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Emergency Room or Ryan Health? Our New Tool Tells You Where2Go!

May 10, 2021
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How many times have you or someone you know ended up in the Emergency Room (ER) for a condition that was actually more appropriate for a visit with your primary care provider?

It happens more often than necessary. People know they need care in some way -- whether it’s at night, on the weekends, or even during the day -- and go to the ER. To help limit those unnecessary trips, Ryan Health created the Where2Go Tool to provide guidance in specific situations.

“Anytime someone has an illness, injury, or anything which affects their wellbeing, she or he will decide how serious it is and how soon to get medical care,” says Juliette George, Associate Director of Population Health and co-developer of the Where2Go Tool. “There are certain instances where people go to the ER instead of seeing their regular health care provider. But who knows you better than your Ryan Health Care Team?”

The Where2Go Tool is a handy quick reference chart that easily lays out a variety of health situations, and leads you to either call Ryan Health for guidance on the same or next day appointments, or to go to the ER for illnesses or injuries that are life or limb threatening. It’s a visually appealing and informative chart that helps you make the best decision in that moment.

“People don’t know that Ryan Health is here 24/7,” George says. “If you determine that you need attention after hours but it’s not an emergency, call us and we’ll connect you with a provider. They might determine an urgent care center is more appropriate for you right then, instead of the ER. The bottom line is your Care Team has your best interests in mind and can recommend what to do.”

Elaine Rosen, RN MS, a care coordinator at Ryan Health, agrees. “If people need another level of care, they should be assured we will refer them. But people go to the ER for unnecessary issues, like when they run out of their prescriptions.”

Ryan Health providers are available 24/7 by phone at 212-749-1820. Describe your condition and we’ll have a Care Team member review your case and determine what course of action to take. They might schedule an appointment for you for the next day, order a prescription right then, or send you to the ER or the closest urgent care center based on the specifics of your illness or injury.

Studies have shown that engaging with your primary care provider improves your quality of life, because your primary care provider is thinking about your long-term healthcare. In addition, going to the hospital could be risky – you may wait in an ER for several hours where you have a 1 in 31 chance of acquiring an infection.

The Where2Go Tool helps you decide your right course of action. It is available in English and Spanish. You can find it onscreen in Ryan Health waiting areas, and on our website, www.ryanhealth.org. You can even capture the QR code and leave it on your phone for quick access.

“The thing to remember is that when you’re engaged with our team on the phone or in our centers, we will manage you better,” Rosen says. “We’ll look to see what’s causing this unique event to help you prevent it in the future. The ER won’t do that. They will only get you well enough so it’s safe to go home.”

The Where2Go Tool is a great resource to ensure you get the best type of care you need, in the best possible way.

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