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Urgency or emergency?

How do you know where to go when you need immediate medical attention?

Presented by:

Urgent Care Hawaii
By: Pani Shoja, MD
Medical Director – Urgent Care Hawaii

Accidents and illnesses which require immediate medical care can happen anytime. Sometimes, it may be difficult to know whether you should go to urgent care or the emergency room (ER). Here is a general guide:

Pani Shoja

When should you go to the Emergency Room?

For life- and limb-threatening situations such like heart attacks, strokes, major bleeding and severe burns, you should always go to the emergency room. If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911 or go to your local emergency room.

When should you go to Urgent Care?

The CDC estimates that up to 90% of visits to emergency rooms could be treated at urgent care facilities. For common illnesses and non-life threatening injuries such as cuts and bruises, stomach virus, fever, flu, cough, sore throat, sinus infection, minor fractures, sprains, colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, vomiting, dehydration, asthma, UTIs, and rashes, go to Urgent Care Hawaii.

If you are not sure, please call us at 808-456-CARE (2273)

Why wait?

• In 84% of urgent care center visits, the total time for the entire visit is
• The average wait time for an emergency room visit is

How much money can you save?

The cost difference alone should be enough to encourage people to go to urgent care centers. Research suggests that approximately 60 percent of ER patients could be seen at urgent care centers resulting in savings of more than $18 billion annually.

• According to a recent study by the National Institute of Health, the average cost of an urgent care visit for common illnesses is $155.
• The average cost of an emergency room visit is $1423.

ER costs add up.

It is also important to remember that some insurance companies have higher deductibles and co-pays at ER facilities, and some companies have denied coverage to patients who went to an emergency room for non-urgent procedures like a sore throat or sprained ankle. In addition, if you chose to use an ambulance service, you could be charged from $25 to $1200 depending on the type of insurance you have. This adds to any out of pocket costs for ER care, and can lead to financial burden.

Urgent Care: Convenient – Affordable

We believe that everyone should have a convenient and affordable option to great healthcare provided in a timely manner. We focus on patient-focused, friendly care! Providing amazing healthcare is our goal every day at Urgent Care Hawaii!

Urgent Care Hawaii offers x-rays, lab testing, flu shots, physicals, and Occupational Medicine services. Please see our complete list of services.


Pani Shoja, MD

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