Rapid COVID-19 evaluation and testing are available for our emergency room patients. If you are symptomatic and have an emergency medical need, please come in. To expedite your visit, please register online at selected locations.

Park Cities | Galleria

Please be advised that Advance ER locations do not have the capability of doing outpatient testing. We apologize but as a state licensed free-standing emergency center we can only provide COVID-19 testing services through our emergency room (emergency room charges apply).

Doctor, Retail Clinics, Urgent Care & ERs, What’s the Difference?

Differences in types of medical care

When you or a loved one is feeling under the weather, there are a variety of options for seeking care. Understanding the different types and level of services provided by your doctor, a retail clinic, urgent care and ER will help you make the right decision.    Below we outline the key points of distinction among different healthcare options.

Your Doctor

Who Provides Care: Your primary care physician (PCP).

Services Provided: Your PCP is a good choice for diagnosing and treating regular illnesses or non-critical medical symptoms.

Advantages of Seeing Your Doctor:  Your PCP has your complete medical history. This can aid in diagnosing and treating some conditions.

Disadvantages of Seeing Your Doctor:  PCPs are usually only available on weekdays during normal office hours.  Scheduling appointments with short notice can be difficult.

Retail Clinic

Who Provides Care: A physician assistant or nurse practitioner.

Services Provided: Retail health care clinics provide treatment for acute conditions like bronchitis as well as providing vaccinations and other preventive care.

Advantages of Retail Clinics: Retail clinics usually are open on weekends and evenings and do not require an appointment.

Disadvantages of Retail Clinics:  Retail health clinics do not always provide a physician for your care.  Their facilities are not designed to handle serious or complicated medical conditions.

Urgent Care Clinics

Who Provides Care: A physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner.

Services Provided: Urgent care clinics offer evening and weekend hours.  These facilities are designed to handle less serious medical conditions similar to those seen by a primary care physicians.

Advantages of Urgent Care Clinics: Urgent care clinics are usually are open on weekends and evenings and do not require an appointment.

Disadvantages of Urgent Care Clinics: Urgent care clinics often have long wait times and are overcrowded after hours.  Many do no provide care from a physician and rely on nurse practitioners or physicians assistants to treat patients.

Freestanding ER

Who Provides Care: An emergency room physician.

Services Provided: A freestanding ER is capable of handling common to critical medical conditions.  They have the same services and capabilities of a hospital emergency room department.

Advantages of Freestanding ERs: Freestanding ERs offer very short wait times, often less than urgent care or retail clinics.  Their facilities are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  They provide access to medical imaging, pharmaceuticals and laboratory testing to treat your condition.  Freestanding ERs are often less expensive than hospital Emergency Room Departments.

Disadvantages of Free Standing ERs: Due to the capabilities of the facility and their 24 hour service, Freestanding ERs may be more expensive than your doctor, retail clinics or urgent care facilities.

Hospital Emergency Room Departments

Who Provides Care: An emergency room physician.

Services Provided: Hospital Emergency Room Departments are capable of handling common to critical medical conditions.

Advantages of Hospital Emergency Room Departments: Hospital ERs provide access to medical imaging, pharmaceuticals and laboratory testing to treat your condition.

Disadvantages of Hospital Emergency Room Departments: Hospital Emergency Room Departments usually have long wait times, particularly for patients with non-critical symptoms.

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