Kristin Prentiss Ott has written a very informative blog called “10 Things You Might Not Know About The Emergency Department” and the very first one is:

“Wait times in most emergency departments are ridiculous. But, if you have a real emergency, you won’t have to wait.”
I couldn’t agree more. I think the ED is clearly one of the most valuable places in any hospital IF you have an emergency. Many ED docs will tell you that many people abuse the ED. Case in point: The man who has chronic back pain for 2 months and then suddenly decides he has an “emergency” and heads to the ED to be seen by a doctor. That man will likely have to wait a long time to be seen especially if there are real emergencies going on around him.
Which is why Urgent Care Centers were invented. They don’t see people with heart attacks, gunshot wounds or stroke victims (which are true emergencies!), they see people who have had the “stomach flu” and need some nausea meds and a liter of IV fluid or people who have an angry “boil” on their back and need it drained or that back pain guy who needs an anti-inflammatory medication until he can get in to see an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractor.
Today in the United States there are great options for not waiting. Let EDs be EDs and take advantage of the doctors, nurse practitioners or physician’s assistants that work at the many Urgent Care Centers. BTW, QuikSurg is part of that crowd and we are ready for that angry boil anytime!