Northwest Community Hospital

WIN 2015

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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Page 23 of 31

2 4 S P I R I T O F W O M E N W I N T E R 2 015 w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m M E D I C A L C A R E SHUTTERSTOCK tioners, who have limited authority to write prescriptions for acute conditions, such as anti-inflammatories for pain or antibiotics for bacterial infections. "Different state boards have different requirements, but you don't necessarily find M.D.s on site," says Dixon. "Rather, there are coordinating physicians who can be available to discuss specific cases or situations. "Understand [a clinic's] capabilities and the potential limitations of what they're able to help you with," she adds. "I wouldn't go [to a walk-in clinic] necessarily looking for help with chronic conditions." TAKE A MEDICAL HISTORY You'll also want to make sure you are prepared to provide details about your own medical background and the medications or procedures that others have prescribed or performed for you. "Because this is often not an ongoing relationship, clinics have to be diligent to make sure we don't compromise another provider's plan of care, espe- cially these days when many ads on TV or the Internet encourage consumers to use specific prescriptions to manage pain or other conditions," says Dixon, who is on staff at Holy Spirit's Carlisle Family Health Center, which offers walk-in services. "People often fear the worst and get themselves thinking they are in imminent danger, and that's something we have to temper with responsible evaluations." INSURANCE MATTERS As you would with any medical care provider, you'll want to ask about billing up front. Walk-in clinics usu- ally have the same co-pay requirements as specialty providers, with insurance billed for the remainder, but it pays to double check rather than finding out after the visit that you're not covered or that immediate payment is expected at the facility. It also makes sense to check the clinic's pricing to determine how far you might want to investigate your problem there, or whether you'd be better off just waiting to visit your regular health care provider. Some clinics have price lists for specific easy walk-in services, like handling urinary tract infections, says Dixon. • (continued from page 23) To find a Spirit of Women affiliated hospital, including a local resource for urgent care centers, go to pages 12-13. Urgent care clinic or ER EMERGENCY ROOM OR CALL 911 • Choking • Stopped breathing or trouble breathing • Passing out, fainting • Severe burn • Heavy bleeding • Severe chest pain or pressure • Deep wound • High fever that doesn't get better with medicine • Possible broken bone, loss of movement, especially if the bone is pushing through the skin • Coughing or throwing up blood • Severe allergic reaction with trouble breathing, swelling, hives Source: Medline Plus URGENT CARE CLINIC • Cold or fu • Earache • Sore throat • Migraine • Low-grade fever • Limited rash • Minor sprains, back pain, cuts and burns, broken bones, or eye injuries ? "Understand [a clinic's] capabilities and the potential limitations of what they're able to help you with." ~ Mary Dixon, Holy Spirit Health System

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