Salt Lake City, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 12/19/2020 --Cold and flu season is here – and of course, COVID circulating in the community. Parents might wonder if it is best to see a doctor or pediatrician in person or what other options might be if families face a sudden illness or injury. Katrina Jensen, RN, from Intermountain Healthcare offers these guidelines for selecting the right level of care.
If an individual or their child doesn't feel well, but the situation isn't urgent, setting an appointment with a pediatrician or Primary Care provider is a good option. Many providers have emergent care visit times or are even now offering video visits. While urgent appointments might cost a little more than a standard visit, it is still a more economic choice than the emergency room.
If the situation is more urgent or individuals can't get into their primary care provider, Intermountain Healthcare's Connect Care is a video call platform like Skype or Facetime that provides secure access for convenient, high quality urgent care from whenever and wherever it is needed. Individuals can use a smartphone, tablet, or computer to connect with an Intermountain Clinician 24/7/365, even weekends and holidays. It is a quick way to be evaluated for non-life-threatening conditions, and if greater care is needed, Connect Care won't charge for the visit but just direct individuals to the best place to receive care. Connect Care is covered by many health insurances, but even if it isn't or individuals do not have health insurance, the cost is never more than $49. This is much cheaper than an Emergency Room visit.
If you or your child does need to be seen in person for non-life-threatening issues, Intermountain InstaCares are available in many communities with extended hours. InstaCares do offer lab services, X-rays, and some outpatient tests. You can also sign in online before you arrive by going to https://intermountainhealthcare.org/ and clicking on the "Get Care Now" button. InstaCare is visit costs will vary based on the services needed, but again is cheaper than the emergency room.
However in life threatening conditions, individuals shouldn't hesitate to visit the emergency room or call 9-1-1. Visit the ER if there are any of these warning signs:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Severe headache or head injury
- Severe bleeding
- Sudden or severe pain
- Coughing blood or vomiting blood
- Sudden dizziness, weakness, or changes in vision
- Changes in mental status, such as confusion or weakness
- Evaluation of an assault, physical or sexual abuse, or child abuse
- Severe infection
Finding the proper level of care helps individuals get the most value for healthcare dollars, and helps reserve resources for those who need it most.
About Intermountain Healthcare
Connect Care is a service of Intermountain Healthcare is a not-for-profit system of 24 hospitals, 215 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,500 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs. For more information, see intermountainhealthcare.org.