Urgent care or emergency room?

Tristan Guevara, DO, wants patients to see their family doctor.

However, Dr. Guevara, the family medicine physician who is on staff at McLaren Macomb and was instrumental in bringing the recently-opened Stony Creek Urgent Care to the McLaren Macomb-Shelby Creek Medical Center, recognizes the confusion many patients still have-questioning if they should go to the nearest ER, urgent care or wait to make an appointment with their family physician.

"If they can, we always want patients to see their family physician, which goes a long way when it comes to continuity of care," said Dr. Guevara, a managing partner at the urgent care center. "But, of course, there are times when waiting is not an option and you need care now, and the question remains: urgent care or ER?"

In plain terms, he recommends patients go to urgent care if they "need care now," but head to the emergency room if there is a "potential life-threatening condition."

Patients should go to urgent care centers if they are experiencing symptoms associated with infections (such as sinus, upper respiratory, urinary tract, etc.), have a laceration that requires stitches or suffered an injury that requires an X-ray.

Emergency rooms are best utilized when a patient's vital signs become unstable or they have chest pain, neurological distress and sustained serious, debilitating trauma injuries.

"With an urgent care center, we'll never turn a patient away," Dr. Guevara said. "If we can treat them, we will. If they need an ER, we'll coordinate with EMS. But we still see many patients- roughly one-third-who do not have a primary care physician. We refer all of them to the McLaren network and trust these physicians will take good care of these patients."

McLaren Macomb specialists
In addition to the urgent care center, McLaren Macomb-Shelby Creek Medical Center is home to several specialty care service offices staffed with McLaren Macomb physicians and clinical professionals.

"With this facility, we get the opportunity to bring the level of quality care our staff provides daily to Shelby Township and its surrounding communities," said Chris Candela, vice president and chief operating officer at McLaren Macomb. "When it comes to our clinical staff, we are fortunate to have a great combination of talent and experience. We're excited about everything we can offer this community."

Current services include:
"¢ McLaren Macomb-Shelby Creek Family Medicine
"¢ McLaren Macomb Physical and Occupational Therapy
"¢ McLaren Macomb Diagnostic Imaging
"¢ McLaren Cardiovascular Institute
"¢ Allure Medical Spa

"Knowing their reputations-the organization and the physicians in those offices-brings a level of comfort to us, knowing our patients are in good hands when we refer patients to the McLaren network," Dr. Guevara said.

As Stony Creek Urgent Care becomes more established, plans are already in place to fill remaining offices with additional specialists.

McLaren Macomb-Shelby Creek Medical Center
8180 26 Mile Road in Shelby Twp.
Stony Creek Urgent Care
Open daily
9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

To learn more about these and other services offered at McLaren Macomb, visit mclaren.org/macomb.