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An expected holiday rush moved Baptist Health Madisonville (Alabama) to implore area residents to try urgent care for medical needs that might not warrant a trip to its emergency room. Kristy Quinn, the hospital’s marketing and public relations director, says high traffic times like the early-winter holidays make it difficult for the hospital to treat low-acuity cases that could be handled safely in the urgent care setting. “If people can evaluate what they are coming in for and try to plan ahead to hit the urgent care while they are still open in the evening, they might not end up in the emergency room,” she explains. “That would help with patient flow at the hospital.” Baptist Health President Robert Ramey went even further, noting that “utilizing the appropriate care location…will free up the emergency room to care for patients that have more serious concerns.”

Nearing Capacity, a Hospital Points Patients to Urgent Care