urgent care. On the app, you can also view urgent care estimated wait times, book an Uber ride (please call 911 in an emergency) and view additional conditions to help you decide where to go for care.