Know when it’s best to visit your Primary Care Provider (PCP) versus Urgent Care or the Emergency Department.

It’s important to get the right care for your illness, injury, or condition at the right time. The Urgent Care and Emergency Room should be used for urgent situations or emergencies; for other minor illnesses, injuries, or chronic health conditions, try your PCP first.

Choose the Best Option for Your Care Needs

There are several factors to consider when deciding where to go for your care.

  1. Severity of the Illness or Injury
    Serious, severe, and urgent situations should be addressed at an Urgent Care or Emergency Department. When in doubt about the severity of a situation, see if your PCP has a triage line that can answer your questions. Peak Vista patients are welcome to call our 24/7 Nurse Triage line at 719.632.5700. For life threatening illnesses or injuries, call 911.
  2. Cost
    A trip to the Emergency Department or Urgent Care can be costly. If possible, see if your PCP can schedule an appointment with you to take advantage of their rates.
  3. Health History
    Your PCP will know your health history and medical record better than the providers at an Urgent Care facility or Emergency Department. For chronic health conditions and non-urgent illnesses or injuries, try to see your PCP first.

When to Go Where

See your Primary Care Provider (PCP) for general medical needs, preventative care, and non-urgent conditions. Example conditions that a PCP can assist with include seasonal allergies, colds, sore throats, nausea, headaches, pink eye, rashes, and the like. PCPs are also the appropriate contact for well visits, checkups, and vaccinations like the COVID-19 vaccine.

Urgent Care facilities should be used for everyday injuries and illnesses when your PCP is not available. They can also help with things like broken bones, burns, objects stuck in noses and ears, and cuts that may require stitches.

For illnesses and injuries that will need more care than a PCP or Urgent Care can provide, and for conditions that may threaten life or limb, visit your local Emergency Department. Providers at the Emergency Department can assist with concerns such as trouble breathing, head injuries with persistent vomiting, uncontrollable seizures, severe stomach pain, and difficulty responding or waking up.

Health Tip: After visiting the Emergency Department, schedule an appointment with your PCP to ensure your medical record is up-to-date and to assist with any follow-up care.