You might have heard the phrases immediate care and urgent care when seeking timely medical attention for minor injuries or illnesses. Many people rely on these facilities when their primary care physicians are not available and the emergency room is not an option. But is there a different between the two?
The Terms Immediate Care and Urgent Care are Synonymous
Immediate Care is defined as instant medical care needed “at the current time”, for a patient with non-life-threatening illnesses or injuries. These medical needs are not severe enough to require a trip to the emergency room.
Urgent Care is defined as medical care provided for acute illness or injuries that require rapid attention but are not severe enough to demand the services of an emergency room.
The terms immediate care and urgent care are synonymous. However, this was not always the case. Until January 15th, 2015, Illinois residents knew the phrase ‘urgent care’ to only be affiliated with emergency rooms. According to Illinois Law 3506: “Traditional urgent care facilities were prohibited to use the term ‘urgent’ in their titles due to any misconceptions of the type of services they offer. The term had significant risk to the public and any patient with critical or life-threatening condition seeking such facility.”
Effective January 2015, the State of Illinois allowed medical facilities to use the term ‘urgent’. Now, the phrases immediate care and urgent care are interchangeable.
When to go to an Immediate Care/ Urgent Care Center?
Seek an urgent care center for any acute injuries or illnesses that require medical attention. Children’s Urgent Care provides services for the following:
- Onsite Lab Testing: Flu, Strep, RSV, Mono
- Urinalysis & Bacterial Cultures
- X-Rays & Orthoglass Splinting
- Common Illness Treatments Such as Cold & Flu
- Laceration Repairs (Stitches, Staples, and Liquiband)
- Foreign Object Removals
- Minor Burns
- Asthma Related Issues
- Sore Throat
- Mild Allergic Reactions
- Skin Irritations
- Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
- Ear Infections
- Head Lice
- Animal Bites
- Flu Shots
- Sports Physicals
Urgent Care centers are the after-hours solution to the long wait times of adult urgent care centers and crowded ERs. They provide convenient and fast services at a lower cost. Most centers accept insurance which result in a $30-$55 copay for your visit and do not require appointments to be seen by a provider.
If your little one is experiencing cold and flu like symptoms visit our website to find a Children’s Urgent Care clinic near you. Our pediatric trained staff provides immediate care seven days a week, no appointments necessary. We now offer extended operating.