Each year 136.3 million people visit an emergency department where the average time spent before returning home is over two hours, according to a report by Becker’s Hospital Review. A 12-month study also found that people who visited an orthopedic urgent injury clinic instead of an emergency room paid on average 90 percent less than what a typical emergency room visit costs*.
Urgent care specializing in orthopedic injuries can provide a more cost-effective, and time-saving, alternative to an emergency room. In addition, the staff at orthopedic urgent care clinics, like the one at DMOS Orthopaedic Centers in West Des Moines, is specially trained in treating these types of unexpected orthopedic injuries.
What is an orthopedic urgent care clinic?
“The DMOS Urgent Injury Clinic was established to treat patients over the age of 3 with unexpected orthopedic injuries like a sports injury, fracture, or sprain,” said Dr. Jeffrey Rodgers, DMOS Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeons and Urgent Injury Committee Chair. “If you have an unexpected orthopedic injury from a fall on the ice, playing with your kids in the backyard, or your child was injured at a basketball practice, you can simply walk-in for treatment.”
At an urgent care clinic, co-pays are generally less expensive than a trip to the emergency room and the wait time is significantly less. On www.dmos.com, our teams continually updates our wait time, so you know ahead of time what the predicted wait time will be.
Follow-up appointments are also easier to make. The staff at the orthopedic urgent injury clinic will ensure you are seeing an orthopedic specialist who is within the clinic. Your paperwork and injury-related information will already be in the system and eliminating duplication.
When should I go to an Orthopedic Urgent Care?
If you are experiencing any of the following conditions, you can typically visit an orthopedic urgent injury clinic:
- Sports injuries
- Lacerations – including stitches
- Painful, swollen or injured joints
- Sudden onset of neck and arm pain
- Strains, sprains and minor dislocations
- Sudden onset of back, buttock or leg pain
When should I go to the emergency room?
There are some instances when you should go to the emergency room:
- Fractures where the bone is visible or at a severe angle
- Excessive bleeding
- Head trauma or spine injuries
- Trauma from a car accident
- Chest pain, shortness of breath or chest wall pain
For the following issues, you should visit a non-orthopedic specialist like your primary care physician, urgent care or acute care.
- Eye injuries
- Cold, flu, respiratory and stomach issues
- Conditions not related to bones, joints or muscles
“If you have questions about your injury or if you should visit an emergency room or orthopedic urgent injury clinic, consider contacting your primary care physician,” said Dr. Rodgers. “Each orthopedic injury clinic in your area may follow different guidelines than DMOS.”
*Source, Average UIC at $461 compared to ER at $8150 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27870667)