As the healthcare system grows more complex, it is important to know where to go for appropriate care. If you are not experiencing a life-threatening emergency, there are many benefits to using Patient First. Patient First has on-site x-rays, lab tests, and prescription drugs.  And you can save a lot of time and money compared to a visit to the ER.

Want to know more about your options, and what they offer? We have broken it down for you:

First, it is important to know when to utilize urgent care vs an Emergency Room visit. You should select an urgent care option for urgent but non-life-threatening conditions like:

If you are experiencing any of the following more serious or life-threatening conditions, you should visit an Emergency Room immediately:

  • Coughing up or vomiting blood
  • Heart attack
  • Sudden or unexplained loss of consciousness
  • Wound that will not stop bleeding
  • Major injury
  • Stroke
  • Chest pain; numbness in face, arm or leg, difficulty speaking
  • High fever with stiff neck, mental confusion, or difficulty breathing,
  • Severe shortness of breath


So, what are the benefits over selecting urgent care over the ER? Visiting an urgent care saves you time and money, here's why...


When you do not feel well, the last thing you want to do is wait. Patient First provides efficient services that meets your medical needs as well as your schedule. 

First and foremost, the time waiting to see the doctor at our urgent care centers is usually significantly less than at the hospital emergency room. In addition, Patient First saves time by offering extended night, weekend, and holiday hours. We are open from 8 am to 10- pm, 365 days a year, so you never have to miss work of school, or wait for an appointment. 

Our wide range of on-site services makes it more likely that everything necessary can be accomplished in a single visit. Do you have a sore throat? our on-site lab provides immediate strep test results. Are you worried that your arm may be broken? On-site x-ray capability allows our physicians to make that determination. Do you have a sinus infection and do not feel like driving to the pharmacy? Your Patient First physician can dispense prescriptions on-site. Bottom like: Patient saves time so you can return home and begin the mending process more quickly. 


Everyone knows a trip to an ER may come with a hefty charge for that visit. Especially if you need additional testing or x-rays. The cost of services provided in the emergency department can be two to three times higher than the cost for the same services at Patient First. And Patient First participates with most major insurance plans and files all claims on your behalf.


So, what is important to consider when selecting an urgent care facility? Below are some tips to keep in mind if you decide to utilize urgent care:

  • Is the urgent care accredited?
  • What are their hours? Are they routinely open nights, weekends, and holidays?
  • Is there a physician on-site during all hours of operation?
  • Do they have on-site prescriptions?
  • Is there an x-ray department on-site? Will a radiologist read your x-ray? 
  • Is there a lab on-site? Can the lab perform testing that will assist with your immediate care as well as send less urgent testing to outside labs?
  • Do they provide expanded services such as sutures, intravenous fluids, EKGs, and breathing treatments?
  • Are their providers able to continue to follow your care as a primary care physician? 

Injuries and illnesses can happen at any time, so it’s important to locate your closest urgent care center and ask these questions ahead of time. Luckily, the answer to all of the above questions at Patient First is YES! Find your nearest Patient First center here.

We would love to learn what would be helpful on this page for you.

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