Mercury isn’t the only thing that rises in the summer: as temps spike, so do visits to the Emergency Room. This time of year, with all its swimming, sun, sand, and sports, is practically an invitation for injury—but is the ER your only option for treating summer fun gone wrong?
Thankfully, the answer to that question is “no.” A typical visit to the ER can take well over three hours and cost you upwards of $1,500, but we have a better option for treating non-life-threatening injuries: ZOOM+Super, our Emergency Room alternative. A truly innovative solution in the healthcare world, Super can treat 80% of the reasons that adults and kids go to the ER‚ including bone fractures, abdominal pain, headache, asthma attacks, kidney stones, and early pregnancy complications. It’s cheaper and faster, too—the average visit is just 47 minutes, with no wait. In other words? Super is perfect those “oh s!@*%” moments of summer.
We sat down with Dr. Mark Zeitzer—a board-certified emergency physician, and our Medical Director of Acute Care Services—to talk about common summertime injuries, what ZOOM+Super does, and how it’s filling the gap between urgent care and the ER.
Sure! So, in the early days of ZOOM+Care, we were sending a lot of our patients to the Emergency Department. And that was frustrating because many of our patients didn't really need to be in the ER. What they needed was an ultrasound, or a CT scan, a liter of fluid or an IV medication — just a little bit more intensive treatment than we could provide at our Daily Care clinics. So, we started talking about how ZOOM+Care could bridge that gap. We started asking ourselves questions: Could we be doing something better? Could we find a way to help our patients with that next step?
And that’s really how the idea for Super came about. We realized that if we put emergency physicians in a place where there is a CT scanner, a lab, IV fluids, and medications, we could handle about 80% of the things that people go to the Emergency Department for. And more importantly, we could do it faster, better, and cheaper.
Super is all about addressing uncertainties. When you go to the Emergency Room, you’re met with so many unknowns. You don't know how much it going to cost. You don't know what they're going to do to you, and you don't know when they're going to do it. Long story short, you don't know anything.
At Super, we turn uncertainties into certainties. Nothing is a mystery. We give you an idea of the cost upfront. When you come in for a visit, we write out everything on a whiteboard so you know exactly what's going to happen to you, and when it's going to happen.
Another benefit of Super is that you don’t have to tell your story multiple times. When you go to the Emergency Room, you talk to a greeter, then you speak to a triage nurse, then you meet your nurse, and finally, you talk to a provider. The problem is, that whole experience can take four or five hours. At Super, your provider comes out right at your appointed time—maybe even earlier—shakes your hand, and brings you back to your room. Everything starts right then and there.
We see a lot of summertime injuries at Super, many of them related to being outdoors—for example, we see more bee stings this time of year. A lot of people come in with sunburns, and rashes from poison ivy and poison oak. There are also a lot of tick and other creepy crawly-related concerns.
We see heat-related injuries as well, such as heat stroke and dehydration.
And then, of course, there are the orthopedic complaints—sprained ankles, broken bones. People are out riding their bikes all the time, so we see a trend of people coming in because they got their bike tires caught in the railroad tracks and they go down hard. Their tires get into those grooves—it's super dangerous!
Super is perfect for summertime injuries. For example, we’re really great with things like dehydration. Plus, CTs, ultrasounds, labs, fluids, and medications can all be done right then and there, much faster and cheaper than the ER.
If you think you need to go to the ER, but you’re not sure—head to Super.
Another way to think of it is like this: If you go to the ER and you wind up sitting in the waiting room, you probably don't need to be there. That's when you should use our app (or go online) to schedule a visit at Super.
If it turns out that you do need the emergency department, we have emergency physicians standing right in front of you, to help you get where you need to go. We’ll get you admitted to the hospital directly, too, so you don't have to go through the emergency department.
So, our Daily Care clinics are awesome, and they can do a lot. Common outdoor injuries—such as strains and sprains that don’t need x-rays, scratches, bruises, and lacerations—can all be taken care of at Daily Care. Plus, they’re convenient. We put Daily Care clinics in your neighborhood, at your disposal, so that you can get in quickly.
If you are unsure of where to go, our Daily Care providers will help you decide. If your concern can be addressed there, great! Otherwise, they'll send you to Super. Either way, very few of our patients end up going in the Emergency Department. ZOOM+Care has driven referral rate to the Emergency Department from 1.3% down to 0.3%, which is truly remarkable. When you look around the healthcare industry, that is an incredible low referral rate.