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Choose the Right Place for Care to Save Time and Money

Dr. Larry Antonucci's Blog Posts

Posted:

March 8, 2023

Southwest Florida residents and visitors seeking care in the emergency departments (EDs) continue to experience long wait times. As president & CEO of Lee Health, I can tell you that our teams understand the frustration of a longer than expected wait; and are working hard every day and night to treat patients with the highest quality, safest, most compassionate care. I want to help our community’s residents and visitors avoid long wait times in the EDs, so I am sharing other options and venues, so you can choose the most appropriate place to seek care.

Remember, your primary care physician’s office should be your first go-to for any initial questions or concerns. If you cannot wait for an appointment with your primary care provider, walk-in urgent care offices and in-home care options are available.

Walk-in Urgent Care

Lee Health’s urgent care locations – called Lee Convenient Care – provide quick treatment for minor, non-emergency injuries or illnesses. Lee Convenient Care or other walk-in clinics or urgent care centers are the places to go for colds and flu, sprains, cuts, rashes, urinary tract infections and certain bone fractures that haven’t gone through the skin. There are two Lee Convenient Care locations in Fort Myers, one in Cape Coral, one at the Bonita Health Center, and a special urgent care clinic for children in Naples.

In-Home Care

Even more convenient are virtual or in-home visits, so you don’t have to leave your house to receive the care you need.

If you are a patient of Lee Physician Group, and you have an everyday health concern or illness or need a checkup, you can schedule a virtual appointment through MyChart. If you are have not scheduled this type of appointment before, you can call 239-481-4111, and someone from our scheduling team can walk you through the process.

Lee Telehealth is a 24/7 option for care for common, non-life-threatening, non-emergency conditions like pink eye, allergies, cold or flu, or sprains or strains. With Lee Telehealth, you can see a board-certified physician via a smartphone, tablet or computer.

DispatchHealth brings the care to you. This in-home urgent care is available by appointment and without a referral between 8 a.m.-10 p.m., seven days a week. By calling 239-301-3730 or visiting www.DispatchHealth.com, you explain your symptoms; provide details about your illness or injury, and the DispatchHealth onboarding team helps schedule your appointment. Within a few hours, the medical team will arrive at your home, fully equipped to test and treat everything an urgent care can, and at the same cost as an urgent care visit.

EDs are the most appropriate venue for care for severe or life-threatening issues. Patients are triaged in the ED, meaning cases are prioritized with the most severe conditions treated first. It is important to note that calling 911 – which should also be limited to serious emergencies – does not guarantee you will be seen faster once you get to the ED. All patients, regardless of how they arrive to the hospital, are triaged to provide the safest care.

For more information, including hours of operation, locations, more details on services and a breakdown on how the ED differs from urgent care, please visit www.LeeHealth.org/Know-Where-to-Go.

Thank you for the opportunity to share this insight, so you know your options and can seek the right care at the right place to save time and money.

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