“Make The Right Call” Campaign
Why reduce emergency department visits?
Using the emergency room for non-emergencies increases health care costs for everyone in the Greater Cincinnati region and slows the response time for true medical emergencies. An analysis of emergency department visits in our community shows four of the top five reasons for emergency department visits are conditions that aren’t usually emergencies, particularly if they are treated early by a primary care physician. They are:
- Abdominal pain
- Urinary tract infection
- Upper respiratory infection
National studies show 70% of emergency department visits could be avoided. These visits create a huge unnecessary expense— the average cost of a visit to a family doctor is $145, compared to emergency room charges averaging $1,316. MakeTheRightCall was created to help people understand the difference between a medical emergency and non-emergency. When there is doubt, the best way to avoid misusing the emergency department is to have a strong relationship with a primary care physician.
Your doctor knows you, your medical history, your medications, and more. Emergency room physicians do not have an ongoing relationship with their patients, meaning the burden is on you to tell them what they need to know to treat you correctly. Additionally, the burden is on you to find the follow-up treatment the emergency physician will almost always recommend.
Many people who use emergency departments for non-emergencies do so because they are unaware of the types of ailments that can be treated conveniently and affordably by a primary care physician. In fact, there are many who do not have a primary care physician at all.
Why do I need a Primary Care Physician?
Individuals can receive better quality care for non-emergency ailments by seeing a primary care physician because their primary care physician knows them, knows their medical history, and can help them understand when to call them and when to seek the services of an emergency department. By scheduling regular check-ups with your primary care physician, you can catch problems early on. Prevention is the best way to stay healthy. And when you have an unexpected illness, you need a physician to call. Your relationship with a physician should start before you urgently need one.
Don’t have a primary care physician? You’ve come to the right place! YourHealthMatters is our community’s objective source for doctor ratings and a place to help you choose one. Click here to compare and find ratings and information about primary care practices representing almost 600 doctors in Greater Cincinnati.
How to join the MakeTheRightCall Campaign
MakeTheRightCall campaign is brought to you by YourHealthMatters in partnership with:
- The Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio (COA)
- UHCAN Ohio
- Health Care Access Now (HCAN)
- The Health Collaborative Consumer Council
We invite community organizations to use the online toolkit here to join MakeTheRightCall and help your constituency make better, more informed decisions about their health care so that they can get the kind of care they need when they need it.