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Home > Medical Services > Emergency Department > Emergency or Urgent Care?
Sometimes, it can be difficult to know which kind of healthcare service or location you should utilize.
Mercy and MercyCare want to help you better understand where to go when certain symptoms arise or accidents happen, so you are prepared to make the best decision.
If you have a health concern that is NOT emergent, always try to see your family doctor first. He or she should be your main medical contact because he or she knows you best and can coordinate your care with specialists or other resources if needed. Your primary care provider will also help you stay on top of your annual check-ups and age-appropriate tests. You can keep in touch with him or her via MyChart, where you both have access to all of your medications, family history, test results and more. If you are in need of a primary care physician, try our Find a Doc service.
Go to your nearest MercyCare Urgent Care clinic when you have a health issue that needs immediate attention but is not a life-threatening emergency. When you experience a minor accident or sudden illness and your family doctor is not open or is unable to fit you into their schedule, Urgent Care is the right place to be. Urgent care visits normally cost less than ER visits, and you can even view your wait times with On My Way or choose your arrival time using eArrival.
Here are some examples of appropriate concerns for Urgent Care:
Remember: Urgent Care is NOT the place to go if you are experiencing chest pain or stroke symptoms. They will send you to the hospital and you may have wasted precious minutes.
Go to Mercy’s Emergency Department if you are experiencing a health issue that requires immediate attention and is life- or limb-threatening if not treated immediately. Use your best judgment. But, if you are not sure, go to the Emergency Department. It is open 24/7 and is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to handle serious health emergencies. All Mercy Emergency Department physicians are board-certified in emergency medicine – a level of experience and education not required by every emergency facility.
Here are some examples of appropriate concerns for the Emergency Department:
Always call 9-1-1 for immediate help.