Share 71% of emergency department visits are unnecessary or could have been avoided. by: Catherine Robinson, MS, RDN, LD, CDE, Florida Health Care Plans You never expect a sore throat, fever or a broken bone. Life’s health emergencies happen without a moment’s notice, and usually at the most inopportune times. While it’s ideal to see your primary care doctor when you have health concerns, sometimes that’s not possible when it’s the weekend, after hours or they can’t schedule an appointment on short notice. Many head to the local emergency room when an unexpected medical issue arises, but that can be costly, time consuming and unnecessary. In fact, nearly three out of four emergency room visits are avoidable and unneeded. Urgent care facilities are a less expensive and quicker alternative to emergency rooms that can handle a variety of medical problems. Trips to the emergency room should be reserved for severe medical issues. If you ever have a life-threatening illness or injury, always go to the emergency room or call 911 right away. Catherine Robinson is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. She has a master’s degree in education and manages the Diabetes/Health Education department for Florida Health Care Plans.