Sunday, January 8, 2012

Why you should call your pediatrician before going to an urgent care center

Urgent care centers are all the rage lately. They are billed as the solution to emergency department overcrowding and new ones are popping up all the time. I agree they do serve a purpose in the community and can very helpful to keep people out of the emergency department.

However, consider this:

If you take your child only to urgent care every time they get sick they will not have a record of that antibiotic that gave your baby horrible diarrhea last year.

If you take your child to urgent care for the 4th ear infection in the last 3 months they won't know that it's really the same ear infection that never get better each time they were prescribed amoxicillin by a different provider.

If you take your child to urgent care instead of your pediatrician your pediatrician won't know that your child has been slowly developing symptoms of a problem that could have been picked up on a well child exam.

Urgent care definitely has a place in the world and is a good option when you have a problem that can't wait until the next morning. However, relying on urgent care over your pediatrician may not be in your child's best interest. If you have a problem that needs attention, always start with your primary care provider who will help you figure out the best thng to do.

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