The Right Facility for the Best Health Care Value

When you need medical care for yourself or a family member, you have choices for where to see a health care provider. What’s your best choice?

Here’s a guide to help you choose the right option for health care with an eye toward getting your best health care value.


Health care providers such as Aurora Health Care offer online access to guidance from physicians or nurse practitioners. With E-Visit, using a secure online connection you’ll complete a questionnaire about your medical concern. You’ll get a quick response with a diagnosis and personal care plan.

E-Visit is a good option for a number of adult conditions, including:

  • Coughs
  • Sinus problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Urinary problems

For children, E-Visit can be used for conditions such as constipation, head lice, vomiting/diarrhea, diaper rash and red eye.

E-Visit is typically your most cost-effective treatment option for these simpler types of issues. If you’d like to use Advocate Aurora’s E-Visit, start by signing into MyAdvocateAurora or creating a new account.

Aurora QuickCare Clinic at Walgreens

Clinics in neighborhood retail stores offer walk-in treatment from nurse practitioners or physician assistance. You can get care for minor health issues such as:

  • Sinus infections
  • Sore throats
  • Ear infections

You may also visit a QuickCare clinic for:

  • Sports physicals
  • Vaccinations
  • Wellness screenings
  • Blood pressure checks

The QuickCare Clinic, open days, nights and weekends, is readily affordable.

Primary Care

A primary care provider can provide preventive care, routine exams and treatment for conditions that don’t require urgent care. Build a relationship with your primary care provider to get more personalized attention over the long term. You can create a level of trust with a professional you know over time, and who knows your health history.

Don’t have a primary care provider? This is a good time to start a growing relationship with a qualified professional.

A primary care visit is your best choice if you have:

  • Have several issues or questions.
  • Have ongoing health problems that need regular follow-up.
  • Have a problem that isn’t urgent but isn’t going away on its own.

Primary care doctors can handle about 90 percent of health issues and can direct you to the right specialist for the other 10 percent.

Urgent Care

If you have a condition that’s not life threatening but needs immediate care that can’t wait for a primary care provider appointment, an urgent care clinic is a good choice. Visit an urgent care clinic for conditions such as:

  • Sprains
  • Rashes
  • Sore throats
  • Flu minor burns
  • Bug and small animal bites
  • Bladder infections
  • Earaches

An urgent care clinic will typically have shorter wait times than an emergency room, so it can be a time saver.

With Aurora Urgent Care, you can make a reservation for a time to see a provider and skip the wait.

Emergency Room

Go to an emergency room (ER) when you’re experiencing a severe or life threatening condition. Go to the ER for conditions such as:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Chest pain
  • Extreme pain
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Severe burns
  • Broken bones
  • Suspected poisoning or overdose

Children under 3 months who need immediate care should be taken to the ER.

Of your health care options, the ER is best used when you have a true medical emergency. Visiting an ER for less serious conditions can be a poor value for you.

If you have an emergency situation, call 9-1-1.

Aurora is a not-for-profit health care provider. 

Meet the Author

John Brill, MD is a Family Medicine Physician at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI.

Read more posts from this author

The information presented in this site is intended for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician. Contact your physician if you believe you have a health problem.

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