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ER vs. Urgent Care: What Level of Care Do You Need?

April 16, 2018

As technology changes over time, healthcare changes, too. This evolving landscape leads to an increase of care options available to patients. In the United States, it has been common to have a trusted hospital for medical emergencies, and a family doctor for more minor illnesses. Now, we have additional choices, like urgent care centers, walk-in clinics, community hospitals, and more. With the addition of these levels of care, the lines between the different options can feel blurred, making it difficult to understand where to go and when. That’s why we’ve put together the following chart. It highlights the differences between several healthcare facilities and describes where a patient should go depending on his or her medical needs.

If you are having an immediate emergency, don’t wait. Call 9-1-1.


It’s important to know the different healthcare options available in your community, as the services and co-pays can be different depending on the location. Within Saint Luke’s Health System, we provide three various levels of care options.

If you are having an emergency and need immediate medical attention, our Saint Luke’s Community Hospitals offer 24/7, full-service emergency care, open every day of the year. Our streamlined services and processes not only guarantee low-wait times, but quick visits and treatment as well. With in-house pharmacy, imaging, and testing services, our emergency-trained staff is ready to care for you in any emergency. We have multiple locations across the Kansas City area, so you’re always a short drive to faster, innovative care. Find a Saint Luke's Community Hospital near you.

Saint Luke’s Convenient Care Clinics are walk-in clinics offering treatment for common, non-life-threatening medical conditions from advanced nurse practitioners, no appointment necessary. View a list of our current locations, as well as services available and insurance accepted.

With Saint Luke’s Primary Care, our physicians offer a full range of services from annual check-ups and exams to vaccinations and patients of all ages. Our practices are located across the region, with many locations offering same-day appointments. You can easily find a Primary Care doctor near you at our Saint Luke's Health System website.