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Understanding Urgent Care Can Keep You Out of the Emergency Room

By Orange County Register

Categories: Featured News
October 28, 2016

If you drive past an urgent care every day and still don’t know what they are, you’re not alone.

A decade ago, the emergency room was the catch- all place where people would go when something – anything – was wrong after hours. Headaches. Flu symptoms. Sprained ankles. It was all taken care of in the emergency room.

Today, urgent cares are growing in popularity to alleviate the wait times and high costs of emergency rooms and to leave ERs available for truly life- threatening emergencies.

Still, not everyone knows when to use the urgent care and just how important they are, said Seric Cusick, M.D., Medical Director of the Hoag Hospital Irvine Emergency Department.

“Instead of rushing to the emergency room for a fever after hours, patients now have the ability to see trusted, skilled physicians in urgent care centers close to home,” Dr. Cusick said. “This allows the patient to receive quick, convenient care and frees up the emergency rooms for life-threatening conditions.”

Dr. Cusick encourages patients to consider the severity of their conditions when deciding what type of care is right for them. Life-threatening conditions require emergency department care. Urgent cares, by contrast, provide convenient services for conditions such as colds, sore throats, ear infections, sprains, strains and more, often with less wait time.

“Having urgent cares embedded in the community is an important piece of the health care puzzle,” said Gregory Christie, PA-C, executive director of operations for Hoag Urgent Care. “Not all medical situations require an Emergency Room visit, but some issues simply can’t wait until your primary care doctor can see you. Urgent cares offer you a place to go to in your own community to serve your needs.”

By the end of this year, Hoag will operate urgent care facilities conveniently located throughout Orange County, including in Aliso Viejo, Anaheim Hills, Huntington Beach, Huntington Harbour, Irvine, Tustin, and Newport Beach. Many are located in shopping centers and other non- traditional locations to bring health and wellness options to people where they live and work.

The newest location to open is Hoag Urgent Care Irvine - Sand Canyon, across the street from Hoag Hospital Irvine, which opened this September. Hoag Urgent Care Irvine - Los Olivos also opened recently at Los Olivos Marketplace in Irvine, and offers urgent and primary care services.

“Our urgent care facilities are a great way for patients to find some peace of mind knowing that they are in the capable hands of Hoag Medical Group and Hoag affiliated doctors,” Dr. Cusick said. “This keeps emergency rooms open for what the community needs them for – emergencies.”