What is a medical home?
A medical home is a “home base” for your health care needs. Your primary care doctor at your medical home knows you and your medical history and can treat your symptoms as well as evaluate your medical problems providing you withcomplete health care.
You can read more about the Medical Home Concept here.
So, for non-emergencies such as headaches, earaches, colds, and sore throat, contact your doctor’s office first. They have a doctor on call 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week who may be able to help you without going to the emergency room.
What is an emergency?
When something frightening happens, many times the initial response is to go to the emergency room. Some conditions are obviously emergencies such as chest pains, having trouble breathing, severe bleeding, or broken bones. If you feel your symptoms are severe or life threatening, call 911 or go to the emergency room. But some conditions make you feel awful such as coughs, colds, sore throat, headache, toothache, etc., but are not “true” emergencies. For these conditions, call your doctor.
What to do?
STOP/THINK: Is my life in immediate danger or is this something my doctor could treat?
CALL: Phone your doctor. He will help you make the right decision. Your doctor’s office is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
SAVE: Save trips to the emergency room for “true” emergencies. It’s better to use your regular doctor’s office for your medical care. They can look at all your medical needs - past, present and future.
Making the best choice . . .
Before going to the emergency room:
Stop and Think (Is this a true emergency?)
Call your doctor (anytime) for medical advice. Follow his instructions.
Go to your primary care doctor for sick care and well care.
Go to the emergency room for “true emergencies” only!