When to Go Where for the Right Level of Care

by Mark Fujita, MD, Family Medicine, Ochsner Medical Center - West Bank Campus

In the modern healthcare landscape, we are presented with a variety of options when considering where to go for care. While having access to quality healthcare in a variety of places is a good thing, it’s not always easy to determine the best course of action when you or a loved one is sick or hurt. Often times, patients face these common questions: When should I make an appointment with my doctor? How “urgent” should urgent care be? Is it time to go to the emergency room?

For annual checkups, care for chronic illnesses and immunizations, primary care physicians are the appropriate level of care. Urgent care clinics are a great option for minor illnesses, offering after-hours and weekend care for things like sprains and broken bones, abscesses, coughs, colds and sore throats. For serious life-threatening issues, like severe episodes of chest pain, bleeding, asthma attacks or head trauma, an emergency room is the best place for the higher level of care required.

With the recent addition of Ochsner Urgent Care, Ochsner Health System is increasing access to convenient, non-emergency care services throughout the New Orleans area. Ochsner Urgent Care locations serve as part of Ochsner’s goal to ensure that the most appropriate level of care is accessible to patients when and where they need us.

An additional free resource available to patients seeking the appropriate level of care is Ochsner On Call. Ochsner On Call provides appointment booking, health education and advisory services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Specially trained registered nurses are available to help you decide if your symptoms require going to an emergency room, urgent care clinic or scheduling an appointment with a primary care physician, in addition to recommending appropriate self-care techniques. This service is free and available by calling 1-800-231-5257 or 504-842-3155.

Visit your closest Ochsner Urgent Care at 1625 Barataria Boulevard, Suite A in Marrero. To schedule an appointment with a primary care physician on the West Bank, visit For all emergencies, visit your closest ER at 2500 Belle Chasse Highway in Gretna or 4837 Lapalco Boulevard in Marrero, or dial 9-1-1.


About the author

The West Bank Beacon

The West Bank Beacon is a local monthly publication with a mailed circulation of over 15,000 and thousands more distributed at points from Gretna to Grand Isle, the Beacon tells the story of a thriving community. A “good news” newspaper, our mission is to make readers aware of how both individuals and groups are making a positive difference in the neighborhoods where they live. This includes a focus on civic and city initiatives, volunteer efforts, and charity fundraisers, to name just a few examples.

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